Bearcats 3rd in district; Bulldogs’ Keller makes state
     2012-05-18      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Terry Gaston/for the Citizen
Gering senior Colton Keller eyes the result of his swing at a recent tournament in Mitchell. Keller will represent the Bulldogs at state, having earned a 10th place score of 81.
 
McCOOK — Scottsbluff missed out on capturing its third straight District B-4 boys’ golf title Tuesday when the Bearcats finished third in a high-scoring district tournament at McCook’s Heritage Hills Golf Course.

Nevertheless, the Bearcats head back to state, which is Tuesday and Wednesday at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course in Kearney.

“We didn’t play very well on the front nine and were eighth shots back after that,” Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein said. “But we hung in there, and on the back they kept fighting and played more like they are capable of playing.”

The top three teams and top 10 individuals in each district tournament qualified for the state tournament.

McCook, which last week carded a four-man score of 300 at Ogallala, and Sidney led the team pack with respective scores of 326 and 328. Scottsbluff’s four-man count was 342, holding off Broken Bow – which still had two individual state qualifiers, who both carded scores of 78 – by two strokes for third.

Sidney senior Austin Miller set the pace among individuals with his score of 75. He won medalist honors by two strokes over a three-man pack that included Scottsbluff junior Andrew Holloway, who finished fourth in the tiebreak against McCook sophomore Mackenzie Alspaugh and Sean Backer.

Gering senior Colton Keller made sure the Bulldogs were represented at state with his 10th-place score of 81. As a team, Gering finished fifth, 10 strokes behind Scottsbluff for the top-three state-qualifying teams.

"We would have liked to have played better; on the leader board it was tight there for a while and we came really close, but we're glad Colton qualified and got back to state," said Gering coach Keaton Green of Keller's qualification last year with the Bulldogs going to state as a team.

The Bulldogs' senior-dominated line-up included Reggie Reyes finishing in 12 with an 83, while Derek Plegge carded a 93. Kyle Hemphill followed with a 95, and sophomore Austin Kaufman shot 114.

"I worked with a great group of kids, and they worked really hard all year," Green said.

Following Holloway for the Bearcats were junior Michael Hadden at 84, sophomore Curtis Welsh at 86, freshman Koy Potthoff at 95 and senior Grant Lacey at 101.

The state trip will be the third for Holloway, the second for Hadden and Welsh and the first for Potthoff and Lacey.

“Grant and Koy have gotten plenty of experience during the season,” Klein said. “Districts is kind of hair-raising, because you don’t want to make any mistakes in trying to get to state. State is just different, you go down there and you go for it.”

Class C-5 at Ogallala

None of the three teams from the county area qualified even one individual for the Class C state tournament at the Kearney Country Club.

While Kimball won the District C-5 team title with a four-man score of 322 Monday at Ogallala's West Wind Golf Course, Bayard was sixth at 366, 33 strokes behind third-place qualifier North Platte-St. Patrick's. Mitchell was eighth with a 376. Morrill placed last of the 15 teams at 580.

Ogallala Invitational

In the final tune-up for districts, Scottsbluff and Gering golfers were part of a strong field at the Ogallala Invitational last Thursday at West Wind Golf Course.

Scottsbluff, which took the minimum four players for a team score, still finished in second at 322. The Bearcats were 22 shots behind defending Class B state champion McCook, which turned in a sizzling season-low 300.

Scottsbluff’s second-place finish was the seventh time in nine tournaments this spring in which the Bearcats placed in the top two.

Holloway led Scottsbluff with a season-best round of 69, with a 34 on the front nine and a 35 on the back side, for a second-place individual finish. McCook’s Backer set the torrid pace with a 67.

Hadden turned in a fourth-place finish, scoring 38 on both sides to finish with a 76 total. Welsh finished just one shot out of the top 10 with an 81 and Lacey ended with a 96.

The Bearcats were without Potthoff because of illness, so Lacey moved into his No. 4 position.

Scottsbluff lost Tolomeo to a broken hand suffered during Gothenburg's tournament on April 19.

Gering, Sidney and Gothenburg all tied for third in the team standings at 333. Keller had a team-best 81, Plegge was next at 82. Hemphill followed with an 83, Reyes carded an 87 and Kaufman shot 90.

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