The race for the Western Athletic Conference girls golf championship tightened up even more on Thursday when Hays’ Indians posted an eight-shot victory over Garden City’s Buffaloes at Willow Tree Golf Course in Liberal.

Hays shot a 9-hole (four-player score) total of 185 while the Buffs were back at 193 for second-place. Great Bend was a distant third at 207, Dodge City next at 213 and host Liberal at 215.

Individually, the Buffs were led by Alyssa McMillen and Elena Lemke, whose scores of 44 and 45 were good for third and fourth. Liberal’s Corey Mein took medalist honors with a 40 and Hays’ Karee Dinkel was second at 42.

The scores of McMillen and Lemke were the only two sub-50 rounds for the Buffs and that was the big difference as all four counting scores for Hays were under 50.

“We had a rough day, it was not perfect,” said GCHS coach Jacob Waller. “Everybody’s scores were higher. It was really windy today, but everybody played in it. Just a day that everyone struggled some.”

Morgan Cabral and Kaylee Keller each shot a 52 while Grace Yi followed with a 56 and Annika Wood came in with a 57.

Waller said his team was still working hard toward winning the WAC, with the Buffs just one point behind Hays heading into the final league meet in a couple of weeks. McMillen and Lemke are also challenging for all-WAC honors with one event remaining.

The Buffs will have a busy schedule next week, traveling to Wichita on Wednesday for the North Invitational at Sim Park Golf Course. On Thursday, they will compete in the Hutchinson Invitational. Both tournaments will tee-off at 1 p.m.

After that hectic week, the Buffs will be idle until Oct. 3 when they travel to Great Bend for the final WAC tournament of the season, with the title on the line between them and the Indians. Each team has posted two wins thus far, the difference being a GCHS third-place in the opening tournament in Hays.