It’s been a challenging year for Boston sports. The Red Sox were 24-36 and dead last in the AL East. The Celtics got bounced by the lower-seeded Heat in the conference finals. Even the mighty Patriots have had their woes with Tom Brady leaving and Cam Newton contracting the coronavirus. If nothing else though, New Englanders have one Boston they can root for that has been consistent all season long.
After being one of the area’s best all season long, Litchfield sophomore Laura Boston punched her ticket to sectionals for the second straight year by virtue of her play in the Taylorville Regional on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Boston, who shot an 89 at the Williamsville Regional last year to advance, shot an 82 on Wednesday to finish fifth overall and post the third best round by a player not on an advancing team.
Starting on the front nine, Boston gutted out a 43, with four pars, three bogeys and two double bogeys, then moved to 9-over with a double on hole number ten. She would be lights out from there though as she eagled the par-4 12th hole and finished the final eight holes at 1-over par to finish the day at 10-over.
Joining her at the sectional, which will be held Oct. 15, at The Rail in Sherman, will be Faith Davis of Williamsville, who was the medalist with a 76, Karlie Schnepp of Rochester (80) and Elsa Mefford of Carlinville (86).
That list is a bittersweet one for Coach Dan Newkirk and the Panthers, who would have had another representative under more normal conditions.
“It was disappointing for Carly Guinn, who would have made it in the normal system of ten qualifiers not on one of the top three qualifying teams instead of four qualifiers not on one of the top two teams,” Newkirk said.
Guinn was still superb in her final round of the year, shooting a 92, six strokes off Mefford’s pace, but just two positions away from the automatic qualifying spot. The junior would shoot a 47 on the front nine with a pair of pars on the second and fourth holes, then carded a 45 on the back half of the course with back-to-back pars on 15 and 16.
The one-two punch of Boston and Guinn were joined by Lauren Monke and Hailey Rentz, who both finished in the top 25. Monke shot a 102, with three pars and rounds of 52 and 50 to finish tied for 21st, while Rentz was 25th with a 104, with a par on the front nine and a birdie on her second to last hole of the day.
Olivia Fleming and Alyssa Loyd would occupy the fifth and sixth slots for the Lady Panthers. Fleming would shoot a 116 to finish 52nd on the day, while Loyd was 62nd with a 122.
While the focus on 2020 continues for Boston, the emphasis moves to 2021 for the rest of the Lady Panthers. All six players from Wednesday’s regional team are slated to be back next year, which means that more success could be in the cards for the Lady Panthers.
October 7 at Taylorville
IHSA 1A Girls Golf
Lakeshore Golf Course - Par 72
Team Results: 1. Sacred Heart-Griffin 333; 2. Auburn 367; 3. Williamsville 369; 4. Rochester 378; 5. Litchfield 380; 6. Carlinville 413; 7. South County 420; 8. Lincolnwood-Morrisonville 445; 9. North Mac 449; 10. Hillsboro 450; 11. Taylorville 458; 12. Pana 471; 13. Ramsey-Nokomis 502.
Medalist: Faith Davis (W) 76.
Litchfield (380) - 5. Laura Boston 82; 12. Carly Guinn 92; 21. Lauren Monke 102; 25. Hailey Rentz 104; 52. Olivia Fleming 116; 62. Alyssa Loyd 122.
Advancing Individuals: 1. Faith Davis (Williamsville) 76; 3. Karlie Schnepp (Rochester) 80; 5. Laura Boston (Litchfield) 82; 8. Elsa Mefford (Carlinville) 86.