GOLF: Halley Hughes leading Sahuaro to another successful year
October 6, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
Thursday, Oct. 6: Dell Urich Golf Course
Sahuaro sophomore standout Halley Hughes played even on her first three holes and even on the last three to hold off her teammate Serenity Guerrero 39 to 40 Thursday afternoon at the Dell Urich Golf Course in Tucson. The two helped Sahuaro score 178 as a team to defeat Buena (209) and Rincon/University (230).
Hughes had difficulty with a bogey on the fourth hole, a double bogey on the fifth and another bogy on the six to go 4-over. Guerrero kept pace with Hughes through eight holes but a bogey on the ninth hole dropped her to second place at 5-over.
Hughes and Guerrero are all that remain from the defending Division II state championship team from last fall that included individual state champion Kathryn Ottman and No. 4 finisher Taylor Hughes. Taylor is Halley’s older sister and this team also includes Nikki Hacker, the younger sister of Samantha Hacker. Samantha Hacker was a member of the 2013 state championship team.
The Cougars are the top-ranked team in Division II, Section I even with all the drastic changes to their roster. Hughes is ranked 18th as an individual and Guerrero is 20th.
“We are a young group with all those seniors gone,” Hughes explained. “I would define it as different, not difficult. That’s the word I would use. We miss all of them, and it’s different to be the leader this year, but I really like the girls on my team.”
Halley’s mother, Megan Hughes, returns for another year of coaching and she likes what she sees between her daughter and Guerrero.
“They are pushing each other along and that’s a good thing,” she said. “We are going to have to stay ahead of Cienega to win the section but things are looking good.”
Cienega is over three points behind Sahuaro in the Iwanamaker Ratings (51.979 to 55.362). The section champion earns an automatic berth to the state tournament while the rest of the teams will be fighting for an at-large position. At No. 14, Cienega appears to be safe either way.
Buena senior standout Brianna Lewis shot a 7-over 42 to take third place on Thursday. Lewis is ranked 23rd as an individual and should qualify for the state tournament unattached. Rincon/UHS is ranked 26th in Division I.
Sahuaro 178, Buena 209, Rincon/UHS 239
1-SAHU-Halley Hughes +4 39
2-SAHU-Serenity Guerrero +5 40
3-BUEN-Brianna Lewis +7 42
4-SAHU-Nikki Hacker +9 44
5-BUEN-Victoria Howell +14 49
6-RINC-Kelsi Ruyle +16 51
7-SAHU-Katrina Esquivel +20 55
7-BUEN-Mckenzie Slattery +20 55
9-RINC-Emily Morel +21 56
10-SAHU-Annika Romero +27 62
11-BUEN-Kenya Contreras +28 63
11-RINC-Sophia Greenhill +28 63
13-SAHU-Justice Small +31 66
14-RINC-Rianna Yanez +34 69