Prep Notebook: Strong season ends for trio of golfers

nwilson@thetribunenews.comOctober 28, 2013 

Three San Luis Obispo County high school girls golfers qualified for the CIF-Southern Section individual regional playoffs, but they came up short of making the cut.

Each shot a score in the 80s, and their seasons ended Monday.

Two golfers — San Luis Obispo High’s Neha Sikand and Nora Zakaria — were among the four players who represented the PAC 7 in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Regional individual qualifier at the par-72 River Ridge in Oxnard.

Nipomo’s Erin Shusterich was the only county golfer from the Los Padres League who made the postseason regional, which places qualifying golfers in the same field.

Sikand, a sophomore, shot an 84, and Zakaria, a senior, carded an 87 in conditions of cold weather, wind gusts and fast greens. Shusterich shot an 89.

The cut was 78 on Monday, and 36 golfers advanced.

“The greens had a lot of undulation, and they were very fast,” Tigers coach Julia Puscheck said. “They were saying it was like a mini-golf course.”

But Puscheck said she’s happy with her team’s success and that the Tigers, who finished second in the PAC 7 standings this year, are primed for a strong run next year.

For Zakaria, Monday’s round concluded her high school golf career as the Tigers, who finished second in league behind Righetti, didn’t qualify for the team postseason competition. She and Sikand rebounded Monday despite slow starts.

“Nora had a very good season,” Puscheck said. “Both my girls started off not too great (Monday). But they kept their composure and battled back to stay in 80s.”

Nipomo coach Jim DeLaby said Shusterich, a junior, started off her round playing well, but had trouble on the back nine.

“She started out strong on the first nine and then things got rough on the back nine,” DeLaby. “But the last two holes she finished well to stay in the 80s. The greens are tricky there. You have to put the ball in the right spot. And we had some (20-mph) gusts and swirling winds.”

DeLaby said the Titans, who also finished second in league, will return a core group of golfers next year and figure to contend for a league title.

They’ll lose one of their top players, senior Ashley Ruiz, to graduation.

“We have nine dedicated golfers,” DeLaby said. “We’ll be strong.”

St. Joseph’s Desiree Gillaspy was the only Central Coast golfer to advance, shooting a 73 Monday. Melanie Johnson, of Righetti, the PAC 7 medalist in the final tournament at Paso Robles Golf Club, recorded an 83.

FOOTBALL

Mission Prep’s football team held on to its top-ranked status Monday in the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division — a spot it has retained since the second week of the season.

The Royals (7-1) won 68-51 over Farmersville on the road Friday, and they’ll have two of the best teams in their respective divisions coming up in St. Margaret’s this week and Bishop Diego the following week.

Atascadero (6-2, 4-0 PAC 7) stayed No. 3 in the Northern Division for the second straight week with a 35-10 win over St. Joseph, the team that beat Paso Robles 17-10 in overtime earlier this month.

Arroyo Grande (6-2, 3-1) is ranked sixth after a 31-6 rout of Righetti at home, and Paso Robles (6-2, 3-1) is tied for ninth in the Northern Division after a 31-28 victory over Pioneer Valley on the road.

Morro Bay (5-3) is No. 10 in the Los Padres League after a 24-7 win over Cabrillo.

Coast Union (7-1) has climbed the ranks and is the second-ranked team in Division 1 eight-man football after a 55-34 win over Cate.

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