High School Sports

West Jessamine braces for state title defense

West Jessamine will be looking to repeat as champion when the girls' state golf tournament begins Tuesday at Bowling Green Country Club.

After runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2006, the Lady Colts broke through to win the title last fall.

Senior Betsie Johnson and sophomore Emily Haas, who were key players in that victory, head the West Jessamine lineup. Johnson tied for third at Bowling Green last year, and Haas tied for 13th.

Senior Sloane Skinner, freshman Whitney Deaton and seventh-grader Grace Rose will also tee it up for the Lady Colts.

Glasgow, which won four consecutive state titles from 1997-2000, is expected to be a contender in the 36-hole competition that ends Wednesday.

Franklin County hopes to move up from a seventh-place finish last year. The Lady Flyers will send out Abby Smith, Chloe Bates, Hallie Hardy, Erin Marshall and Hillary Kell.

Scott County sophomore Megan Wilshire leads her team, which had the lowest region score in the state. Megan Sims, Liz Gumm, Penny Cottew and Demi Cottew also play for the Lady Cardinals.

Shelby County senior Candice Wiley, Caldwell County freshman Emma Talley and North Hardin eighth-grader Lydia Gumm are among the top individuals.

Wiley, a senior, lost in a playoff to Karisa Akin in the 2005 state tournament, was sixth in '06 and tied for eighth last year. Wiley was region medalist last week, collecting her first hole-in-one while carding a 1-under par 71 at Weissinger Hills in Shelbyville.

Talley has finished in the top five in the last three state tournaments, and shot a 70 in her regional tournament last week.

Gumm, who qualified for the state as a third-grader and hasn't missed one since, tied for eighth in 2005, was runner-up in e_SSRq06 and finished 11th last year.

Gumm has won eight of 10 tournaments this season, and was runner-up in the other two. One of her victories came in the Bowling Green Invitational, where the state tournament will be played.

Henry Clay junior Pilar Morgan and senior Whitney Miller qualified as individuals.