High School Sports

Prep golf | Manatee, Lakewood Ranch girls advance to region

NOKOMIS -- The idea was to stay alive and play another day.

Manatee and Lakewood Ranch did just that, finishing second and third, respectively, behind host Venice in the Class 3A-District 14 girls golf tournament Tuesday at the Mission Valley Country Club.

Venice easily took first place with a score of 329. Manatee (359) and Lakewood Ranch (364) put a lot of distance between itself and fourth-place Sarasota (395). North Port, the only other team to finish with a full squad, had a 578.

The only disappointment for Manatee was Gianna Tomeo finished second with a 73, one stroke behind Venice junior Victoria Cangero.

But that could change at Monday's region tournament, which will be held at the Bradenton Country Club.

"I played well. I had four birdies, but also five bogies. I can't control other people. Victoria played really well. You can't control what other people do," Tomeo said. "I shot 74 at districts last year, so I shot one better.

I had a 36 on the first nine and one over on the back. Last year, I lost in the districts by one and I won the region. I am just thinking of moving ahead. My goal is to get to state."

Helping Manatee was Tomeo's young sister, freshman Gabrielle Tomeo (81); Danielle Wolfe (90); and Rebecca Byrnes (113)."I feel good. We came in knowing that we were probably the second-best team out here," Manatee head coach Alan Johnson said. "This is where Venice plays all the time. Gianna shot one over par, which is fantastic. Another freshmen girl (Wolfe) shot 50 on the front, but came back with 40 on the back nine, so that was a big improvement. Gabrielle did well, and this was her first district tournament. We were tied for second after nine with Lakewood Ranch and improved."

The other three scorers for Venice were Celia Lau (84), Allyson Guthrie (86) and Brittany Clipse (87). The Indians are defending district and region champs and won this year's Donald Ross Memorial Invitational

The top three teams advance to region, and the goal for the young Lakewood Ranch squad was to be in that group.

"We did what we wanted to do, and we will see what happens Monday," Lakewood Ranch head coach Vito Bavaro said. "Last year, we were fourth so we are improving. We've got two freshmen and two sophomores in our top four. We are definitely an up-and-coming team."

The Mustangs were led by sophomore Theresa Morrissey, who shot an 83. Warren was second among the Lakewood Ranch girls with an 89, followed by Laurvick (93) and Morgan Mulholland (99).

Braden River did not have a full team. Its two girls, Brittany Walters (99) and Carly Toscano, failed to be among the top three players not on a qualifying team to advance.

The Class 3A-Region 5 tournament begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Bradenton Country Country Club.

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