LUMBERTON — The Lumberton and Purnell Swett girls golf teams have reasons for optimism for the the future of the program with one lone senior on each team.
But in the present, it’s those two seniors leading their respective teams. Purnell Swett’s Alianna Malcom and Lumberton’s Madelyn Benton have been the leaders for both squads and did much of the same at the Southeastern Conference match held at Pinecrest Country Club on Monday.
Malcom shot an 80 to pace the Lady Rams to a fourth-place finish, while Benton shot a 101 for the Lady Pirates that finished in fifth.
“Alianna has cut off a lot of strokes from last year simply because she’s put a lot of time in,” Purnell Swett coach Jamie Locklear said.
“Madelyn overall has improved real well,” Lumberton coach Dusty Odum said.
Purnell Swett, along with Malcom, brings back experience with juniors Megan Scott and Alyanna Thomas. Scott shot a 90 and Thomas carded 115.
“I got girls that have returned this year, but our short games are not as good,” Locklear said. “That’s a big surprise to me, but my girls are still working hard and trying to get better each and every day.”
While the team’s short game has not been up to par, shot selection has been.
“The most improvement I would say would be course management,” Locklear said. “They are managing their games a lot better.”
With three returners looking to come back next season, the main focus for the Lady Pirates is continuing to grow its roster size.
“We’ve done real well for the little bit of practice time we’ve had,” Odum said. “We need a lot more girls to come out for the team, but for what we’ve got we’ve done real good this year.”
Player numbers have hurt the Lady Pirates this season with four on the roster competing against schools that regularly bring six to matches.
“Sometimes I’ve only have two for a tournament, sometimes I’ll have four like we do today,” Odum said. “We really need six so can have a team play.”
Isabella Oxendine shot a 100 for the Lady Pirates.
Altamirano goal lifts Lumberton soccer
LUMBERTON —With its 1-0 win over Hoke on Monday night, the Lumberton boys soccer team moved into sole possession of second place in the Southeastern Conference.
Lumberton (6-3-3) scored its lone goal in the second half from Rene Altamirano on an assist from Elmer Mauricio. Joan Carillo had seven saves in goal. The Pirates host Pinecrest on Wednesday.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.