STOCKTON – Pleasant Grove made its first appearance at the Northern California Golf Association/CIF girls’ championship a memorable one on Monday. The Eagles finished in fifth place, and only one stroke away from qualifying for the CIF state championship, by shooting a team total of 405, ten strokes behind Pleasanton’s Foothill High School.
Pleasant Grove’s top golfer, Sarah Debnekoff, had another strong round like she did last week at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters by firing a two-over-par 74 at Brookside Country Club in Stockton, site of the NCGA/CIF event. She had four birdies, two bogies and two double-bogies during her round. Debnekoff finished just two strokes away from qualifying as an individual in the CIF state championships next week in Rancho Cucumonga.
The other Eagles competing were Brittany O’Bryant (80), Marissa Mallicoat (82), Lauren Covey (83), Anna Jeffries (86) and Kiki Trujillo-Nava (86).
Just seven strokes behind Foothill in second place was St. Francis High School of Sacramento which has won the Nor-Cal title eight times since the championship’s inception 13 years ago.
Foothill was led by twin sisters Katie and Alex Sborov, who fired rounds of 71 and 73, respectively, to help the team shoot 35-over 395. The twins celebrated their 18th birthday on Sunday.
The Troubadours were led by Emily Laskin and Tarah Kubes, who had rounds of 76 and 79, respectively. Others to contribute to that total were Carina Carter (81), Victoria Vardanega (82) and Ileana McDonald (84), while Cheyenne Theis (94) had the non-counted score.
Mission San Jose, the defending champions of the NCGA/CIF Girls Championship, will be the third team to join Foothill and St. Francis at next week’s state finals. Mission San Jose finished at 404 — tied for third with Justin Siena High School, but because the score of the sixth member of its team was better than Justin Siena’s, Mission San Jose won the tiebreaker to advance.
Lodi, which was second at the Section Masters, placed eighth overall on Monday.
For the individual Nor-Cal title, Kathleen Scavo and Nancy Xu had to battle it out in a sudden death playoff after both players finished 18 holes with stellar rounds of five-under-par 67. On the first playoff hole Xu made birdie to win medalist honors.
Xu, a junior at St. Francis in Mountain View, had five birdies and no bogeys in regulation, including birdies on her final two holes. Scavo, a sophomore at Justin Siena, made six birdies in her round, with her lone bogey coming on the 15th hole.
Others to join Xu and Scavo as individuals at the state finals include Kimberley Liu (Amador Valley), Paige Lee (Granite Bay), Aman Sangha (San Mateo), Sara Scarlett (Woodland), Anna Zhou (Gunn), Isabella Bosetti (Justin-Siena) and Grace Park (Cupertino).
Bosetti and Park had to beat out Kelsey Ulep of Whitney in a sudden-death playoff for the final spot. All three shot even-par 72.
The CIF state finals will be next Tuesday at Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga.