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Girls golf: Wilsonville ties Liberty atop NWOC with second-straight win

Wildcats take consecutive league tournaments for first time in five years


by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Audrey Chames, shown on the first tee at Stone Creek Golf Course in Oregon City, led the Wilsonville girls golf team to its second-straight win over Liberty during a Northwest Oregon Conference tournament April 22 at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.It was windy, it was rainy and it didn’t matter.

The Wilsonville girls golf team blew off foul weather conditions to put Liberty’s reign in jeopardy, storming into a tie for first place in the league standings with a landmark victory April 22 at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.

The Wildcats compiled 188 points in the modified Stableford as they breezed past the Falcons (159) and notched consecutive Northwest Oregon Conference tournament wins for the first time in five years.

Audrey Chames and Kaitlyn Howe, who helped Wilsonville defeat Liberty a week earlier at Chehalem Glenn Golf Course in Newberg, had plenty to do with the repeat result.

Chames finished with 58 points, taking runner-up honors behind Liberty medalist Stephanie Miller (63). It was a double-digit stroke improvement on her score at the same course last year.

The junior carded just two double bogies, matching par on six holes.

“Audrey was solid all day and is improving her game every day,” Wildcats coach Mike Nichols said.

Howe, meanwhile, amassed 55 points to take third place on the individual leaderboard despite scoring just one point each on the 9th and 12th holes.

The standout freshman, who won medalist honors a week earlier, picking up five points on the 17th hole to record the team’s only birdie of the afternoon.

“Her contribution to our team this year is a major factor for us,” Nichols said of Howe. “And while by her own standards 55 points is disappointing for her, 55 points on a difficult day is outstanding. She is playing so well.”

Also crucial to Wilsonville’s recent success is the incredible progress of Kara Gilbert, who tallied a season-high 45 points.

After missing the team’s season opener with an ankle injury and shooting a 25 in her first appearance, the junior has raised her score in three-consecutive tournaments.

“She is getting back to her form from last year and I truly expect her to get even better as the year goes on,” Nichols said. “If Kara shoots in the mid 40s or into the 50s it will really help us as we come down the stretch. She is improving rapidly and significantly.”

Annika Oetken contributed a season-best 30 points. Megan Stites (23) rounded out the Wildcats’ lineup.

Wilsonville’s final two regular-season tournament are scheduled for April 29 at Charbonneau Golf Club and May 6 at Mountain View Golf Club in Boring. The NWOC district tournament is slated for May 12-13.

***

AT A GLANCE

April 22 at Quail Valley Golf Course (Banks)

Team scores: 1. Wilsonville, 188; 2. Liberty, 159; 3. Sandy, 146; 4. Sherwood, 125; 5. St. Helens, 25.

Individual leaders: 1. Stephanie Miller (Liberty), 63; 2. Audrey Chames (Wilsonville), 58; 3. Kaitlyn Howe (Wilsonville), 55; 4. McKenzie Oster (Liberty), 54.

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)


By Jeff Goodman
Sports editor
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