FRANKLIN – The good news for both Nikki LaLonde and the NorthWood girls’ golf team is that there is another round to be played at the State Finals.
Warsaw standout LaLonde and the Panthers both had a tough go of it Friday during the opening round of the IHSAA Girls’ Golf State Finals at The Legends Golf Club.
Senior LaLonde shot a 94 over the 5,697-yard, par 72 layout in her second trip to State. LaLonde played in the State Finals as a sophomore in 2011 when the Warsaw team advanced to the tournament finale. She also shot a round of 94 two years ago at The Legends.
LaLonde, who shot a 76 last Saturday at the East Noble Regional, shot a 43 on the back nine Friday to begin her round. She then shot 51 on the front nine with a nine on the par five No. 2 hole, and eights on the par four No. 5 and the par five No. 6.
NorthWood, making the program’s first-ever trip to State, shot 361 Friday to sit in 15th place among the 15 teams.
Senior Heidi Morganthaler fired a round of 80 to lead coach Adam Yoder’s Panther team.
Freshman Summer Stillson shot 89, sophomore Linnzie Richner 93, junior Rachel Beebe 99 and senior Kayla Stankovich 101 for NorthWood.
Top-ranked Penn sits in second place after shooting 319 Friday. No. 2 Carmel leads the field at 304. Carmel’s score was the second lowest team total recorded in the history of the State Finals. Penn, ironically enough, shot the lowest with a 301 in 2005.
Senior Kari Bellville, one of four seniors in the Penn lineup, shot 75 Friday. Bellville, who will play at Notre Dame next year, is tied for sixth place among individuals.
Valparaiso senior Harley Dubsky shot a four-under 68 Friday to sit atop the leader board.
Rochester shot 358 Friday and is tied for 13th place in the team standings.
Penn won the East Noble Regional championship last Saturday with a 297. NorthWood was second at 335 with Rochester third at 338.
LaLonde begins her second and final round Saturday at 8:57 a.m. NorthWood also begins play at 8:57 with Penn’s first tee-time at 9:51.