By Adam Yoder
ELKHART – Two of the most impressive streaks in the area came to an end Tuesday night in Elkhart at Bent Oak Golf Club when the Concord girls golf team bested the NorthWood squad by six shots, 171-177.
A streak of 68 straight nine-hole match victories dating back to a loss to Penn in 2013 and 57 consecutive Northern Lakes Conference victories that stretched back to a loss to Elkhart Memorial in 2011 ended. Just like that.
NorthWood head coach Adam Yoder, who has been at the helm for the Panthers since 2008, said, “First, congrats to Concord on a great win tonight. They drove the ball overall much better than we did, and that was the difference to me. Their overall experience was also important.”
As for the streak, “It was an amazing ride this last, what, decade? But this isn’t a funeral. We still control our own destiny in terms of the NLC title. We need to win out, now, and then win the tourney. We shared it with Warsaw in 2012 and Wawasee in 2014 by finishing second in the tourney after an unbeaten regular season. Now, we just need to flip that script.”
Concord head coach Tara Boessler was also looking forward as well.
“This was a great win and we’ll celebrate tonight,” noted Boessler. “What NorthWood has done has been impressive, but in the end in, it’s just one win in the NLC. We have a lot of work to do to improve and tomorrow’s a new day.”
NorthWood ace Cybil Stillson made an uncharacteristic double-bogey on the par-four third hole, but then birdied four of the last five holes to finish with a one-under par 36 and garner medalist honors. The lengthy Bent Oak front nine plays as a par 37 for the ladies.
From there, Bre Goss struggled to a 46, Abbie Richner a 47 and Riley Kitson a 48. Bella Sechrist totaled a 58 from the fifth spot.
The win for the senior laden Minutemen puts them in the driver’s seat in the NLC race. Belle Brunner’s 39 and Brooke Watson’s 43 were able to match the Panthers’ 1-2 punch of Stillson and Goss with a total of 82.
Playing the three and four spots, Minutemen seniors Gracie Tucker and Evelyn Theinert bested Richner and Kitson by six shots to account for the total.
Boessler was very happy with both the two players that she has coached the last four years.
“Gracie gutted it out tonight with an injury. Evelyn is such a happy person, always positive, and tonight she did just a great job. She started out the night parring number nine and just played really solidly from there.”
Sophomore Kira Schrock fired a 57, as NorthWood’s only JV player.
With tonight’s match included, the Panthers now stand at 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the NLC.
NorthWood travels to Black Squirrel Golf Course in Goshen on Thursday to take on the host Redhawks and the Northridge Raiders in another NLC battle. They then tee it up for fifth consecutive year at the IHSGCA Hall of Fame Invitational on Saturday at the Trophy Club in Lebanon, as well.