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updated: 10/12/2012 11:12 PM

Stevenson's Miller, Prospect in state title contention

Stevenson's Miller, Prospect in state title contention

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After day one of the Class AA state girls golf tournament in Decatur, Stevenson senior Stephanie Miller finds herself in the exact same spot as two years ago when she won the individual championship.

Miller is once again leading the field.

Prospect finds itself in the exact opposite spot as last year when it won the team championship.

Instead of leading New Trier by 4 strokes, the second-place Knights are trailing the Trevians by 4.

Both the individual and team titles will be determined today at the Hickory Point Golf Course with a 9 a.m. shotgun start due to possible adverse weather conditions that could hit the area.

Miller's 1-under-par 71 gave her a 1-stroke lead over Buffalo Grove senior Grace Kil and Neuqua Valley freshman Jessica Yuen while senior Renee Solberg (Wheaton-Warrenville South), sophomore Alexis Biedrzycki (Lincoln-Way West) and junior Isabelle Kane (Loyola) are tied for fourth with scores of 75.

Prospect's score of 317, led by junior Noreen Caporusso's 77, is second only to New Trier (313) while Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin is third (322), followed by Hinsdale Central (329) and Normal University (342).

Rounding out the Knights' score card were sophomore Kacie O'Donnell (79), junior Ally Scaccia (80) and junior Emma Menich (81). Junior Kiley Walsh shot an 83 and sophomore Isabella Flack 84.

O'Donnell's only other better round in high school is the 78 she shot in the season-opening Conant Early Bird Invite at Fox Run Golf Course.

"The person who played best for us was Kacie," said Knights coach Jim Hamann. "Last year, she was averaging over 50 for nine holes. For her to come out and shoot a 79 for the first day of the state tournament is great.

"Noreen (Caporusso) played solid all day. She will play great again (today). Emma (Menich) was solid, too. No big mistakes. I think she will play great again (today)."

The defending champs are within striking distance of New Trier, which won the Champaign-Centennial Invite on Sept. 29 by 3 strokes (307-310) over Prospect.

"We're excited about the position we are in," Hamann said. "We feel we will make a good push at it. I saw a lot of good things out there from the girls and I expect to see more of it.

"I think out girls welcome any adversity as far as the weather conditions. They feel can play well in rain or wind. They have in the past. Whatever it brings, we'll do the best we can."

Like Prospect, New Trier's top scorer senior Nerissa Denemberg, also shot a 77.

Caporusso and Denenberg will be in the same foursome today. Other Knights and Trevians will also be paired together.

"I don't think our girls need any more motivation," Hamann said. "They have been motivated to work on their games since the last day of finals of spring semester. All 11 have done a great job."

Miller did a great job with her approach shots on Friday, hitting 17 greens in regulation. The only one she missed resulted in her double bogey on the par 4, No. 17.

"She had to hit her second shot from behind a tree and the scrambled for the double," said first-year Stevenson coach Brent Mork.

But Miller came back and parred No. 18. "That's a difficult hole," Mork added. "She hit the green and two-putted to finish one of the most steady rounds I have ever seen. She missed just that one green all day. Incredible."

Miller is looking forward to playing with Kil, Biedrzycki and Yuen today.

"A 1-stroke lead isn't much but I'm happy to say I'm leading," said the Illinois-bound Miller who was sixth last year. "We'll just see how it goes. Grace (Kil) and I have been playing together since sixth grade."

Miller played with Yuen on Friday and watched the freshman fire a 4-under 32 on the front nine.

"For Jessica to shoot 32 on the front was fantastic to watch," Miller said. "It's not really me against her (in the group today). It's just all of us against the scorecard."

Kil's scorecard showed 5 birdies and one double bogey on hole No. 9. "It (double) didn't bother me because I knew I was playing well, and I could make some more birdies," Kil said.

Sure enough, she came up with 3 birdies on her back nine.

"It was a quality round," said BG coach Matt Myers. "I think she hit 15 greens in regulation, so she was giving herself a chance at birdies. She wished her score was lower but a couple of putts just didn't fall.

"Grace had a nice little confidence to her game. Her mind was in the right place and she came in with a solid score."

Unlike her previous state appearances, Kil is in the thick of contention today.

"I'm glad because the last couple of years I was always playing catch-up," said Kil, who tied for fourth a year ago. "This time, I am not in the lead but right there. I just have to play well again tomorrow and see what happens.

"It's pretty cool playing with Stephanie. I think we'll be right there at each other's necks. I'll be watching her score carefully but I'm not going to try and play my game to beat her. I'm just trying to play my game and if I have to step it up, that's what I will do."

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