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Andes Central, South Central win team titles at Region 4B golf meet

By JUSTIN RUST The Daily Republic Jenna Winckler was motivated coming into the Region 4B girls' golf meet Friday at Lakeview Golf Course. A year after finishing second in the region, the Andes Central senior was determined to win it this year. Bu...

Austin Plooster
Austin Plooster of Platte-Geddes chips onto the green on the 18th hole during the Region 4B golf meet Friday in Mitchell at Lakeview Golf Course. (Justin Rust/Republic)

By JUSTIN RUST

The Daily Republic

Jenna Winckler was motivated coming into the Region 4B girls' golf meet Friday at Lakeview Golf Course.

A year after finishing second in the region, the Andes Central senior was determined to win it this year.

But the week did not start out the way Winckler wanted it to. Before Friday's region meet, Winckler finished second at the Pre-Region meet Monday at Lakeview. She carded a 96 -- including a 52 on her last nine holes.

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Friday was a different story. Winckler shot an 84 -- including a 44 on the same last nine holes as Monday -- to win the Region 4B individual championship.

"Last year, I finished as the runner up, and that was motivation to come out on top this year," she said. "I did not have a good round at all Monday, so I worked hard all week to prepare for (Friday). The work paid off."

Andes Central also won the girls' Region 4B team championship. South Central won the boys' Region 4B team championship and South Central's Billy Jons won the boys' individual title with a score of 87.

Now, Winckler's focus has shifted from the region meet to the state meet -- which is May 23-24 at Elmwood Golf Course in Sioux Falls.

The Dakota Wesleyan recruit has qualified for the state tournament all six years she has been eligible. Last year, Winckler finished in a tie for ninth place as she carded a 181 at the two-day event -- her highest ever finish at the state meet.

"I want it pretty bad," said Winckler of the possibility of winning the individual championship at the state meet. "I am going to work pretty hard this next week to go after it."

Winckler will not just be going after an individual tournament, either. Her sophomore twin sisters, Kellie and Krista, finished second and 13th, respectively, at region meet. Kellie shot an 88 and Krista shot a 120 as Andes Central finished with a team score of 292 -- 18 strokes better than second place South Central.

At the pre-regions, Andes Central finished fifth with a 351, but Kellie Winckler was not at that meet because she had a track meet on Tuesday and could only miss two days of schools for two events -- according to Andes Central's school policy.

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Andes Central coach Tom Cooney said with Kellie Winckler at the regions, the team would have a shot at the title.

"Jenna and Kellie played very well, especially Jenna," he said. "Obviously the kids still have to shoot the scores to make it happen, but for the way things have been going this year, I thought we would be in the hunt.

"Having Kellie shoot an 88 really cemented it for us."

Now the ultimate goal is to try and win the state title, Cooney said.

"Our first goal as a team is to hopefully bring home some team hardware," he said. "That's a top eight finish, and any hardware is always good. I think we will be in the hunt, and I know that's one of the girls' goal as a team.

"I know Jenna wants to go out on the best possible way she can before she goes to DWU in the fall."

Last year Andes Central finished sixth as a team at the state meet.

South Central finished second and qualified for the state tournament with a score of 310 and had three golfers finish in the top 12 -- which was the cutoff for individuals to qualify for the girls' state tournament. Sydney Benter finished in third with a 98, Teresa Opbroek was sixth with a 106 and Kristen Shanahan carded a 106 and finished in eighth. Tie breakers were determined by the players' last nine holes.

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"It was definitely a team effort," South Central coach Billie Jo Indahl said. "That was the goal, get the team to state ... and I just think that's quite the feat."

Despite finishing second on the girls' side, South Central won the boys' Region 4B title with a score of 270.

Indahl said the boys' team has worked very hard throughout the year.

"We've come in either first or second and we have been battling with either Kimball and Platte(-Geddes)," she said. "They withstood the nerves, and they may not have had the best round, but it was good enough to win. We are happy.

"We just played consistent all year and that's what we had going for us. We didn't come in overconfident, but we felt good and came out on top."

Jons led South Central as he shot an 87 for the boys' region title.

"It was a breeze ... no, just kidding," he said. "I hit the ball pretty solid and had a pretty nice round. I am happy with it."

Three other South Central golfers finished in the top 19 -- the cut-off for individuals to qualify for the boys' state tournament.

Brain Juran placed eighth with a 91 and Jay Determan carded a 92 to finish in ninth place. Trever Serr shot a 94 and finished in 13th place.

The Platte-Geddes boys team finished in second place with a team score of 276. Trey DeHaan led the Black Panters as he finished third with a score of 89. Cooner Kuipers followed with a 93 for 12th place, Tate Van Zee carded a 94 for 16th place and Austin Plooster shot a 95 for 17th place.

"Trey was really super solid and he has been solid all year," Platte-Geddes coach Jody Gitting said. "Hopefully we are hitting our stride and going to state with some confidence, and have some fun."

The Kimball boys were seeking its first ever state tournament placing, but the team failed to qualify for state tournament.

Kimball finished with a team total of 280 and coach Bill Thompson said the 18th hole was rough on the team.

"We were in position until the very end, but we didn't finish as strong as we needed to on 18," he said. "But we still qualified three and we can still score as team, but we won't have our fourth golfer with us.

Despite not qualifying as a team, Kimball could still place since three golfers -- Shawn Harmon (91, seventh), Russell Pick (94, 14th) and Dylan Konechne (95, 19th) -- qualify for the state tournament.

"It's the most we have ever qualified," Thompson said. "We are excited about that, and we have the chance to score as a team."

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