JEFFERSONVILLE — The Columbus East girls golf team is peaking at the right time.
Led by Lily Shelp’s 10-over-par 82 and Autumn Fateley’s 84, the Olympians finished as runner-up in the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament at Elks Run Golf Club on Saturday.
Bedford North Lawrence repeated as HHC champs with a 340. East shot 373 for second, beating out Floyd Central by four strokes. Madison was fourth with 392, followed by Seymour (403), Jennings County (440), New Albany (443) and Jeffersonville (498).
Top-five finishes, ties included, garnered All-HHC status while the next five-lowest scores earned honorable mention.
Shelp tied for the lowest score on the day with Bedford’s Carly Stigalll.
“We’ve been working on going through processes of being precise on chips and picking spots (with Shelp),” East coach Troy Buntin said. ‘It’s a target game where you need to be precise on your targets. She got up and down quite a few times. She was hitting greens and making putts. She had some good stretches.”
There isn’t an overall medalist in the championship, per current HHC bylaws, so a playoff hole wasn’t played between Shelp and Stigall.
Shelp started strong, hitting par on holes 6 through 8 on the front nine. She finished with 10 pars, six bogeys and two double-bogeys.
Despite not taking home any extra hardware, Shelp felt elated by her finish.
“Honestly, it was so cool,” Shelp said. “I’ve never really won a tournament before, or anything. I know there isn’t a special prize or anything, but at least I know that I can do it. I’ve worked hard for it.”
Fateley also found success on the early holes, managing par on holes 6 through 9. Fateley totaled 10 pars on the day.
Buntin said Fateley responded to adversity well on the links.
“On No. 16, she made a quadruple-bogey,” Buntin said. “I told her to finish strong, and she made the next two pars. It’s huge to have a good rebound like that.”
Morgan Harrison was next for the Olympians, placing 13th with a 95. Lauren Steinwedel carded a 112 for 27th, and Kati Brunn shot 118 to finish 31st.
“I think we did pretty good,” Fateley said. “We can definitely do a little better. I know there are some girls on the team that weren’t very happy with their scores. I’m 100 percent confident they can shoot in the 80s. I think everyone was happy today because this is kind of our first major tournament. I think it was a good round for us.”
Buntin said he was proud of the team’s performance.
“I was kind of expecting third, maybe fourth because Seymour got us in a home match at their course earlier this year,” he said. “Finishing second exceeds my expectations. I feel really good about going into (sectional) next week.”
Peyton Whitehead was low for Jennings, earning All-HHC honorable mention status by shooting 89. Whitehead made par on on six holes.
“Her short game was exceptional,” Jennings coach Kellie Barriger said. “On her long game, she had a few tricky holes. Her short game helped her a lot. She did a great job.”
Sydney Campbell’s 112 was next for the Panthers in 27th. Allie Clark shot 103 for 20th, and Destiny Joray’s 136 (69-67) was 37th.
“They left a lot of strokes on the course,” Barriger said. “Overall, they did pretty well. They haven’t played many 18-hole (tournaments) this year. I’m proud of them. They did their best.”