Rebels back to full strength just in time to win 3rd-straight ORVC title
It wasn’t that long ago that Southwestern wasn’t sure if it would even have enough golfers to field a complete team. But now at full strength, the Rebels look every bit of the sectional contender they envisioned themselves to be when the season kicked off in late July. Southwestern’s golfers had the two lowest individual scores and shot a 405 to win their third-straight Ohio River Valley Conference championship Saturday at Butler Falls Golf Course in Hanover. The Rebels did shoot as low as they believe they can and left many strokes on the course, but now fully healthy, the team is ready to make the final two-week run to the sectional on Sept. 19. “We got off to a rough start to the season. Those first few weeks felt like an exhibition,” Southwestern coach David Bright said. “This is really just the third time all year that we’ve fielded a full team. The girls played well. They put it together at the right time.” Southwestern’s top two golfers, Belle Crawford and Ellie Foley, were forced into quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns and missed several weeks at the beginning of the season and the Rebels’ third golfer, Hannah Sampson, splits time between the course and the soccer field. But Crawford and Foley were back on Saturday and showed exactly how valuable they are to their team. Crawford fired an 81 and won her second-straight ORVC crown while Foley finished second with an 88. Sampson and Ximena Vilchis tied for seventh overall with 118s. Crawford spent the summer playing junior events for the first time and was looking forward starting her senior season with a bang. She said that missing the first few weeks was tough. “I played better today than I have all season. I was in a rut literally every single day before today,” Crawford said. “Today was a good day to pull it together. I had five doubles today which is not good at all, but I had a couple of birdies that brought that back down. Other than those five holes, everything was pretty clean.” “She had a really good day,” Bright said. “If she knocks down those doubles to par or even bogey, you’re looking at a really good score. The kind of score that gets you into the regional.” Shawe fielded a full team in the tournament for the first time in four years and placed second with a 449. Freshman Kira Wells led the Hilltopper with a 93, which was good for third overall, while Yolett Perez had a 115, Gia Craig shot a 118 and Bailey Kilgore had a 123. Switzerland County was just two strokes back of Shawe with a 451. Hailey Hines led the Pacers with a 98 and Lily Williams had a 111 as both earned all-conference honors. Rori Ware had a 119, Brooklyn Flanders a 123 and Kenna Perkins a non-scoring 136. Milan placed fourth with a 522. Kayla Walke led the Indians with a 118, Cami Prather had a 129. Mackenzie Deffinger a 134 and Jayden Hayney had a 141. Jac-Cen-Del’s Tracy McKittrick shot a 101 to earn all-conference honors. Neither South Ripley nor Rising Sun had a golfer in the event. Southwestern and Shawe return to action today when they square off in a tri-meet with Scottsburg at Sunrise Golf Course in Madison. Shawe plays at Sunrise again on Thursday. Switzerland’s next match is not until Tuesday, Sept. 15 when it competes at Sunrise.