Picking up their third victory of the season Sept. 24 with an overall team score of 446 points, the Boulder City Lady Eagles clinched a trip to the regional tournament for the first time since 2011.
Overcoming strong performances from Southeast Career Technical Academy (492) and Moapa Valley (510), which finished second and third, respectively, at the meet played at Boulder Creek Golf Course, the Lady Eagles remain undefeated in league play.
Leading the way for the Lady Eagles as always was sophomore Lani Potter, who continues to shine each week as regionals loom ahead. Earning the individual win with a score of 77, Potter has now recorded the low score in all three of the team’s league matches. Consistently getting better after each hole, Potter finished with a score of 37 on the back nine to hold off her nearest competitor, Josie Delgadillo from Moapa Valley.
“It is great to see Lani playing better as the season continue,” said coach Andy Schaper. “She has put in a lot of extra time on the practice tee and green in the last couple of months. Her success is earned through her practice and dedication to her game. It is fun to see that the hard work has paid off for her. The future is bright for Lani and I look forward to seeing her continued success.”
Potter also made the most of her Monday match against host Pahrump Valley at the Mountain Falls Golf Club, where this year’s regional tournament event will be held. Setting her career high on the course with a 69, Potter showed perhaps a quick glimpse of greatness in what could be a banner season for the Lady Eagles. Throughout the day, Potter was even on the front nine with a score of 36, before shooting 3 under par with a score of 33 on the back set in a dazzling performance.
“Lani played by far the best round of her high school career,” Schaper said. “Her performance was a great practice round for the upcoming regional.”
Behind Potter, freshman Madisan Walker and junior Lauryn Norris also had solid outings Sept. 24 for the Lady Eagles at Boulder Creek, placing third and eighth, respectively. Walker, who narrowly beat out Tech competitor Mckenzie Pope, shot a 108 on the day, while Norris would tie for eighth place with Tech competitor LeAnne Moran with a score of 125, just three strokes off of a top five finish.
At Pahrump. Walker shot 114, while Norris sat the event out.
“The girls have all improved since the start of the season,” Schaper said. “Through the heat of the summer, they have put in a great deal of time in some very uncomfortable weather conditions, working on their full swing and overall game. I have really enjoyed seeing the improvement in their ball striking since we started practice in July.”
Rounding out the Lady Eagles’ five-girl rotation were the duo of freshman Ryann Reese and junior Holly Pipper, who have continued to improve steadily as each week progresses. During the team’s two-event slate, Reese and Pipper would fall just outside of the Sept. 24 nine hole cut, while shooting a 124 and 126 on Monday.
“For Ryann and Holly, in just a little over two months, they have gone from never swinging a golf club to being able to finish 18 hole golf courses with respectable scores. I am very proud of them and look forward to their future development and improvement,” Schaper said.
With state championship aspirations for a young-yet-battled-tested Lady Eagles team, Schaper has expressed that despite already locking up a regional berth with three meets to go, the girls will continue to keep their foots down as they strive for their first team state championship since 2010.
“If we advance to play in the state tournament, it will be a great accomplishment for all the girls in their young golfing careers,” Schaper concluded. “We still have work to do however. The short game is what will make us or break us. We have spent a considerable amount of time on their short games (chipping and putting) at practice each week in between matches. I feel that if we eliminate some of the mistakes 50 yards in and reduce their extra stokes on the green, we will have a chance to advance to the state tournament in October. I keep encouraging the girls to try their best on each swing, then move on to the next shot and try their best again. That is how great rounds are played.”
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.