CRAWFORDSVILLE -- Only a couple of weeks ago, Greencastle's girls' golf squad slipped by Cascade at Deer Creek by four strokes.
The Tiger Cubs were unable to pull off the trick again in a three-way match at Crawfordsville Country Club, as the Cadets this time won by a mere two strokes 195-197-212, with hosts Southmont finishing third.
Though on the short end of the stick, encouraging signs could be seen around the course. Katie Hedge shot 39, her first sub-40 round of the year, to tie Cascade's Jessica Smyth for medalist honors.
Liz Johnson shot 51, with McKenzie St. Marie adding a 53 and Jessie Bennett carding a 54 for the Tiger Cubs Thursday evening.
Hedge's 39 was, according to Tiger Cub head coach Brad Kingma, a sign of things to come.
"Katie started off slow. She had struggled and then had gaotten injured and had to miss a match for that. We want to get her playing well. With the 39 she shot tonight, she made a couple of putts. She had been struggling with the putts," Kingma said.
"If we get her on track, along with Jessie, getting her back to where she was playing earlier this season, and McKenzie as well, that will be a key in moving forward."
The close contest with the Cadets has been thematic of a tight WCC season, one in which, as Kingma pointed out, no team has been dominant over any other squad.
"We beat Cascade by four strokes earlier. We tied Monrovia and won on a fifth scorecard. We've lost to and beaten South Putnam," Kingma said.
"Since I've been coaching, coming into the conference and county, this has been the most competitive field from top to bottom. Usually there's been one or two good teams that were above everyone else."
"This year, everyone's pretty much there. Any team could go into the conference thinking that they could win it."
Before another round at Deer Creek next Wednesday against Monrovia and Cloverdale, the Tiger Cubs get the opportunity to play high level competition, for which Kingma knows his squad will need to be at their best.
"We play Terre Haute North Monday at Windy Hill. They're the No. 18 ranked team in the state, so that will be a real tough match. They return Rachel Welker, who was All-State last year. They've got a really good team."
At Crawfordsville Country Club
Cascade 195, Greencastle 197, Southmont 212
Medalists -- Hedge (G), Smyth (CA) 39
Greencastle -- Hedge 39, Johnson 51, St. Marie 53, Bennett 54, Bridgewater 56, Vickery 65
Cascade -- Smyth 39, Powell 49, Ketzer 53, Tomblin 54, Archer 57
Southmont -- Clum 51, Isenberg 53, Smith 54, Brann 54, Richardson 58, Harrison 59
Next Match -- Greencastle hosts No. 18 Terre Haute North Monday at Windy Hill CC.