Crescenta Valley golf can't topple Arcadia

ALHAMBRA — The Crescenta Valley High girls’ golf team wasn’t able to test itself against its biggest competition in the Pacific League in the first league contest last week.

In that event on Sept. 12 at De Bell Golf Club in Burbank, Arcadia missed the match after a bomb scare at the school didn’t allow the Apaches players to leave the campus until after the competition had started.

In the second league match of the season Wednesday at Alhambra Golf Course, the Apaches were back in action, which turned out to be bad news for the Falcons. Arcadia came through with a splendid round, shooting a 191, out-dueling Crescenta Valley, which finished with a 200.

“With what happened with them last week, we knew this was going to be a good test for us today,” Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope said of the Apaches, who have won four straight Pacific League championships. “Arcadia has been a powerhouse for four or five years, and we knew they were going to come in ready.

“It’s a real rivalry between CV and Arcadia, not only in golf, but in other sports, as well. Every time we get together it’s a dog fight, no matter what.”

The Falcons did have something to be happy about. Junior Jocelyn Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year, was the individual champion, finishing with a two-under-par 34 to secure medalist honors. It is the second straight league match in which Chia captured medalist honors.

Behind the Apaches and Falcons, San Marino captured the third spot with 210 and was followed by La Cañada (225), Burroughs (238) and Burbank (277).

Despite the Arcadia win Wednesday, Crescenta Valley still holds the league team lead after two matches with 11 points. The Titans and Spartans are tied at second with eight, the Apaches have seven, the Indians have five and the Bulldogs have three.

Spartans Coach Rich Wheeler said although wrestling the league title away from the Falcons and Apaches is not very likely this season, he still believes his squad can earn a CIF Southern Section postseason spot.

“We think we have the talent to finish third in this league,” said Wheeler of the Spartans’ program that is in only its third year of existence and second in the league. “But our league is extremely tough. It’s one of the toughest leagues in Southern California. When you have success in this league, it really means something.”

In the final individual results, Chia finished with a two-stroke lead over Arcadia’s Cynthia Guo, who fired a 36. Teammate Ashley Cheou was third with a 37.

Chia said even though she finished first in last week’s league opener, she didn’t feel pressure to do well in Wednesday’s event.

“I just go out and play to have fun,” said Chia, who had two birdies. “Honestly, I go into every match just wanting to have fun and do my best.”

Behind Chia for the Falcons, Audrey Chung and Alice Yoon had 41s and Gina Chung and Andrea Han had 42s.

San Marino’s top golfer was Caroline Van Hiel, who fired a 38. She was followed by Tess Denham (41), Elizabeth Van Hiel (42), Valarie Wang (44) and Gaby Arifin (45).

“As a team, you hope to have an advantage when you play on your home course,” San Marino Coach Wyeth Collo said. “We had one girl who shot 57 in the last league match and she shot 45 today. Another girl shot 52 last week and shot 42 today. So, hopefully playing on our home course helped us out with our scores a little.”

La Cañada’s scorers were Melissa Leo (38), Megan Lee (43), Jennifer Kim (45), Keilee Bessho (46) and Madelyn Merchant (53).

“I didn’t shoot very well today,” Kim said. “I was having trouble with my swing. As the team captain, I put pressure on myself to try and play well.”

Burroughs received a solid effort from Joany Gao, who shot a 39 and finished ahead of teammates Stephanie Adachi (45), Alex Chandler (50), Evyn Freedman (51) and Tiffany Mirabal (53).

Stepping up for Burbank was sophomore Irene Maemura, who finished with a 38.

“I get more nervous playing in league than I do playing in tournaments outside of school,” Maemura said. “But I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

The other Bulldogs scorers were Tess Apinchapong (41), Kaitlin Brooks (64), Caitlin McGrath (67) and Susie Miller (67).

The teams will next battle one another in the third Pacific League contest Monday at Santa Anita Golf Course.

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