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Girls golf: Megan Stites nudges Wilsonville past Liberty in dramatic NWOC victory

by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Megan Stites carded 34 points in the modfied Stableford scoring system May 6 at Mountain View Golf Club in Boring to help the Wilsonville girls golf team defeat Liberty by two points. Above, Stites tracks a tee shot April 8 at Stone Creek Golf Course in Oregon City.Talk about a nail-biter.

The Wilsonville girls golf team was trailing Liberty by double-digit strokes with half of the scores tallied. It was still behind when the No. 3 players’ rounds were added.

And when Megan Stites finished her round May 6 at Mountain View Golf Club in Boring, she indicated to Wildcats coach Mike Nichols that she thought Falcons counterpart Elaina Maki had outplayed her.

She was delighted to be wrong.

With her team needing to make up a two-point deficit, Stites outscored Maki 34-30 to secure Wilsonville’s fourth-consecutive Northwest Oregon Conference tournament victory in dramatic fashion.

The Wildcats finished with 186 points in the modified Stableford scoring system. Liberty ended up with 184.

“We did not know who won the tournament until the score for the number-four players from each team were counted,” Nichols said. “It seemed like it took forever for the final groups to finish.”

Wilsonville’s triumph in its regular-season finale gave it a six-point lead over the Falcons in the NWOC standings heading into the district tournament, which is slated for May 12-13 at The Reserve in Aloha. The Wildcats can capture their first league title since 2004 with a top-two finish there.

Wilsonville’s thrilling victory in Boring was due in part to the congruent performances of junior Audrey Chames and freshman Kaitlyn Howe, who each posted 56 points to tie Liberty’s McKenzie Oster for third place behind Liberty’s Stephanie Miller (68) and Sandy’s Brooklyn Dobson (57). Miller’s medalist effort included a rare albatross — a double eagle — on the par-5, 352-yard 14th hole.

Wildcats junior Kara Gilbert came through with 40 points to trim the Falcons’ 12-point lead to two, gaining ground against Liberty’s Netianah Northcutt (30).

Stites vaulted Wilsonville into first place with her 34. Annika Oetken rounded out the lineup with a 33.

“The girls were happy about the team win but felt they should have and could have played better,” Nichols said. “Some days in golf, everything is going your way, every shot is easy, you shoot a great score and those are fun. Some days in golf, every shot is difficult, you struggle to do well and you just grind it out but are determined not to give up.

“That is what they did. They had a grind-it-out day, they struggled through, stayed with it and didn’t give up. I couldn’t be more proud of their effort and persistence.”

***

AT A GLANCE

May 6 at Mountain View Golf Club (Boring)

Team scores: 1. Wilsonville, 186; 2. Wilsonville, 184; 3. Sandy, 154; 4. Sherwood, 128; 5. St. Helens, 17.

Individual leaders: 1. Stephanie Miller (Liberty), 68; 2. Brooklyn Dobson (Sandy), 57; 3. Audrey Chames (Wilsonville), 56; 3. Kaitlyn Howe (Wilsonville), 56; 3. McKenzie Oster (Liberty), 56.

NWOC standings: 1. Wilsonville, 56; 2. Liberty, 50; 3. Sandy, 38; 4. Sherwood, 25; 5. St. Helens, 12.

WILSONVILLE GIRLS GOLF 2014

March 17 at Sah-Hah-Lee: 197 (2nd of 6)

April 1 at Broadmoor: 158 (2nd of 5)

April 8 at Stone Creek: 173 (2nd of 5)

April 15 at Chehalem Glenn: 193 (1st of 5)

April 22 at Quail Valley: 188 (1st of 5)

April 29 at Charbonneau: 211 (1st of 5)

May 6 at Mountain View: 186 (1st of 5)


By Jeff Goodman
Sports editor
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