One lone, blue heron flopped lazily on the after-storm thermals above Crawfordsville Municipal Golf Course Saturday.

Below, the girls found golf more difficult. Lebanon’s Lady Tigers tamed the slow, sloppy 5,192 yard course, and captured Sectional 20 of the 44th Annual IHSAA Girls Golf Tournament.

Lebanon shot a team score 343 to advance to Regionals.

A sterling second-place finish allowed the North Montgomery Chargers to become Montgomery County’s sole team to reach the second round. Crawfordsville’s Olivia Grady advanced out of Sectionals by claiming one of three individual spots on non-qualifying teams.

Megan Douglas led the Chargers by carding a 92, ten strokes off the pace set by Lebanon’s Maci French, who shot 82 for medalist honors. Consistency in scoring propelled North Montgomery’s finish with strong performances by Taylor Miller, Scout Groves, Jaycee Walden and Chloe Maxwell.

“They were consistent.” Chargers head coach Jason Douglas said. “That’s the way they’ve been playing all year.”

The Chargers had few 18-hole matches all season, so the 399 was a score that pleased their coach.

“Yeah it is funny,” Douglas said. “The only thing I told them I wanted was to break 400, we shot 399—I need to set the standards down lower, I guess, if they are only going one under it each time.”

Grady’s qualifying round of 93 was seven strokes better than she had been all season, paring two rounds in the 40’s—in spite of taking a score of eight on the par 5 No. 3, and a score of nine on No. 18.

“One of my biggest goals was to not get down on myself when I did have a bad hole, I think I did a good job of that.” The senior assessed. “My putting has actually changed a lot, just in the last week, in terms of how I approach the ball—I definitely made a lot of one and two putts.”

A proud head coach, Roger Tribbett, knows where the success has its roots.

“It is all about the work she’s put in this year, it has finally paid off.” Tribbett said. “That kind of score, she can go up to Indy and compete.”

Indianapolis is where the Regionals will be held.

Crawfordsville as a team finished sixth with a 457, which was still a positive from the Athenians head coach.

“All four girls had personal bests. It was awesome to see them focus all day—that’s what we talked about.” Tribbett said.

Southmont was the local surprise during the sectional. The Mounties finished one spot out of qualifying for Regionals, sporting a team made of five freshmen golfers, several taking up the sport for the first time this season.

Bailey Thompson missed moving out of Sectionals by just four strokes with a 108. Erin Williams missed the cut by six finishing with a 110. Madison Kresler of Attica and Taylor Dixon of North Putnam were the other two individual qualifiers.

The young Mounties were barely affected from the tournament pressure in their first Sectional.

“Funny thing is, some of them didn’t know to get nervous. They don’t know quite what it is all about yet.” Mounties head coach Bill Whalen said. “When they get to be juniors and seniors, then we’ll see.”

The teams and qualifiers travel to Smock Golf Course on the south side of Indianapolis for the Regional round scheduled for Sept. 24.

SCORES:

Lebanon, 343; North Montgomery, 399; Western Boone, 401; Southmont, 456; Attica, 463; Crawfordsville, 467; North Putnam, 474; Seeger, 502

Crawfordsville: Olivia Grady, 93; Brittany Snyder, 118; Madison Greer, 123; Georgia Kincaid,  133 North Montgomery: Megan Douglas, 92; Scout Groves, 101; Taylor Miller, 98; Jaycee Walden, 108; Chloe Maxwell, 115 Southmont: Bailey Thompson, 108; Erin Williams, 110; Carson White, 120; Lexi Rusk, 118; Mandy Rodgers, 177