Jocelyn Chia, Irene Maemura share medalist honors in Pacific League match

BURBANK — Taking a break from playing at some of the more traditional longer courses, four area high school girls’ golf teams flocked Wednesday to the shorter venue of De Bell Golf Club to compete in the third Pacific League match of the season.

For many of the golfers, it meant adjusting their course management and not taking their drivers out of their bags as often.

Crescenta Valley High’s Jocelyn Chia and Irene Maemura of Burbank made seamless transitions, as each carded even-par 36s to share medalist honors.

“It’s a much shorter course and I think I used my driver twice [during the nine-hole round],” said Chia, a senior who has won three straight league individual championships and helped the Falcons share the league title last season with Arcadia en route to being named the All-Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year. “It’s more about going out there and looking at the distances.

“If there’s a par-four, I felt confidence with the distance. I feel like I’m playing better.”

Maemura, a junior, enjoyed another stellar effort Wednesday. Maemura earned medalist honors during the first league match on Sept. 4 at Hansen Dam Golf Course in Pacoima.

Burbank Coach Branco Sevic said Maemura, a reigning All-Area selection who finished second in league last season, continues to improve each round.

“She’s only been playing golf for a few years,” Sevic said. “She’s getting better and she gained more experience after playing in junior tournaments over the summer.

“What I like most is she’s playing to her capability. The goal is to finish in the top eight in league and advance to CIF.”

Arcadia shot a 205 to finish first, followed by Crescenta Valley (210) and Burroughs (225). La Cañada was fourth (246), San Marino placed fifth (251) and Burbank had a 270 for sixth.

Crescenta Valley received a 40 from Audrey Chung, who earned All-Area accolades last season. The Falcons got 43s from Gina Chung and Andrea Han and a 48 from Alice Yoon.

Joany Gao, who also earned a spot on the All-Area team last season, had seven pars to finish with a 39 to pace Burroughs. Stephanie Adachi and Katrina Villareal had 45s for the Indians, who got a 47 from Maddie Riggs and a 49 from Evyn Freedman.

Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said the Indians are shooting for a top-three spot in league.

“We have some people who are right there and we are reducing our scores little by little,” Everhart said. “We have a very deep team.

“Joany went out there and hit a lot of good shots. She has been super consistent keeping her scores right around 40. She knows where she needs to be.”

La Cañada got a 42 from Melissa Leo, a reigning All-Area selection. The Spartans also received a 45 from Keilee Bessho, 47 from Madelyn Merchant, 54 from Annie Nae and a 58 from Megan Lee.

La Cañada Coach Rich Wheeler said the Spartans, who finished third in league last season, are making strides each league match.

“This was a tougher course, but we’ve been improving since the first league match,” Wheeler said. “We just have to keep moving in the right direction and keep making progress.”

Alexis Poche carded a 51 for Burbank, which got a 55 from Caitlyn McGrath, 59 from Kaitlin Brooks and a 65 from Caitlyn Brooks.

The next league match will take place at 1 p.m. Sept. 25 at Brookside Golf Course No. 2 in Pasadena.

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