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Ladycats look to send seniors out on high note with low score

Team’s third straight trip to state is next week


Aledo Ladycats golf coach Brian Mourning has said if all the players on his team put their best game together on the same day they would be a very tough team to beat.

The Ladycats are heading back to the Class 5A State Tournament with that goal in mind as they will compete Monday and Tuesday at the White Wing Golf Club in Georgetown. It is their third consecutive trip to the elite event and the program’s 10th time since 2012.

“I think if we all have a good day together, we could definitely end up with a medal,” said senior Mallory Miller, adding about herself and fellow seniors Sena’a Lemen and Maddi Warner, “It’s our last tournament in high school. We definitely want to be the best we can.”

The Ladycats’ best finish ever at state was in 2015. They were second as a team with Cheyenne Knight, who is now on the LPGA Tour, winning a second straight individual championship.

The Ladycats have shown steady improvement as the toughest part of the season approached. After winning the District 5-5A championship in runaway fashion, they challenged for the Region 1 title before finishing second to back-to-back Class 4A (now moved up to 5A) state champion Argyle.

The Ladycats are no stranger to the course. The seniors and junior Kyla Morales have ample experience at White Wing, including a state preview in November.

“If they play to their potential, we could knock about 60 strokes off our state preview score,” Mourning said. “I think we’re close to it.”

Junior Kyla Morales takes some practice swings in preparation for the state tournament.
Junior Kyla Morales takes some practice swings in preparation for the state tournament.
Mourning added that he's also told his team to "Just go play. They have nothing to lose."

He noted that at the beginning of the season the goal was to return to state — which they've done. Now, if they can win a medal, it's the proverbial icing on the cake.

Warner posted her best round ever at the regional tournament, shooting a 79 on the opening day. Lemen, who has signed to play at Wayland Baptist next season, won district and finished fifth at regionals with rounds of 77 and 76.

While the White Wing course is challenging in its own right, calling strategy very much into play, conquering the challenge of the Rawls course in Lubbock and those legendary West Texas winds is always a confidence builder.

"I think I'm very capable of doing even better there," Warner noted of White Wing, adding that she's not taking anything for granted, however.

Morales said she will miss her friends and teammates Lemen, Miller, and Warner when they are gone after this season — which is all the more reason to have a strong showing in their final tournament.

"I think we have a way better chance of finishing higher than last year (12th). It's important to send them out on a good note," she said.

Freshman Emily Crick works on her swing prior to state.
Freshman Emily Crick works on her swing prior to state.
"It's going to be bittersweet to see the seniors go," said freshman Emily Crick, adding that she learned from them, "It's okay to have a bad day. You come back the next day and do better."

Lemen also used the word bittersweet to describe her final competition as a Ladycat.

"It's our last tournament together. While it's going to be really sad, it's one chapter closing another opening up," she said.

"I don't think it's hit me yet," Warner said. "Overall, it's been a great learning path. It's (state) something I look forward to, but knowing it's the last time playing together is a very sad feeling."

Mourning said the seniors "set a standard for everybody else."

"They're just great kids — all my players are," he said. "They do a great job, and not just on the Black Team (the A team), but throughout the program, lifting everybody up.

"And they've competed at the highest level."


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