East Noble’s Katie Sharp didn’t blink from state golf tourney pressure.
Neither did Chesterton’s Kelly Grassel.
Sharp, a two-time News-Sentinel player of the year, overcame a first-round one-stroke deficit to build a lead as large as four strokes before Grassel rallied to win her second straight state title.
Sharp, a senior, shot a 69 on Saturday to finish with a 36-hole total of139,5-under par. Grassel had a 68 to finish at 137.
Last year Sharp entered the final round in position for a state championship and stumbled to a 9-over 81 and finished 11th. This time she was a rock and pushed her way into the lead.
Only a closing rush by Grassel prevented Sharp from winning her first state championship. In four years Sharp finished second twice along with a fifth and an 11th.
The Fort Wayne area has produced three previous state champions -- Snider’s Michelle Hatfield in 1994, Bishop Dwenger’s Lauren Gant and Warsaw’s Emily Johnson in 2003 and 2006. Carroll’s Ashley Kees was second in 2009 while Sharp was second in 2010.
Sharp opened the day trailing by a stroke, and quickly took charge. After six holes she led by two. After nine holes, she led by three. She built a lead as large as four before Grassel made a late push.
Also, Concordia sophomore Melissa Greener shot a 90 for a 186 total. She finished tied for 68th.
In the team race, Yorktown won with a 625 total. Carmel was second at 639. Yorktown entered the day with a two-shot lead.