PASCO — The Wa-Hi girls finished fifth in a field of seven full squads here Wednesday at the Sun Willows Golf Course.
But the Blue Devils’ 366 team total was their best of the season and was an encouraging sign, coach Mike Patterson said, with just one more Mid-Columbia Conference pod match remaining before the district tournament.
“We are moving in the right direction,” Patterson said. “We have thought we could get our team score down to 350-to-355, and we’re getting closer. It hasn’t worked out as we hoped so far, but there is still a lot of golf left.”
Southridge won the pod with a 341 team score, followed by Pasco 346, Kamiakin 348, Hanford 354, Wa-Hi 366, Richland 403 and Chiawana 455. Kennewick entered an incomplete team.
Wa-Hi senior Kendall Dunovant and freshman Ashley Halazon shot the best rounds of their prep careers Wednesday. Dunovant carded an 87 for 10th place in the field of 40 and Halazon scored 109 to finish 31st.
The Blue Devils were led by senior Jessica Huntsman, who came in at 83 for a seventh-place finish, seven strokes behind Pasco sophomore Jalayne Martinez, who was the day’s medalist with a 5-over-par 77. Martinez won by one shot over Hanford junior Lacy Skwarek and Pasco senior Neydeen Martinez, who matched 78s.
“We were lucky to have Jessica,” Patterson said of Huntsman. “She injured her neck last Thursday and hadn’t played a round of golf since. But she was able to grind out an 83.”
Marisa Jimenez scored 91 and finished in 18th place for Wa-Hi, and Brooke Cramer shot 105 and tied for 28th place. Janie Gannon, scored 118 for 36th.
The Blue Devils’ final pod match will be played Monday at Horn Rapids in Richland. The match was originally scheduled for the Kennewick Country Club but is being moved because of severe green damage on the Kennewick course, Patterson said.
The district tourney is slated May 19-20, with the first round at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Walla Walla and the second at Meadow Springs in Kennewick.
“We might not be able to win the league,” Patterson said. “The important thing now is to do well at district and advance girls to state.”