By Alex Byington

Harker Heights Herald

SALADO - Despite a change in venue, the Lampasas boys and girls golf teams didn't seem to mind.

In fact, each actually improved on their first-day totals to run away from host Salado to sweep the District 25-3A golf tournament Tuesday at the Mill Creek Golf Course in Salado.

After shooting 323 as a team Monday at Llano River Golf Course, the Badgers made up 12 strokes to finish with a 311 on Tuesday, 61 strokes ahead of runner-up Salado (634-695), which shot 13 strokes worse on its home course.

Sweeping the top four individual places, it is the Badgers' first district championship since 2005.

"We expected to win and compete for district, but we didn't expect 1 to 4 medalists for sure," said Lampasas boys coach Kyle Black. "And we finish with our best two-round totals of the year in the district tournament, so it was a good launching point for region in a couple weeks."

Lampasas also rolled through on the girls side, with the Lady Badgers beating Salado by 44 strokes (690-734). The Eagles were 16 shots off of Monday's finish.

"The mental aspect of the game today, I don't know, I can't figure anything out other than we just simply didn't play real well today as a team," Salado golf coach Bobby Peschel said of his teams' shot discrepancy on its home course.

As the top two teams, both Lampasas and Salado boys and girls advance to the Region IV-3A tournament April 18-19 in Corpus Christi. The boys tournament will be at the Lozano Golf Center while the girls will compete at Oso Beach Golf Course.

The Badgers were led overall by senior Stayton Lindeman, who improved with a 4-over par-73 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 153.

The Salado boys advance six golfers to Region - the five members of the Eagles' A team and Kody Parette, who was the second medalist competing on Salado's B team. Leading Salado's A team were freshman Dane Hankamer, who finished fifth with a total of 165 (80-85), brothers Kase and Koby Spears and senior Cole Brentham.

Salado senior Taylor O'Rear easily won the girls individual district championship with a two-day total of 156 (78-78) to best runner-up Lampasas junior Carmen Gonzales by 11 strokes (167). Joining O'Rear at the region tournament will be junior Leah Ray, sophomores Hailee Pipes and sophomore Meredith Ward and freshman Catherine Crouch.

"Our 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s are all capable - and I think we are capable - of playing a whole lot better," Peschel said. "So between now and region, we'll see where we are mentally into what we're doing."

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