VISALIA — Lemoore’s No. 5 and No. 6 golfers turned in great performances, but it still wasn’t enough to catch Redwood -- who won by seven strokes at Valley Oaks Golf Course on Thursday.
“Just like I said the last few weeks, we still have quite a bit of room for improvement, but it was good to see our bottom two players today,” Lemoore coach Kevin Roberts said.
No. 5 golfer Tori Sheldon shot a 52 after struggling in the low 60s last week and No. 6 golfer Makenzie Taylor shot a career-best 68 — a six-stroke difference from her previous best.
The rest of the Tigers all stayed below 50 and had a solid nine holes on Thursday.
No. 1 golfer Maggie Benn and No. 3 golfer Ashley Alaniz both shot a 48. No. 2 golfer Maddie Alvarez had the best day for the Tigers and shot a team-low 46.
“We’re headed in the right direction as a team and I think if we don’t have those ‘blow-up’ holes — where we have those 3-putts — we’ll be right where we need to be,” Roberts said.
Jennifer Alaniz, the No. 4 golfer for Lemoore, shot a 47 on the course and attributed it to her driving, fairway and putting. The senior struggled with her chipping throughout the day, but managed to keep herself composed and didn't allow her score to balloon.
“I shook it off and I told myself that it’s just one hole, that on the next hole I’ll get a better score,” Jennifer said.
Redwood finished first at Valley Oaks for the second time this season with a 234 and Lemoore was right behind them shooting a 241. Both teams dropped three strokes from the last time they played nine holes at Valley Oaks on Sept. 14.
Even with the second-place finish, Lemoore still leads the West Yosemite League standings with 26 points. Redwood is right on their heels with 25 points in second and Golden West is still in the hunt with 21 points in third.
Hanford trails in fourth with 15 points, El Diamante in fifth with 12 points, Mt. Whitney in sixth with seven points and Hanford West is in seventh with five points.
Hanford coach Keenan Wyand was proud of his girls who kept it mainly in the 50s. In particular, Wyand was proud of No. 5 golfer Ashlyn Vidanna’s 55 on the course as she usually scores in the high 60s.
“This is our third time [at Valley Oaks], so I expected lower scores and, compared to last time we were here, a lot of progress and improvement,” Wyand said.
Wyand was also impressed by the girls’ ability to pick the game up so quickly since most have only been playing golf for two months.
Mya Chao once again shot the lowest score on the day with a 42, but had some company this time. No. 6 golfer Sophie Wasem from Redwood matched her 42 and was four strokes better than her teammates.
For Thursday’s match, the rest of the teams finished as follows: Golden West in third (262), Hanford in fourth (284), Mt. Whitney in fifth (288), El Diamante in sixth (309) and Hanford West in seventh (333).
The teams will be back next week for another nine holes at Valley Oaks at 2 p.m.
“Redwood has set the gauntlet for us, so we have to come out and be mentally tough and ready to go next week or Redwood’s going to continue to beat us,” Roberts said. “The league is competitive and I think that’s great for our league. It makes everybody push to be better.”