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Top photo, Ada senior Alanah Canfield chips onto the green during action earlier this spring.

Photo submitted
Ada Evening News

The Ada girls golf program has come a long way in a short time.

The Lady Cougars — playing with a full team for the first time last year — made the most of their ‘sophomore’ season by earning a spot in next week’s Class 4A State Tournament after a strong showing in a regional tournament at Seminole’s Jimmy Austin Golf Course on Tuesday.

The Lady Cougars needed to finish third at the 4A Regional and did just that, shooting a season-best 419. The top three teams from each regional and the top four individuals from teams that don’t qualify earn trips to the state tournament.

Ada finished 19 strokes ahead of host Seminole, which finished fourth at 438.

“Giddy is the word I would describe the girls when the scores were being posted on the tournament board. When it was official that we had qualified, they were ecstatic. We tricked some people,” said head coach Ron Anderson. “I’m so proud of the girls for their effort today. We knew going into the tournament that we would have to play our best and we felt Seminole and Harrah would be our stiffest competition for that third and final spot. That’s exactly what happened.”

Tuttle won the regional title, shooting a 362 while Pauls Valley followed at 371.

State medalist contender Kendra Mann of Harrah finished first at the 4A Regional with a 75. Payton Taylor of Seminole was next with an 83.

“Having competed in previous tournaments with Tuttle and Pauls Valley, we felt they would both vie for the regional title. Both schools have very good golf programs and they have a lot of experience competing for regional championships and state tournament appearances,” Anderson said.

Seniors Alanah Canfield and Charlesey YoungWolfe both scored season-lows, shooting 96 and 108, respectively. Olivia Prewett (103), Elisah Canfield (112) and Mechel Dickerson (121) rounded out the Ada scoring.

“As I said after our first tournament, you can’t coach experience. Experience comes with time and hard work. Both of these things are the main reasons for our lower scores as the season progressed,” Anderson said. “I purposely scheduled tournaments with better teams and more difficult courses than last season. Playing with better competition made us better, and the girls also saw what was required to get to that next level by playing against the best players and teams.”

The 4A State Tournament is scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday at the Lake Hefner Golf Course in Oklahoma City.

“We realize winning state will be a tremendous reach, so we will approach next week with a nothing-to-lose attitude. Ada has had some outstanding individual golfers in the past with most of them competing for medalist honors. But this will be the first ever Ada girls golf team in only its second season to make the state tournament. I’m excited for them,” Anderson said.

Latta also headed to state

LATTA — The Latta girls golf team shot a season-best 414 to finish third at the Class 2A Regional Tournament held at the Arrowhead Golf Course in Canadian on Tuesday.

The Lady Panthers now advance to to next week’s 2A State Tournament to be played Wednesday and Thursday at Sugar Creek Canyon Golf Course near Hinton.

“The ladies have worked hard this year to improve their game. They won the championship trophy of the last two regular season tournaments and that brought the regular season to a close on a positive note,” said Latta coach Jim McDaniel. “Their regional score was the best we’ve shot all year. I’m very proud of their attitude and performance at the regional tournament. They were each determined to do thier part to make sure that the team made it to state again this year.”

Teagan Tully led Latta’s effort with a 98 while Madison Snowden followed with a 101. Other Latta scores included Emily Estes at 103, Amber Smee at 112 and Taylor Estes at 113.

Oktaha, the defending 2A state champion, won the regional with a blistering team total of 333. Pioneer was a distant second at 402.

“We were paired with Oktaha who won state last year, and they are well on track to win it again. I firmly believe it helps your game to play with people who play the game well,” McDaniel said. “If the ladies keep their concentration I believe we are capable of finishing up a good year with scores they will be proud of.”