Yang leads North girls to top 5 finish; Parkview boys 11th

The North Gwinnett girls golf team didn't win a state championship on Monday, but one could very well be in the team's future in the next three seasons.

With three freshman making up their lineup, the Bulldogs finished tied for fifth Monday in the Class AAAAA state tournament on Jekyll Island's Indian Mound Course, shooting a 166 score that was 16 strokes behind champion Glynn Academy but just six strokes off the number posted by runner-up Harrison.

"We're going to do better and better every year, and hopefully we'll win one," said Louisa Yang, who led North Gwinnett with a 1-over-par 73 that earned her runner-up honors in the individual tournament.

Also in the girls tournament, Parkview finished eighth with a 187 and Brookwood finished 10th with a 193.

In the boys tournament on Jekyll Island's Oleander Course, Parkview finished the 36-hole event with a 649 score that left them in 11th place. Grayson shot 680 and finished 13th.

For the North Gwinnett girls, Yang's score was just two strokes off the 71 carded by individual medalist Katelyn Stanier from East Coweta. Yang had nines of 39 and 34 to finish at 1-over and tie Valdosta's Dori Carter for second place.

"It was fun," Yang said. "I just tried my best out there. I hit some bad shots, but I was able to recover."

The Bulldogs also counted a 93 by freshman Alicia Poole.

"We were really hoping to place higher, but with three freshman, we can't be disappointed," said North Gwinnett coach John Payne. "Now, we know what this experience is like, and hopefully we'll have this opportunity again next year."

The Parkview boys, which won its fourth straight Region 8-AAAAA title this season, was hoping for a better finish as a team after coming in third last season with a 592. But the Panthers settled for a 329 on the first 18 holes, leaving them 37 strokes behind Glynn Academy, which won its second straight state championship and 12th overall with a 579 score that included rounds of 292 and 287.

Parkview did perform better over the closing 18, though, finishing with a 320 in the afternoon round.

"It was a tough day for us, but I was proud of the way the guys came back in the afternoon," said Parkview coach Steve Richardson.

"A lot of teams want to get to the state tournament every year, and we've been to four in a row now. I'm proud of our guys. We still had a great season."

Michael Saari led the Panthers with 148 score that was seven strokes behind Glynn Academy's Chris Johnson, who was low medalist in the boys tournament with a 3-under 141 total. Saari had rounds of 73-75.

"He really played great for us in the second half of the season," Richardson said. "Michael's a solid player and a great kid."

For the Grayson boys, Adam Burkenpas led with a 167 that included rounds of 81-86.

Also in the girls tournament, Christine Graham shot an 88 to lead Brookwood, and Jenna Peatross led Parkview with a 93.