By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
NorthWood came into Saturday’s NLC Tournament at Maplecrest Country Club the top-seeded team after having gone undefeated during the regular season at 7-0.
On Saturday, the Panthers finished runners-up to Warsaw at the conference tournament: The Tigers shot a 386 in tough conditions at Maplecrest, compared with 389 for NorthWood.
But according to the NLC’s criteria for determining the conference crown, the Panthers take the title — their second straight.
On a day when difficult pin placements combined with fast greens to creat high scores, the Panthers battled through and did what was necessary to defend their championship.
The Panthers, No. 1, senior Heidi Morganthaler, led the way with a 79, which was good enough to ean medalist honors. Morganthaler also earned the top spot at last season’s conference tourney.
Morganthaler’s card on Saturday include a most uncharacteristic quadruple bogey on the par-4 No. 11 at Maplecrest. The bad hole came after several straight bogeys – and after Morganthaler had shot 1-over 37 on the front nine.
“I had to talk to myself and get things back on track,” Morganthaler said. She was able to do just that, shooting 3-over par the rest of the way in.
NorthWood coach Adam Yoder said it’s the first NLC title repeat for a Panther squad since the girls basketball team did it in 1998-99.
Yoder wasn’t exceptionally pleased with his team’s round on Saturday, which saw thre players over 100.
But Yoder was happy to see his team persevere through tough conditions.
Among other area schools, Wawasee was third with a 409; Concord was fifth with a 437; Goshen was sixth with a 445; and Northridge was seventh with a 465.
Goshen coach Brock Rose ‘s team didn’t have a player with a score under 100. No. 1 Teage Minier had the best round of the day for the Redskins with a 104.
Rose said the course played tough at nearly 5,400 yards, and the tough pin placements made for tricky putting on fast greens.
But it was all a part of getting ready for what could be even tougher conditions at Cobblestone in Kendallville next week at the sectional tournamen, Rose added.
Sectionals have been a bit reconfigured this season. Goshen, Concord and Northridge will be at Cobblestone. NorthWood and Wawasee will be at Stonehenge in Warsaw,
1. Warsaw, 386; 2. NorthWood, 389; 3. Wawasee, 409; 4. Plymouth, 416; 5. Concord, 437; 6. Goshen, 445; 7. Northridge, 468; 8. Elkhart Memorial, 487.
NORTHWOOD (389): Heidi Morganthaler, 79; Linnzie Richner, 92; Summer Stillson, 109; Rachel Beebe, 109; Kayla Stankovich, 112.
WARSAW (386): Nikki LaLonde, 88; Elizabeth Meadows, 89; Alexis Manwaring, 93; Kristen Watson, 118; madi Graham, 128.
WAWASEE (409): Elizabeth Jackson, 95; Mikala Mawhorter, 96; Aubrey Schmeltz, 116; Kyllie Rostochak, 102; Courtney McDaniel, 132.
PLYMOUTH (416): Kelly Henderson, 106; Emily Denney, 104; Randi Dunn, 105; Morgan Oberley, 101; Katie McDonald, 113.
GOSHEN (445): Teage Minier, 104; Claire Palczynski, 115; Gale Immel, 113; Morgan Leonard, 117; Sara Rogers, 113.
CONCORD (437): Michaela Searer, 105; Sammy Oberholtzer, 110; Olivia Kauffman, 119; Libby Gill, 110; Erika Shirley, 112.
ELKHART MEMORIAL (487): Hannah Dillman, 105; Ally Disher, 121; Kaylen Byers, 140; Chloe Klien, 121.
NORTHRIDGE (465): Kelly Soard, 115; Emily Thomas, 104; Lucy Wisolek, 122; Lexi Meskowski, 127; Katy Pluimer, 154.