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Girls golf: Lady Tigers savoring state title

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The Darlington girls golf team made sure what happened in Savannah didn’t stay in Savannah.

And understandably so.

When the Lady Tigers won the Class A Private School state title on Monday, not many of their classmates were able to be there to share in the moment.

So, on Tuesday, the Lady Tigers brought the celebration to campus.

Josh Hembree, the head coach of the team, said his players showed their excitement throughout the day on Tuesday — their first day back at school after winning the title.

“They wore their state champion T-shirts and showed off their trophy at school (Tuesday), and it’s a great feeling,” said Hembree.

The Lady Tigers were on a mission this year to claim the title that barely slipped away from them in 2012, when they finished in second place, just one shot off the lead.

This time, in highly-memorable fashion, the Lady Tigers won the tournament by one stroke over Athens Christian Academy — the same team that took the title over Darlington.

“It feels great. We worked really hard this year,” said Hembree, “and I know they were excited about it at school.

Darlington took the title with Hannah Mae Deems and Lovisa Clausen’s combined score of 171, giving the Lady Tigers their second state championship in the past three years.

Deems tied her Athens Christian opponent with an 81.

“To win the title feels amazing,” said Deems.

“This entire year, ever since we lost by a stroke last year, the entire team has been working to retake the title and it feels amazing to know that all the hard works paid off it feels great,” said Deems.

Deems, who has stood out in several tourneys this year, tied for third place among all the players.

“I think Hannah Mae is one of the top golfers in the state,” said Hembree.

“She didn’t have her best day. Hannah Mae didn’t putt like she normally does, but she hung in there and got the score (we) needed to win. Every stroke she made was a big one since we won by one stroke.”

The match-winning performance came from Lovisa Clausen who beat her Athens Christian opponent by one stroke to boost Darlington to the title.

“It was Lovisa’s first year at state,” said Hembree. “She was the most improved golfer for the year and it was very fitting for her score head to head with the girl from Athens.

“She beat her by one stroke and gave us the score needed to win that was a big accomplishment for her.”

“I was ecstatic,” said Deems describing the moment she found out they had won the state title. “I was kind of nervous, because I didn’t know if we were going to do it.

“I asked Lovisa what she shot and she said, ‘about an 89 or 90’, and right then I was like maybe we have a shot, and we go to the scoring tent and it turns out we won by a stroke.

“It was just a great feeling to know that even though I didn’t play my best it was still good enough to win a state championship.”

Also playing for Darlington were Peyton Albertson, who scored a 95, and Victoria Samuels who had a 118.