SUNSET REGION: Crusaders cruise to title

When Brianna Becker starts fast and gives her score a cushion, the Faith Lutheran junior plays with all the confidence in the world.

A 2-under-par 34 on the front nine will do that to any golfer.

Becker shot 1-under-par 71 to earn medalist honors Wednesday, and Faith Lutheran’s girls golf team took three of the top four spots en route to 310 points and the team title at the Sunset Region girls golf meet at Silverstone.

“My putting was good on the holes with birdies,” Becker said. “I stuck them pretty close and just made the putt.

“If I made a mistake, the birdies made up for it. I was more relaxed going into the back nine, even though I bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine.”

Annie Freman carded 76 for third place for Faith Lutheran, and freshman Julia Becker added a fourth-place 77.

Bri Yee shot 86 to round out the Crusaders’ team score.

Brianna Becker had four birdies on the front nine, including combining to go 2 under on Nos. 8 and 9, and hit the back with plenty of momentum.

The Crusaders junior drove 245 yards off the tee on No. 8 and then lifted her lob-wedge approach shot within 12 feet of the pin to set up her birdie putt on the 309-yard par 4.

After her birdie putt dropped on the following hole, Becker felt confident with sister Julia Becker following her with a front-nine 38.

“You know if you’re not having as good of a day, someone else will have a better day,” Brianna Becker said of the Crusaders’ top three. “All three of us keep the team together.

“It’s nice having three really solid players and then two girls that are consistent for (a good fourth score).”

The Crusaders’ top three have been among the Northwest League leaders all season, with the Beckers and Freman consistently among the top five in regular-season matches.

“Obviously, those three have been the leaders,” Faith Lutheran coach Mark Cheney said. “Between Annie and Julia, they bring a lot of energy.

“We really don’t talk about scores when we’re playing. The girls like to know how the others are doing, but we put our focus more on the process and let the results come. The score will come if the process is good.”

Melissa Cayne shot 79 to lead Bishop Gorman to second place and a state berth with 334 points, edging Arbor View (341), Palo Verde (347), Cimarron-Memorial (366) and Centennial (378).

The Gaels’ remaining three scoring golfers were within seven strokes of Cayne. JoJo Tice shot 84, Kelly Horrell added an 85, and Allie Arguello carded 86 to help Gorman secure passage to the Class 4A state meet, which will be Oct. 19 and 20 at Bear’s Best Golf Club.

Spring Valley’s Julia Graham shot 1-under 35 on the front to finish at 75 for second place individually.

Desert Oasis’ Darleen Raymond (78), Cimarron’s Arianna Bryant (78) and Aspen Bryant (79) and Palo Verde’s Amanda Ryu (78) joined Graham in qualifying for state.

“I expect it to be extremely competitive,” Cheney said of the state meet. “Green Valley is the two-time defending state champ, so they have that mantle to uphold. But Coronado’s playing good golf, we’re playing well, and we know we can play better. It should be exciting.”

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