When Wahconah's Colette Basiliere entered the 22-player Western Massachusetts individual girls golf tournament on Thursday, she was just hoping to build off some recent quality play.
By the time the senior left Franconia Golf Course in Longmeadow, she brought with her a first-place finish after firing a six-over par score of 78 over 18 holes. Basiliere birdied three holes en route to victory, as she held off Alia Godek of Agawam and Emma McCloskey of Palmer, each of whom fired a 79.
"I don't ever think I thought of winning," Basiliere said of her mindset heading in. "My coach kept telling me I could do it, but I didn't think about winning at all. I was a couple over after the first few holes, so I just tried to grind it out. But I didn't expect to win."
Basiliere, who started on hole No. 16, picked up birdies on No. 16, 10 and 11. Those were part of her back nine score of 36 to go along with her front nine score of 42.
"I definitely finished strong," Basiliere said. "I knew after finishing hole six or seven that I'd be six, seven or eight over to finish. I was about eight over at that point, then I got the two birdies to get to five or six over.
"Luckily my putting came through over the last few holes," she continued. "Shots were going well and it all came together."
Basiliere said that when she came in from her round, she went to the bathroom without looking at her score. She knew two of the favorites had shot 79, she said. When she emerged, her scorecard showed a 78. That's when she said she knew she might win.
"I'm very happy that Colette was able to play well today," Wahconah coach Pete Terpak wrote in an email. "She has worked extremely hard the past four years and she will be missed at the conclusion of this year's golf season."
"As coaches, you try to work hard with these players for 10 weeks each fall," Terpark added. "Your program is only as good as the effort the players put into it. Colette is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can produce. She is truly one of best kids I've had the privilege to coach."
Meanwhile, the only other Berkshire County player to participate was Monument Mountain's Lexi Shumsky. The senior shot an 89, finishing in sole possession of seventh place. She mentioned that it was only one of two times a year that she plays 18 competitive holes, along with the Berkshire Classic.
"I also never had a practice round at this course," Shumsky said. "I was hoping for low 90s. When I came in, I was happy to see I finished in the 80s. I was definitely aiming for top 10. I didn't think I'd do that well, so I was ecstatic when I came in."
Shumsky, who started on hole No. 18, shot a 45 on the front nine and a 44 on the back nine.
"My chipping went really well," she said. "It's normally all over the place, today it was consistent. Especially starting off with two pars, that gave me confidence for the round. I just wanted to play the ball safe and the score would come out good. I didn't go for any heroic shots."
Catilyn Richmond of Northampton finished fourth with an 80 while Anna Casagrande of Amherst was fifth with an 83 and Taylor Sanborn of Minnechaug was sixth with an 87.