Ironton girls win sectional; Belville medalist

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ won the program’s first-ever sectional golf championship by capturing the Division 2 title on Monday at Franklin Valley Golf Course in Jackson. Team members are: left to right, coach Nathan Kerns, Sarah Murdock, Emily Weber, Sidnea Belville (tournament medalist), Mairin Walters, Rae Ann Davidson and coach Cory McKnight. (Photo Submitted)

By Jim Walker

JACKSON — The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers put themselves at the top of the list.

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The Lady Fighting Tigers won their first-ever sectional golf championship as they finished 35 strokes ahead of the field in the Division 2 girls sectional Monday at Franklin Valley Golf Course.

Also at the top of the list from an individual position was Ironton senior Sidnea Belville who claimed medalist honors with a 77 which put her 18 shots ahead of second place that featured her own teammate Emily Weber along with senior Ava Messer of South Webster.

Weber — a senior — and Messer each shot a 95. Belville had rounds of 37 and 40, Weber 50 and 45 and Messer 44 and 51.

“Sidnea and Emily went out and did what seniors do. They led the team with attitude and performance,” said Ironton coach Nathan Kerns.

“Sidney played an excellent round of golf today. She was poised from the beginning and rock solid all day. Emily played a great round today, too. Any time you have two kids in the top two, they have played great.”

Ironton’s team score was 372 with runner-up Piketon at 405 followed by South Webster at 420 and Minford 423. All 4 teams advance to the district along with the top 4 individuals not on a qualifying team.

“Our team went out and proved Ironton golf is back where it needs to be. As a team we stayed very solid and mentally tough on a difficult golf course,” said Kerns.

“Eighteen holes is a marathon and it was important to be focused on every shot and our girls did great with that.”

Vinton County was fifth at 425 followed by Lucasville Valley at 431, the Coal Grove Lady Hornets 454, Waverly 478, Beaver Eastern 484 and Huntington Ross 545.

Both sophomore Sarah Murdock and freshman Mairin Walters had totals of 100 and freshman Rae Ann Davidson had a 112 to round out Ironton’s team scoring.

Murdock shot 48-52, Walters 49-51 and Davidson 54-58.

Coal Grove was led by freshman Presley Shope who had rounds of 46-55 for a 101. Freshman Kendall Taylor shot 49-59 for 108, freshman Paige Best 59-63 for 122, senior Abby Collins 58-65 for 123 and freshman Emma Humphrey 69-65 for 134.

Rock Hill Redwomen’s freshman Laelle Gilmore had rounds of 60 and 53 for a 113 total.

In the Division 2 sectional at Cliffside Golf Club, South Point Lady Pointers’ freshman Samiya Bradburn was fifth individually and advanced to the district tournament.

Bradburn shot rounds of 50 and 45 for a 95 total.

Gallipolis won the tournament with a 415 score followed by Waterford at 419, Federal Hocking 442 and Fairland 444 to advance as a team.

Fairland was led by junior Eliza Wilson with rounds of 51 and 53 for 104. Senior Kaylee Salyer shot 61-50 for 111, junior Isabella James 59-52 for 111, junior Emma Barker 59-59 for 118 and junior Cam Barnitz 71-83 for 154.

South Point was sixth at 484 as a team that was led by Bradburn.

Other Lady Pointers’ scoring were freshman Maria Daniels 62-44 for 106, freshman Felicity Fry 76-58 for 134, senior Reagen Hale 76-73 for 149 and freshman Sophia Butcher 84-76 for 160.

The district tournament will be Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Jaycees Golf Club in Chillicothe.

One team and one individual not on the qualifying team advances to the state tournament.

“For our school, this is now the second year in a row this program has made history. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by this team and the foundation that was built by previous teams,” said Kerns.

“I’m so proud and happy for these girls and look forward to seeing what they can do next week. We aren’t done yet.”