BUFFALO GROVE — The Prospect girls golf team has all six of its members back from the 2012 squad that finished second at state. That’s made the Knights the season-long favorite to win the state title this season.
They lived up to that billing on Monday, winning the Buffalo Grove Sectional by seven strokes.
Prospect, led by a 2-under 73 from senior Ally Scaccia, shot a 311 at Buffalo Grove Golf Course. The Knights will be joined by second-place Loyola (318) and third-place New Trier (321) at the Class AA state tournament.
Loyola senior Isabelle Kane shot a 3-under par 72 en route to medalist honors.
“All around, my game has gotten a lot better over the course of the past two weeks,” Kane said. “I hit the ball really well today. I hit a lot of greens. I think I hit around 15 greens in regulation.”
New Trier didn’t have a player break par, but the Trevians stepped up when it counted most. The Trevians’ top four players combined to shoot 3-over par on the back nine.
Junior Lois Suh (76) and senior Lexi Salberg (78) led New Trier.
“Playing well under pressure is a lot of practice, it’s a lot of overcoming (crumbling) under pressure,” Salberg said. “As a team, we’re just really good at — if we have a bad hole — coming back. We’re just really good at picking up some shots here and there.”
Ten individuals also advanced to compete at the state tournament this weekend: Highland Park junior Kelli Ono (75), St. Viator senior Dana Gattone (76), Maine South junior Leia Atas (77), Libertyville freshman Simone Mikaelian (77), Buffalo Grove freshman Lauren Guiao (78), Stevenson senior Nikki Marquardt (78), Fremd senior Jennifer Kim (79), Highland Park senior Liza Kraff (79), Zion-Benton senior Morgan Kukla (80) and Fremd senior Dorothy Feng (80).
Kukla and Feng advanced to state by way of a playoff. Kukla drained her birdie putt on the first playoff hole, and Feng outlasted Maine South junior Annie Krall with a par on the fifth playoff hole to punch her ticket to the state tournament.
The two-day Class AA state tournament begins on Friday at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur.