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Scottsbluff, Gering top Mitchell Invite
April 16, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Competing in a 10-team field, Scottsbluff and Gering finished in first and second at the Mitchell Invite golf tournament Tuesday afternoon. Scottsbluff shot a 315 round, while Gering came in at 351. The nearest competitor was Crawford, posting a 364 total.

Scottsbluff placed four golfers in the top 10 individual standings. Topping the board was Koy Potoff in first with a 72 and Jonah Wright in second with a 77. Bailey Hort took fourth with 81 and Sean Mercer-Smith finished eighth with 85.

“It was windy when we started and progressively got windier from there, but at least it warmed up,” said Scottsbluff Coach Mike Klein. “The golf course was in good shape and the team handled the wind pretty good.”

Klein said that Coy Potoff had a good round and was under par for most of it until the wind started to play havoc with the scores. He ended the day shooting par.

Bailey Hort had a rough start but fought his way through it to finish in fourth place at 81. And Sean Mercer-Smith struggled on the front nine, but came back strong to card an 85.

Gering’s team score of 351 was good for second place at Mitchell. Mason Marsh made it into the top 10 with a 10th place 86 score.
Gering’s Kraiger Ebbers and Grant Maser both finished with an 88 score, closely followed by Alex Lupher at 89. Tyler Tjaden carded a 96 for the day.

For Gering, finishing second was nice. Coach Keaton Green said the team was a little disappointed in their higher than average scores due to the wind.

“We also didn’t play as well as we should have,” Green said. “Our team score was higher than anticipated for the day.”

Green said he was happy to see the team not give up, even with the wind and some missed shots. “They battled through and worked on what they needed to get their shots on the course better.”
Scottsbluff took second place in its second event on April 10, making a road trip to the Cheyenne Invite.

The weather was much nicer than the first outing in Sidney, and Scottsbluff took 25 shots off its team score in Sidney, posting 306, behind the winning Cheyenne Central team that posted a 292.
“I was pleased that everyone played better,” said Coach Klein. “Koy Potoff shot a 69 for second place.”

The Bearcats’ Jared Pilkington just missed the top 10, shooting a 77 for 11th place. Jonah Wright was in 13th with 78. Bailey Hort fired an 82 and Sean Mercer-Smith finished at 83.
“The whole team can play better, but we’re making progress,” Klein said. “The greens aren’t that good yet, so this early in the season, we had a pretty good score.”

The morning of April 7 was cold and foggy as area Class B high school golf teams made their first outing at the Sidney Invitational.
While defending state champion McCook took the team title with a low score of 327, Scottsbluff was close behind in second with 331 and Gering placed third with 339.

Top 10 individual finishers at Sidney included Scottsbluff golfers Koy Potoff in second place with 77 and Jared Pilkington in 10th with 83. Gering’s Alex Lupher shot an 82 for ninth place.
Individual scores for the Gering squad included Kraiger Ebbers at 85, Alex Lupher at 82, Grant Maser at 83, Mason Marsh at 89 and Grady Sherrel at 107.

For Scottsbluff, Koy Potoff shot a 77, Jonah Wright at 86, Jared Pilkington at 83, Bailey Hart at 85 and Sean Mercer-Smith at 89.
“Overall, I was pleased with what I saw and how they performed,” said Gering Coach Green. “Our varsity guys played well and so did the JV guys. Some of them are playing in their first high school tournament.”

Green said the team’s goal for the tournament was to shoot 340 or better and they came in at 339. And they plan to improve on that as the season progresses.

“The greens were tough because they’re still coming out of winter,” Green said. “All the teams were talking about how tough the putting was. We had quite few challenging ones, which didn’t help our overall score.”
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