Bearcats shine brightly in home golf tourney
     2013-05-09      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Elizabeth Gross/Gering Citizen - The 2013 Scottsbluff Boys’ Golf team members are front row from left, Sean Mercer-Smith, Kory Polthoff, Andrew Holloway, Curtis Welsh; back row from left, Bryce Meier, Craig Smith, Brandon White, Coach Mike Klein, Michael Hadden and Jared Pilkington. 
Holloway, Hadden’s 1-2 finishes lead SHS’ dominant 293; Bayard rides Blanco’s win to Division II title

SCOTTSBLUFF – For all the frustration and adversity the snowy and rainy weather has dealt to area boys’ golf teams this spring, the golfers got a nearly perfect day and some stellar results Tuesday in the Scottsbluff Invitational at the Scotts Bluff Country Club.

Led by three-time senior state medalist Andrew Holloway’s 2-under-par 70 and senior Michael Hadden’s second-place 71, Scottsbluff ripped through its home course with a staggering four-player count of 293.

In the smaller schools’ Division II, Bayard won its fourth team title in its five meets this spring. The Tigers scored a four-man total of 353, with junior Trae Blanco leading three top-10 teammates with his 8-over 80 that won him the division medalist honor.

The Scottsbluff tournament, postponed from April 22, proved to be worth the 15-day delay. Besides a chamber of commerce day that featured lots of bright sunshine and a moderate breeze, the invitational’s two-week postponement also gave several teams one more meet before their district tournaments take place Monday.

With the understatement of the day, Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein said of the Bearcats’ balanced team effort turned into 293, “That’s not bad.”

“That’s what they’re capable of, with the mixture of seniors and younger kids that we have,” he added. “They’re not going to shot that every time, but I knew they were capable.”

Scottsbluff had sophomore Kory Potthoff, whose 75 placed him in eighth, also make the Division I top 10. Jonah Wright just missed the top 10 with his 77, and Jared Pilkington rounded out the Bearcats’ ladder with a 93.

The Bearcats’ season-best mark before Tuesday was a 304 that came in the Cheyenne Invitational on April 5 – which, in the case of this weather-worn season, probably seems like last year as opposed to 32 snow-dominated days.

“These kids have worked awfully hard and I was hoping they would shoot one of those this year, something in the low 290s, because of all the hard work they have done,” Klein said.

Broken Bow led the rest of the Division I teams with its second-place 310. McCook was third at 312, setting up a solid group of teams – along with Holdrege, Klein added – that he expects to lead the B-4 district field Monday.

And by no means does Klein believe a district title, based on Tuesday’s results, is a lock for the Bearcats.

“You can’t ever take anything for granted,” Klein said. “We didn’t play well at Gothenburg and two of them beat us. But If we play the way we’re capable of playing, we’ll be fine. The biggest thing is we don’t have to travel, and that makes all the work involved worth it to me.”

Klein said the two-week delay in the tournament probably helped most, if not all, teams involved with the event falling just six days before districts.

“I think for all the teams involved, it’s closer to districts now, and they get an idea of what the golf course looks like,” Klein said, especially for the District B-4 teams returning to Scottsbluff on Monday. “It turned out good, we had a decent day. This is perfect compared to what we’ve been playing in.”

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