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WITH Tuesday’s 162-178 win against Columbus East, the Columbus North girls golf team established itself as the favorite to win Saturday’s Greensburg Sectional.
East coach Troy Buntin, however, isn’t conceding anything. The 17th-ranked Bull Dogs and No. 14 Olympians are regarded as the best squads in the 11-team field, and Buntin said he thinks his team can play with North.
“I think it’s a crapshoot,” Buntin said. “It’s who’s hot and who plays well, and I think if we play to the best of our ability, we could come out as sectional champions. But we have to improve a little bit between now and then.”
Tuesday’s win for North came on its home course, Harrison Lake Country Club. It was the Bull Dogs’ second big win in as many days on that course after capturing the Conference Indiana title there Monday.
“I’m happy with the way we’re playing this week and last week,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “We have a little momentum and a little confidence, and we look forward to Saturday. We’d like to win, obviously, but our ultimate goal is to move on.”
East struggled to a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament at Shadowood.
“We obviously got off to a good start, and we’ve kind of struggled down the stretch,” Buntin said. “I still see it as a shootout.”
The sectional begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Greensburg Country Club. The Bull Dogs and Olympians will be joined by Batesville, East Central, Greensburg, Jac-Cen-Del, Milan, North Decatur, Oldenburg Academy, Rushville and South Ripley.
The top three teams and top three individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the Sept. 28 New Castle Regional at Westwood.
Other golf sectionals
Seymour and Trinity Lutheran will play in the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional at 8 a.m. Saturday at Otis Park. Also in the field are BNL, Brownstown Central, Eastern (Pekin), Mitchell, Paoli, Salem and Springs Valley.
Jennings County will be in the Madison Sectional at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Sunrise. Austin, Lawrenceburg, Madison, Madison Shawe, Rising Sun, Scottsburg, Southwestern (Hanover), South Dearborn and Switzerland County will also be there.
Brown County will have to wait until 8:30 a.m. Monday to play in the Bloomington North Sectional at Cascades. Also there will be Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Eastern Greene, Edgewood, Franklin, Indian Creek, Martinsville and Owen Valley.
The top three teams and individuals from the BNL and Bloomington North Sectionals advance to the Washington Regional at Country Oaks in Montgomery. The top three teams and individuals from the Madison Sectional advance to the Roncalli Regional at Smock in Indianapolis.
North adds showcase girls games
The Columbus North girls basketball team beefed up its schedule last year, playing eight teams that were ranked in the top 12 in Class 4A, plus nationally ranked Chicago Whitney Young.
This year, the schedule will be even tougher.
The Bull Dogs won’t be playing Whitney Young again, but have added two out-of-state games against top-flight opponents. North will play Lawrenceburg (Ky.) Anderson County Dec. 14 at Louisville Iroquois and Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge in a Coaches vs. Cancer event Jan. 9 at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.
Anderson County had two Kentucky Junior All-Stars last season and will be one of that state’s top teams this season. Rock Bridge is the two-time Missouri Class 5A state champion and features six Division I commitments — three to Missouri, two to Kansas and one to Missouri State.
North coach Pat McKee also has announced the lineup for this year’s Subway Columbus North Invitational. Roncalli, Mishawaka and Park Hills (Ky.) Notre Dame Academy return from last year’s inaugural event and will be joined this year by 2A state champion Evansville Mater Dei, Richmond and perennial powers Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne and Milwaukee Rufus King.
The Bull Dogs went 25-1 last season, won a sectional title and were ranked No. 1 in Indiana and as high as No. 8 nationally by USA Today.
HHC tennis tourney next week
East will be at home for all three of its matches in next week’s Hoosier Hills Conference boys tennis tournament.
The Olympians will host Jennings County, and Seymour hosts BNL in the opening round at 5 p.m. Monday. The East-Jennings winner and loser will host the Seymour-BNL winner and loser Wednesday.
The winner and loser of those matches will be at home for the championship and placement rounds on Sept. 27.
East player returns to Academy
The East boys soccer team suffered a big blow last week when sophomore Derek Schutte decided to return to the Indiana Fire Academy team he played for last season.
Schutte ranked second on the Olympians with four assists in seven games. East is 1-2 since his departure, with a win over Bedford North Lawrence and losses to Class 2A No. 8 Fishers and 2A No. 1 North.
Runners closing in on records
While senior Mackenzie Caldwell broke her own North girls school record with a 17-minute, 40.10-second clocking Saturday in Brown County Eagle Classic, two other Bull Dog girls approached class records.
Sophomore Sierra Lax ran 18:19.00, which is just eight seconds off Caldwell’s sophomore record. Freshman Rachel Brougher ran 18:57.40, which is 19 seconds off the freshman record Lax set last season.
Ted Schultz is a sports reporter for The Republic. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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