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GIRLS GOLF: Lake Orion defends Oakland County crown in closest-contest ed tourney to date

| September 17, 2015 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.Stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

WATERFORD TWP. – On this day, one brilliant shot was all the difference for Moyea Russell.

The Lake Orion junior clubbed an eagle on her final shot Wednesday, stroking a 6-iron on the par-5, 18th hole at Pontiac Country Club to complete the rare feat.

The shot meant the world to Lake Orion’s girls golf team. Russell finished with a four-under medalist round of 68 at the prestigious Oakland County Division I Girls Golf Tournament, which proved to be the difference maker for the Dragons to repeat as champions in the star-studded field by a mere stroke.

Not only did Russell tie the Oakland County D-I record held by Rochester Stoney Creek’s Devon Compton in 2009, but it gave the Dragons a one-stroke victory in the closest-contested field ever at the Oakland County tournament, which dates back to the 1970s.

A total of nine strokes separated the top seven teams in a tournament field which featured 11 ranked squads in the 17-school group.

“I was shaking over the ball because I was so nervous,” smiled Russell of her tournament-ending eagle. “The previous two iron shots I hit on the par 3s — I chunked them. When I saw it get on the green, it was like ‘Yes. This is my time.’ When I was on the 18th hole, I just wanted to par or birdie it and not mess anything up for the team.”

She didn’t mess anything up — Russell delivered under pressure.

The sterling performance sent the Dragons, ranked fourth in Division 1, past a loaded field which also included D-1 top-ranked Rochester, Troy (D-1 No. 2), Bloomfield Hills (D-1 No. 3), Novi (D-1 No. 6), Farmington Hills Mercy (D-1 No. 7), Birmingham Seaholm (D-2 No. 2), South Lyon (D-2 No. 3), Birmingham Marian (D-2 No. 5), Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (D-3 No. 3) and Birmingham Detroit Country Day (D-3 No. 7).

When the dust settled, Lake Orion compiled a 327 team score at the play-five, count-four tourney, just ahead of Novi (328) and Rochester (329). Troy was fourth (331), while Bloomfield Hills (333), Mercy (334), South Lyon (336), Rochester Adams (354), Country Day (358), Marian (367), Rochester Stoney Creek (372), Troy Athens (372), Seaholm ‘B’ (373), Cranbrook Kingswood (374), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (386), North Farmington (410) and Holly (431) followed suit. Auburn Hills Avondale withdrew due to low numbers.

“I was talking to some of the other coaches, and we have never seen anything like it (with this many ranked schools) so close together,” offered Lake Orion coach Monty Gallagher, whose team captured their third-ever D-I Oakland County Tournament title. “Golf in Oakland County is incredible with all of these talented teams.

“This is special,” continued Gallaher, clutching the first-place trophy with a tight grip. “I love winning this tournament. This is a stacked field and this is special — so many close teams.”

Cameron Coltrin (87), Lyndsey Welper (89) and Megan Miller (92) aided Lake Orion’s winning team effort.

Novi coach Deb Harris witnessed her team have a fine outing in its own right, the Wildcats’ highest Oakland County finish on record.

“We have done well all season long. We’re one of the top teams in our Association (Kensington Lakes Activities Association) and we’ve played well in a lot of tournaments,” she said. “We won at Traverse City (Loerber Invitational) and have consistently played well at tournaments this year. We are not surprised to do so well here.”

With www.top50jrtour.com supplying live on-line scoring throughout the day, coaches knew how close the tournament was on Wednesday, with only a couple of strokes separating seven schools entering the final few holes. Gallagher explained that two of his top golfers — and that clutch play was needed down the stretch in order for the Dragons to repeat.

Russell and teammate Lauren Danielson delivered, helping Lake Orion recover from a three-stroke deficit over the final two holes. Danielson, who finished tied for 18th overall in the medalist standings, carded a birdie on the 18th hole moments after Russell recorded her eagle.

“I told Moyea and Lauren that we need birdies,” noted Gallaher. “Moyea makes eagle and Lauren makes birdie. (Danielson) didn’t have a good day. She shot an 83, and she was down in the dumps. I was like ‘It’s golf. Let’s smile. It’s a beautiful day and let’s make four shots and be done.’ She did and I was so happy with that effort.”

Russell’s four-stroke victory was ahead of a deep individual field which saw 22 of 85 golfers shoot 83 or better and 10 competitors break 80 under near-perfect conditions.

Rochester’s Veronica Haque carded a 72, good for par and to nab runner-up honors. Lauren Ingle of Stoney Creek finished third with a 74, while Adams’ Andi Chaloult (75), North Farmington’s Alana Jones (75), Mercy’s Julia Shaw (77), Novi’s Alexa Hatz (78), South Lyon’s Priscilla Harding (78), Bloomfield Hills’ Mikaela Schulz (78) and Troy’s Jennifer Cui (79) rounded out the top 10.

