14 teams, but no defending champion, at Lady Dragon Classic

Steve Stein
Pekin's Rachel Filarski places her golf ball on the green during the Dragons' early-season match against Macomb at Lick Creek Golf Course. Lick Creek will be the site of the Lady Dragon Classic girls golf tournament Saturday.

PEKIN -- It's time for the Lady Dragon Classic.

The 19th annual girls golf tournament will be held Saturday at Lick Creek Golf Course, with 14 teams competing. Tee-off will be at 8:30 a.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the tournament, of course.

Defending team champion O'Fallon can't compete because of travel restrictions. Edwardsville, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Chatham Glenwood and Springfield also can't make the trip to Lick Creek.

Canton and Peoria Richwoods have been added to the field.

Normal U. High is favored to win the team championship.

Among the favorites to win the individual title are Eureka's Allison Pacocha, Chillicothe IVC's Elaine Grant and U. High's Reagan Kennedy. Defending individual champion Brianna McMinn of O’Fallon has graduated.

Other teams joining host Pekin, Canton, Richwoods and U. High on Saturday are Bloomington Central Catholic, Dunlap, East Peoria, Eureka, Limestone, Morton, Normal Community, Normal West, Peoria Notre Dame and Washington.

IVC will have only three golfers, not the four needed for a team score. Those three golfers will compete as individuals.

"We hope to have our best day of the season while showing off Lick Creek, one of the premier golf courses in the area," said Pekin girls golf coach and tournament director Chris Neville.

In other Pekin girls golf team news:

MORTON 182, PEKIN 197 and CANTON 196, PEKIN 197: Putting was a problem Thursday for the Dragons, as they lost a pair of non-conference matches at Pine Lakes Golf Course, Morton's home course.

"Simply put, we did not putt as well (Thursday) as we did Monday, when we beat Canton by nine strokes," Neville said, referring to Pekin's 191-200 Mid-Illini Conference win over the Little Giants at Quail Meadows Golf Course.

"Our team score wasn't bad (Thursday), but Pine Lakes is the easiest course we play all year, so we were looking for better results," Neville said.

Lauren Minkel led the Dragons in the losses to Morton and Canton, shooting 46. Rachel Filarski, who shot 54 Monday, rebounded with a 48. Sydney Hubner (51) and Mylee Hansen (52) also scored for Pekin (3-11). Sierra Sitter shot 60.

Morton's scorers were Abby Nieukirk (44), Lainey Jensen (44) Reagan Braker (45) and Anna Berg (49). Claire Hawks (50) and Claire Wilson (54) completed the Potters' lineup.

Ryleigh Mosher (44), Jadin Walters (50), Sada Eveland (50) and Rachel Perry (52) scored for Canton. Elizabeth Rosich (54) and Natalie Spina (58) also competed for the Little Giants.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.