Lady Bearcats win third straight state title

Brookland won its third consecutive Class 4A state girls’ golf championship Tuesday at Sage Meadows Country Club. The team includes (from left) assistant coach Colton Dunbar, Isabel Viala, Emma Butler, Breah Bowman, Vivian McMechen and head coach Randy Oxford.

JONESBORO — Brookland took home another Class 4A girls’ state golf championship Tuesday.

The Lady Bearcats won their third consecutive state championship with another strong performance in Tuesday’s state tournament at Sage Meadows Country Club. Brookland finished with a 228 team score in the play-four, count-three format to win by 15 strokes over its nearest competitor.

Emma Butler fired a 3-under-par 69 to lead the Lady Bearcats. Butler finished second individually to Pulaski Academy’s Anna Kate Nichols, who shot 67, and earned a trip to the Overall tournament Oct. 14 at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.

Vivian McMechen (77) and Breah Bowman (82) finished seventh and tied for eighth, respectively, in the individual standings to round out Brookland’s team score. The Lady Bearcats’ Isabel Viala finished at 84, tying for ninth individually.

“They just played amazing. Emma birdied the last three holes to shoot 69 and finish runner-up,” Brookland coach Randy Oxford said. “She just had a great day. She gutted out a lot of really good pars. I’ve said before, I’ll say again that she’s the best putter in girls’ golf in the state that I’ve ever seen. She has incredible speed control and she strikes the ball. She played amazing.

“Vivian McMechen played extremely well, shot 77. She played her heart out like she always does. Breah Bowman shot 82, had a really good day. With Isabel, we didn’t count an 84 and frankly, a lot of coaches would have loved to have an 84 in there.”

Nashville finished second in the team standings at 243. Valley View, the 4A-3 runner-up, finished third with a 247 team total.

The Lady Blazers’ Caroline Prestidge fired a 75 to tie for third individually with Nashville’s Ellen Spigner and Crossett’s Tori Milton. Spigner won a playoff to claim the third Overall tournament berth out of Class 4A.

Hannah Hyneman (85) and Kenzie Green (87) also contributed to the Lady Blazers’ team score. Valley View’s Kendal Minton finished at 92.

Crossett (264) finished fourth in the team standings, followed by Pulaski Academy (269), Harrison (279), Clarksville (284), Shiloh Christian (294), Wynne (305) and De Queen (323).

Emma Miller finished at 84 to lead Wynne. Playing individually, Highland’s Tressie Carter shot 84.

Oxford said the Lady Bearcats’ success is a tribute to his players’ work ethic and the support they receive from their families.

“They’re just a wonderful group. It’s so easy to coach them,” he said. “You just tell them what time to be there.”