Following the aforementioned Hatz, Abigail Livingston (81), Leah Kiura (82) and Lauren Henry (87) contributed to Novi’s runner-up effort. Erika Yang (84), Brooke Busse (86) and Keri Yang (87) helped Rochester earn third.

golf - tee 2

OAKLAND COUNTY DIVISION I TOURNAMENT

(Sept. 16 at Pontiac Country Club, par 72)

TEAM SCORES — 1. Lake Orion, 327; 2. Novi, 328; 3. Rochester, 329; 4. Troy, 331; 5. Bloomfield Hills, 333; 6. Farmington Hills Mercy, 334; 7. South Lyon, 336; 8. Rochester Adams, 354; 9. Birmingham Detroit Country Day, 358; 10. Birmingham Marian, 367; 11. (tie) Rochester Stoney Creek, 372; Troy Athens, 372; 13. Birmingham Seaholm, 373; 14. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, 374; 15. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 386; 16. North Farmington, 410; 17. Holly, 431; 18. Auburn Hills Avondale, DNC.

TOP INDIVIDUALS – 1. Moyea Russell (Lake Orion) 68; 2. Veronica Haque (Rochester) 72; 3. Lauren Ingle (Rochester Stoney Creek) 74; 4. (tie) Alana Jones (North Farmington) 75; Andi Chaloult (Rochester Adams) 75; 6. Julia Shaw (Farmington Hills Mercy) 77; 7. (tie) Alexa Hatz (Novi) 78; Priscilla Harding (South Lyon) 78; Mikaela Schulz (Bloomfield Hills) 78; 10. Jennifer Cui (Troy) 79; 11. (tie) Elizabeth Harding (South Lyon) 80; Lizzie Pierce (Bloomfield Hills) 80; 13. (tie) Simran Brar (Birmingham Detroit Country Day) 81; Shikha Jha (Troy Athens) 81; Abigail Livingston (Novi) 81; Mia Sooch (Farmington Hills Mercy) 81; 17. Leah Kiura (Novi) 82; 18. (tie) Lauren Danielson (Lake Orion) 83; Molly Wiener (Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood) 83; Alexandra Robb (Birmingham Marian) 83; Jordan Michalak (Birmingham Seaholm) 83; Naomi Kim (Troy) 83.

TEAM RESULTS

LAKE ORION (327): Moyea Russell 68; Lauren Danielson 83; Cameron Coltrin 87; Lyndsey Welper 89; Megan Miller 92

NOVI (328): Alexa Hatz 78; Abigail Livingston 81; Leah Kiura 82; Lauren Henry 87; Maya Grandstaff 99

ROCHESTER (329): Veronica Haque 72; Erika Yang 84; Brooke Busse 86; Keri Yang 87; Tori Hawkins 126

TROY (331): Jennifer Cui 79; Naomi Kim 83; Rijul Maini 84; Sahiba Singh 85; Catherine Noonan 107

BLOOMFIELD HILLS (333): Mikaela Schulz 78; Lizzie Pierce 80; Abbey Pierce 85; Amanda Bearden 90; Katherine Prina 94

FARMINGTON HILLS MERCY (334): Julia Shaw 77; Mia Sooch 81; Marissa Lobbia 86; Lilly Blake 90; Sophie VanderWeele 98

SOUTH LYON (336): Priscilla Harding 78; Elizabeth Harding 80; Lucy Dinsmore 85; Sophie Yergin 93; Mya Price 100

ROCHESTER ADAMS (354): Andi Chaloult 75;  Julia Moran 88; Katie Rourke 89; Hayley Carlson 102; Nikki Schipperijin 103;

BIRMINGHAM DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (358): Simran Brar 81; Lucy Liu 88; Mallika Brar 91; Kristina Roberts 98; Helen Xu 107

BIRMINGHAM MARIAN (367): Alexandra Robb 83; Calah Robb 86; Grace Hillman 97; Maddie Mustion 101; Julia Kraus 104

ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK (372): Lauren Ingle 74; Annica Steen 86; Sarah Drake 102;  Caroline Porter 110; Nicole Mazzola 119

TROY ATHENS (372): Shikha Jha 81; Jenna Vora 93; Emily Lin 97; Jenna Gaiownik 101; Sarah Balck 114;

BIRMINGHAM SEAHOLM (373): Jordan Michalak 83; Natalie Erne 95; Megan Timmis 97; Olivia Gooch 98; Grace Allen 114

BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK KINGSWOOD (374): Molly Wiener 83; Kate Cao 90; Ashley Harrie 96; Grace Wang 105; Aryn Margulis 108

PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP (386): Danielle Staskowski 84; Sarah Bonema 96; Gabriella Gonzales 102; Isabella Hanna 104; Gabby Jacoby 114

NORTH FARMINGTON (410): Lana Jones 75; Cydney Cohn 100; Dani Pacheco 108; Rachel Muchlenbeck 127; Shelby Sheridan 151

HOLLY (431): Jenna Pepper 84; Chelsea Bowles 105; Megan McReynolds 116; Hanna Garza 126; Madison Brack 130

AUBURN HILLS AVONDALE (NTS): Did not compete.

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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