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Grizzlies wrap up title, Johns finishes second

When the two-day Southern Oregon Conference girls' golf — district tournament wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon, the first thing the — Grizzlies did was take a full-team time-out.

It was just that kind of a day.

Although Ashland came out on top of the team scores, giving — the team a season sweep of the all-SOC tournaments, the Grizzlies wanted — the individual title as well through the skill of junior Stephanie Johns, — along with the team championship.

Instead, the day belonged to senior three-time state qualifier — Melissa Carl of Roseburg.

Carl shot a 77, identical to her Day — posting, to scoot — past Johns and Justine Hix of Grants Pass.

"I had some decent drives today," Johns said. "But putting — was terrible."

Johns fell from a tournament-leading 1-over-par 74 on — Monday to a mark of 84 on Tuesday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Carl, the black horse the SOC, seemed to appear from thin — air during the last two weeks of conference play. A contender early on — in the season and an annual state qualifier, she tied for the win at the — all-SOC tournament preceding the district championships, but had not won — a title outright all season.

Johns, on the other hand, spent the majority of the season — dueling with Hix and, at times, the Graham sisters, Elaina and Stephanie, — on her own squad. Carl really hadn't hit the radar until she racked up — a 39 on the front nine and Johns tallied 43 strokes.

"I'm excited," said Carl following her surprise win. "I — thought there's no chance I could go four below Stephanie. Stephanie's — usually so consistent."

The margin would remain. Johns pulled it together toward — the end, but still rolled into the clubhouse with a 41 on the back nine — that couldn't compete with Carl's 38.

Ashland High girls' golf coach Stephanie Santos was stumped — by Johns' difficulties during Day 2.

"It's hard to tell," Santos said. "Her tee-shots were — great, but it happens to the best of them. Everyone's going to have an — off-day."

Tuesday proved to be a day when all bets were off and — the stars toiled as much as the No. 5 golfers. Johns actually finished — in a tie for second among the Grizz players' Day 2 marks. Elaina Graham — recorded an 83. Coupled with her 84 from the first day, the junior finished — fifth individually. Sophomore Lauren Dow came in as another Grizz surprise. — The No. 4 golfer improved 11 strokes from her Day — performance when she — came in at 97.

"I'm really happy with how my No. 4 stepped up," Santos — said.

But the reality is, the Grizzlies expect to have better — days ahead of them.

"I was hoping to see some better scores from the girls," — Santos said. "I think they were, too. But you can't really blame it on — anything."

The Grizzlies would have appreciated the lower marks as — a confidence-booster heading into the state meet, a qualification they — had most likely won prior to the close of the district tournament regardless — of Tuesday's outcome.

Still, Ashland easily took the district tournament title — with a combined-team score of 698 to make a clean sweep of every all-SOC — tournament this season.

"It was great to get first, though," Santos said. "That's — more important anyway."

Grants Pass finished second, snapping up the second team — berth with its 725 overall score.

Heading into the state tournament, the Grizzlies hope — they will be focused enough to perform well for two full days of golf.

"I want to do better than I did last year," Johns said. — She finished seventh at state as a sophomore and ninth as a freshman.

The opportunity to see different, stronger golfers at — state will push the Grizzlies a bit and drive them toward those better — marks that eluded the squad on Tuesday.

"They'll be ready," Santos said.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS

1, Melissa Carl, Roseburg, 154; 2, Stephanie Johns, Ashland, — 158; 3, Justine Hix, Grants Pass, 159; 4, Helen Blauser, Grants Pass, — 171; 5, Elaina Graham, Ashland, 177; 6, Stephanie Graham, Ashland, 178; — 7, Anna Wiley, South Medford, 183; 8, Hannah Shorter, Grants Pass, 187; — 9, Rachel Barry, North Medford, 191; 10, Ashley Yraguen, Roseburg, 195.

Team Scores

ASHLAND (698) - Elaina Graham 41-42-83, Stephanie Johns — 43-41-84, Stephanie Graham 40-44-84, Lauren Dow 54-46-97.

GRANTS PASS (725) - Justin Hix 39-40-79, Hannah Shorter — 47-40-87, Helen Blauser 45-43-88, Shauntel Werner 47-57-104.

ROSEBURG (769) - Melissa Carl 39-38-77, Ashley Yraguen — 52-46-98, Kelly O'Brien 49-49-98, Cassie Van Vleet 60-53-113

NORTH MEDFORD (839) - Rachel Barry 43-47-90, Snow Powers — 50-48-98, Christina Thompson 54-51-105, Sheena Knight 67-55-122.

SOUTH MEDFORD (909) - Anna Wiley 44-49-93, Calley Duvall — 53-57-110, Jordan Sies 59-66-125, Callie Parks 60-53-113.

KLAMATH UNION (987) - Ashley Wendt 55-54-109, Holly Brookshire — 55-56-111, Jessica Schlyper 57-56-113, Allison Stewart 62-54-116.