Through all of his years as a Hall of Fame wrestling coach, Cale Hoover never managed to win a regional championship.

“I got close a bunch,” he said.

On Saturday, Hoover finally got his hands on a regional trophy — this time in girls golf — as his Center Grove squad bested the field at the Franklin Regional, played at The Legends on a difficult scoring day.

The third-ranked Trojans finished with a team total of 313, good enough to outdo No. 5 Batesville (320) and No. 12 Floyd Central (321).

Those three teams advance to next weekend’s state finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel. Fourth-place Franklin (328) just missed out, though freshman Lexi Ray shot an even-par 72 to advance as an individual.

Low numbers were hard to come by across the board, with very few players coming in under 80, so while a 313 might not be what Center Grove expected of itself coming in, it was plenty good under the circumstances.

“It was a challenging day,” Hoover said. “I think a lot of our high school players sometimes think that they can play in a hurricane and they should still shoot a 68 — it doesn’t work that way. It was cold, it was windy, but we hung in there.”

Leading the way for the Trojans was senior Sage Parsetich, whose 73 was the third-best individual round of the day. Lexi Stuart carded a 79, followed closely by Camille Short (80), Rowen Pfeifle (81) and Abby Rich (82).

By the time she was done posing for photos with the championship tropy — the Trojans’ title was their first since 2011 and just their second overall — Parsetich had already shaken off any negative thoughts she may have had.

“If that’s our bad day, then we can do so much better at state,” she said.

Ray, who was second on the individual leaderboard behind Edinburgh resident and Columbus North freshman Ava Bunker (70), punched her ticket with a rock-solid round that featured four birdies. Three of those came on the front side, where Ray shook off a double bogey on the third hole with birdies at 5 and 6 to make the turn at 35.

She held her round together with a back nine that required her just 12 putts to finish.

“I made some crazy 20-footers for par, so that really helped me,” Ray said.

The freshman feels good about her chances next weekend on a course that has generally treated her well in the past.

“Prairie View’s one of my favorite courses to play,” Ray said. “I just feel really confident; at the State Preview I think I finished fourth, so I definitely feel like I’m going to be there and people should watch out — because I’m definitely going to show up.”

Center Grove also plans to show up and make a run at what would be its first girls state championship; the boys won team titles in 2017 and 2021.

“I feel good,” Hoover said. “I think we’ve been trending the right way. We’ve got to make sure the girls don’t overreact to the numbers that were on some of the cards today; the conditions were a challenge, especially early. We need to turn the page, start moving forward and getting ourselves ready. It’ll be a tough test.”

Three other local players competed as individuals on Saturday. Roncalli’s Elsie Kerr finished her season with an 88, Whiteland’s Chloe Cooper shot a 95 and Indian Creek’s Hannah Emenhiser came in with a 99.