Washougal girls win league by a stroke

Panthers finish on top for the first time in 13 seasons

The Washougal girls beat Hockinson by one stroke Monday, at Orchard Hills Golf Club.

That one stroke helped the Panthers win the 2A Greater St. Helens League championship for the first time since joining the league in 2006.

“It feels great to be league champions my senior year,” said Alissa Lenczowski. “We put in a lot of time and effort to make it happen … by one stroke.”

Head coach Scott Allen said he would have to go back 13 seasons to remember the last time Washougal played well in league and won the district tournament.

“I’m happy for these girls. This doesn’t happen very often,” he said. “Hockinson wasn’t in the league the last time we won it. They are a good team. We are very fortunate to pull this off.”

Washougal edged Hockinson 224-225. Kallie Sakamoto led the Panthers with a 49 and Lenczowski added a 53. Audrianna Kallie was disqualified for using her cell phone during the match. Caitlin Thomson and Lindsey Thomas, Washougal’s sixth and seventh golfers, filled the void with a 60 and a 62.

Hallie Escola shot a 49 for Hockinson. Cameron Bielat turned in a 53, Jillian Christiansen chipped in a 56 and Kylie Dorotik had a 67.

Allen said Bielat suffered a 2-stroke penalty on the first hole for hitting a tree branch on a practice swing and not marking it on her scorecard.

Both Washougal and Hockinson came into Monday’s match with 5-0 records in league. Lenczowski said the Panthers felt the pressure early on.

“We just need to make smarter decisions. Slow down and think logically instead of just smacking the ball,” she said. “I know when I have a bad hole, I get mad and I just want to hit it.”

Washougal plays in the 2A district tournament May 16 and 17, on the Mint Valley Golf Course in Longview.

“They say golf is an individual sport, but it really comes down to how we play as a whole,” Lenczowski said. “We just need to slow down, focus and do the best we can on every single hole. If we do that, we can be successful as a team.”