GOSHEN – History repeated itself Saturday at the Northern Lakes Conference Girls’ Golf Tournament.
That was a good thing for both the Warsaw team and NorthWood’s Heidi Morganthaler.
The Tigers claimed the tourney title for the second straight year and Morganthaler repeated as individual medalist on a cool, but sun-drenched day at the Maplecrest Country Club.
Warsaw edged past the Panthers 386-389 when it was all said and done.
NorthWood, by virtue of its runner-up finish and a perfect 7-0 mark in NLC head-to-head competition, earns the overall league championship. The Panthers shared the league crown with Warsaw in 2012.
Warsaw, which entered the tourney tied for second place with Wawasee and Plymouth after each went 5-2 in NLC play, takes runner-up honors in the final league standings.
“We played decent today,” said Warsaw coach Chris LaLonde. “It was tough out there. The pins were set in tough spots and the greens were fast. It played tough for everybody.”
The scores reflected just how tough it was too.
Morganthaler fired a 79 on the day to earn medalist honors. The NorthWood standout shot a 37 on the front nine, including just missing an ace on No. 8. Morganthaler earns her fourth tourney win of the season and ties former Panther ace Amy Thompson for most NLC titles. Thompson was medalist in 2008 and 2009.
Warsaw seniors Nikki Lalonde and Elizabeth Meadows were the only other golfers in the eight-team field to break 90. LaLonde finished strong with a 41 over her final nine to shoot an 88, while Meadows came in at 89.
“I’ve talked about putting all year, putt, putt, putt,” coach LaLonde said. “Today we make enough putts to win. Nikki was rushing everything. I just told her to slow down on the back and get in control of her swing and she did.
“Coming into today we talked about just playing the golf course and what happens happens. This should make our girls a little more excited for the sectional next week. They know how close it will be.”
Junior Alexis Manwaring carded a 93 for the Tigers, while junior Kristen Watson shot 116 and freshman Madi Graham 128.
Wawasee shot 409 to finish in third place Saturday. The Warriors, who beat Warsaw head-to-head, also landed in third place in the final NLC standings.
“Third place in the NLC is nothing to be ashamed of,” said Wawasee coach Steve Coverstone. “We did not play as well as we would have liked to today. But, I was happy with their effort.
“It was vey challenging out there today. The greens were fast and really tough. The greens at Maxwelton are not nearly this fast. But, this could be good for us going into the sectional next week. It shows us how hard it will be to get out and that we will have to play well.”
Junior Elizabeth Jackson fired a round of 95 and sophomore Mikala Mawhorter came in at 96 to lead the Warriors.
“Both Elizabeth and Mikala just kept playing today and that was a positive,” said Coverstone. “Kylie shot 45 on the back nine and that was outstanding.”
Sophomore Kylie Rostochak shot 102, freshman Aubrey Schmeltz 116 and Courtney McDaniel 132 for Wawasee.
Plymouth was fourth in the final team standings with a 416. Concord was next at 437, followed by Goshen (445), Northridge (468) and Elkhart Memorial (487).
NorthWood topped the final overall league standings, followed by Warsaw, Wawasee, Plymouth, Goshen, Concord, Northridge and Memorial.
The Warsaw trio of LaLonde, Meadows and Manwaring earned All-NLC honors, as did the Wawasee duo of Jackson and Mawhorter. Rostochak was an honorable mention selection.
NorthWood’s Adam Yoder was honored as Coach of the Year.
Warsaw hosts Whitko Tuesday at Stonehenge at 4:30 for Senior Night. The Tigers will honors seniors LaLonde, Meadows and Miranda Domiano.
Wawasee is off until the Warsaw Sectional at Stonehenge on Sept. 21. The 11-team field will also include NorthWood and Plymouth.
Video of action during the tournament can be seen here, which features the No. 2 golfers from Warsaw, Plymouth, Wawasee and NorthWood.