LAPORTE | Kelly Grassel enjoys playing at Beechwood Golf Course, which made Friday's sparkling round even more satisfying.
The Chesterton sophomore won medalist honors at the Pat Ford Invitational with an even-par 74, her lowest competitive score at the course.
"You have a lot of opportunities to make birdies," said Grassel, who carded three during her round. "You can make up a lot of shots.
"I like playing it, which helps give you confidence in your play."
Grassel, who shot an 81 last season, helped the Times No. 1 Trojans finish second overall with a 349. State-ranked No. 2 Penn defended its title with a 332.
"I'm just happy we were second," said Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt, whose Trojans are 10th in the state poll. "They're definitely one of the top teams in the state.
Beechwood is the site of the regional in two weeks, and Hewitt hopes his team can improve.
"I thought we struck the ball pretty well," Hewitt said, "but we left a few shots out there."
Valparaiso freshman Harley Dubsky felt the same way. Dubsky helped the Times No. 2 Vikings place third overall (360) with her 80.
All Dubsky could think about was her 5-over performance on the last five holes.
"I just couldn't get it going," said Dubsky, who did record an eagle. "I just couldn't hit my driver today."
South Central senior Sydney Bailey finished at 83, and she hopes to have another chance to play at the course in the postseason.
"I came in wanting to do my best today, and that obviously didn't happen," she said. "I was pretty iffy driving the ball, and I wasn't hitting the greens."
Lake Central placed fourth overall at 371, and assistant coach Tim Powers saw growth in the squad. Powers was filling in for head coach Chris Rossiano, who is getting married this weekend.
Emily Sandefur carded an 87, while Tori Balicki shot a 90 in her first appearance at the event.
"The biggest challenge was not to get too high or low," Powers said. "Tori played very well, and Sandefur was steady."