After finishing the regular season on a tear, Highland High golfers Rece Portell and Allison Young continued their strong play at Wednesday’s IHSA Class A Salem Regional, and, as a reward, the duo made the cut for Monday’s Carterville Sectional.
At the regional, Portell, a sophomore, carded an 88 to garner the seventh-place medal and Young, a senior, fired a 92 to earn 11th place. Both Portell and Young qualified as individuals for the sectional with a ticket to the IHSA Class A Girls State Golf Tournament on the line.
Portell shot a 12-over-par 48 on the rugged front nine holes and followed that with a 4-over-par 40 on the backside.
“What an incredible round of golf,” Highland coach Gina Hirsch said of Portell. “Rece put in a lot of extra hours and today those hours paid off. She kept the ball in the fairway and stayed out of trouble. She played so smart. She and her dad (Brent Portell) made a game plan in the practice round and she stuck to it. She had a great group to play with and I think she fed off their play.”
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Young also shot 48 on the frontside and then followed with a 44 on the back nine.
“She struggled an a tricky par 3 but she got a great break when her ball skipped four times over the lake on 18 and landed up close to the green,” Hirsch said of Young. “I never have seen anything like it. What an unbelievable shot. That shot help her tie for 11th place. I am so happy for her. She is a tremendous kid and it has been a fun four years with her on the team. There is never a day that goes by that she doesn’t make someone smile.”
Monday’s Carterville Sectional will be held at Crab Orchard Golf Club in Carterville.
“Allison and Rece head to a tough Crab Orchard golf course,” Hirsch said. “We are just going to focus on having fun and trying to play our best. You never know what will happen.”
Highland finished in sixth place out of the 10 competing teams at the Salem Regional.
Effingham claimed the team trophy with a four-player team score of 350 to beat out runner-up Salem (371) by 21 shots. Breese Central finished third at 383. All three teams advance to compete the sectional.
Rounding out the 10-team regional field were: Mater Dei (389), Effingham St. Anthony (394), Highland (405), Hillsboro (406), Greenville (415), Teutopolis (426) and Litchfield (440).
Lindsey Storm of Hillsboro won the individual title in a playoff after shootnig a 78 and tying Megan Gallatin of Salem and Alex Brummer of Effingham.
Mater Dei junior Mikaleen Lawrence finished fourth with an 81 to easily advance as an individual.
Breese Central was led by junior Madison Wuest with a 91. Also scoring for the Cougars were senior Madison Freeman (94), senior Eris Rolves (95) and one of two scores shot by seniors Kaitlyn Smith and Megan Lammers (both shot 103).
Highland first-year senior Caitlin Lammers missed making the cut for the sectional by just six strokes but she finished up well after posting her career-best 18-hole round of golf with a 102.
“Caitlin shot her best 18 round of golf on a pretty tough course,” Hirsch said. “She has only been playing with the team for seven weeks and to shoot 102 is amazing. She made an awesome 8-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole. She just had a couple tough breaks with her putter but wow it was good to see her hit the ball so well. To finish in 24th place in seven weeks of competitive golf is just amazing.”