Mitchell earns 2nd team title by winning Morrill tourney
     2014-04-24      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Terry Gaston/for the Citizen - Mitchell senior Peyton Briggs, with a spectator group of horses across Highway 29, watches his putt on the fifth hole during the April 15 Mitchell Invitational boys' golf tournament at Scenic Knolls Golf Course. On Tuesday, Briggs carded a tournament personal-best score of 76, finishing fourth and leading the Tigers to the team championship in the Morrill Invitational at Rolling Greens Golf Course in Morrill. 
MORRILL — So far through four tournaments together, the Bayard and Mitchell boys’ golf teams have each picked up two team titles.

After Bayard had won the Mitchell and Bridgeport tournaments last week, Mitchell — the team victor in Bayard’s April 8 season-opening tourney — evened the battle of the Tigers on Tuesday in the Morrill Invitational at Rolling Greens Golf Course.

Mitchell carded a season-low 331 in edging runner-up Bayard by two strokes and recording what fourth-year MHS boys’ coach Brock Ehler said is the Tigers’ lowest four-man count in his tenure.

“These guys are competitors, they play against themselves and play against the golf course and see what they’re capable of every time,” Ehler said. “We had three kids shoot their personal bests and another who was just one shot off his personal best.

“We beat some good teams in Bayard and Chadron and Bridgeport,” Ehler said.

Mitchell was paced by a pair of seniors who placed for the Tigers. Peyton Briggs carded a personal tournament best of 76 in placing fourth, while Bo McVay scored 81 with his PR to place ninth.

Other Mitchell scores included an 84 turned in by senior Luis Panduro, just one off his tourney-best score; a 90 out of freshman Seth Marcoe. Senior Justin Robles rounded out the card with a 94.

“He was our big-time savior today,” Ehler said of Marcoe, who improved his personal best by 11 strokes. “He had just enough to get us through and win the tournament.

“It’s his first year of golf, and he has come all the way from shooting 125s and all the way up to shooting a 90 today. He has come a long ways fast, and we knew he would.”

Bayard’s 333 was also a season low, thanks to some personal-best scores that helped offset an unusually high round by senior Trae Blanco.

“Bayard is a really good team and they’re going to continue to be looked upon as one of the best teams in our conference, and we were fortunate to beat them today and one other time this year,” Ehler said.

Bayard exchange student Roman Konvicka of the Czech Republic won his second medalist honor in eight days, taking the gold medal with a 73.

“He hit some great shots,” Roberts said of Konvicka, who has placed in the top three of all four tourneys thus far. “He would lose a stroke here and there and then gain it back here and there, and all in all his shooting a 73 was a good score for him.”

Junior teammate Joe Hernandez finished in sixth with a 79.

“We had some personal bests from several of our golfers, which is always great,” Roberts said. “Joe Hernandez, especially, shooting his 79 really helped us out a lot, and he has been a steady Eddie for us throughout the whole season and has placed at every meet. That really helps out our team score a lot.”

While Blanco struggled and finished at 89, senior David Schuler scored a personal-best 92 and freshman Manuel Acosta shaved 16 strokes off his score at Mitchell to score a 100.

“We scored OK,” Roberts added. “We had a little bit of trouble managing our game with a couple of players, which brought our team score up a little bit. But all in all, it was a good outing.”

Both Ehler and Roberts sang praises to the Rolling Greens groundskeepers for having the course in excellent tournament condition.

“It was the ideal golf conditions today,“ Ehler said, including the mild weather. “The course was in great shape and the greens rolled nice. They really take pride to have these kids come out and get a good golf course to play.”

“It was a great day for golf,” Roberts echoed. “The weather was perfect, the course was in really good condition. Anytime you get to play on a course with that type of weather, it’s all good.

Bayard will be in action, along with Mitchell, on Saturday in the Alliance Invitational. In Monday’s Scottsbluff Invitational, Bayard and Mitchell will join the host Bearcats, Gering and Morrill.

Scottsbluff golfers win title in Douglas

A second straight tournament appearance for the Scottsbluff boys’ golf team in Wyoming led to the Bearcats’ shooting a season team-low in winning the Douglas Invitational last Thursday at the Douglas Golf Club.

The winning score was 13 strokes lower than the Bearcats’ previous best, which Scottsbluff hit 321 in each of its first two tournaments.

After winning the season-opening Sidney Invitational and taking second in the Cheyenne meet, the Bearcats earned their second team championship by outscoring co-runner-up Cheyenne Central — and avenging their loss to the Indians in the Cheyenne meet — by 25 strokes.

“That was a golf course that is completely different from what we see,” Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein said. “It was in good condition and that was one of the things that helped us score a little better. A 308 was a pretty good score there. That was fun.”

Four Bearcats won individual medals by finishing in the top 10.

Junior Koy Potthoff led the way by capturing his second medalist title of the spring with a season-best 72. He outshot runner-up Jared Edeen of Central by one stroke.

“He was pretty steady,” Klein said of Potthoff. “It was a good course for him because he hits pretty straight, and he putts pretty good. He played solid most of the day.”

Two other Bearcats also shot rounds in the 70s. Senior Curtis Welsh finished in a tie for third with a 77 and sophomore Jonah Wright tied for sixth with a 78. Both scores by Welsh and Wright also were season lows.

The other Bearcat medalist was junior Sean Mercer-Smith, who finished in a tie for ninth with an 81.

“All of them did a pretty good job of figuring out how to play some of the holes, since we hadn’t seen the course before,” Klein said.

“You just kind of had to guess where to hit it, but if I had been out ahead of them I could tell them before they got there, they’d do that, but they had to figure out a bunch of stuff on their own.”

Central and Laramie finished in a tie for second at 333. Cheyenne East followed in fourth with a 348 and Casper Natrona was fifth with a 349.

Scottsbluff will return to action today (Thursday), as will Gering, in the Gothenburg Invitational.

The Bearcats and Bulldogs, along with Bayard and Mitchell, will be in the Alliance tourney on Saturday before Scottsbluff will then play host to their home tournament on Monday. The field will include Gering, Bayard and Mitchell.

Bayard wins title in Bridgeport

The Bayard boys‘ golf team won its second team title in three days after the Tigers claimed the Bridgeport Invitational on Thursday at Court House & Jail Rock Golf Course.

The Tigers, who claimed the Mitchell Invitational on April 15, shot a 344 to win their second team title of the season in three meets; they were second to Mitchell in the Bayard Invitational on April 8.

Kimball senior Henry Heeg won the individual championship with a first-place round of 76 for his second title this spring.

Konvicka paced the Tigers‘ team run with a second-place finish at 79. The Czech Republic native had won in Mitchell with a 75.

Joining Konvicka in earning three medals for the second straight meet were senior Trae Blanco in fourth place with an 82 and junior Joe Hernandez in 10th with an 88. Also for Bayard, David Schuler had a 95.

“It was a good win for us,” Roberts said. “The conditions were cold and a little bit breezy. Just finishing was a struggle for many of the kids. Anytime you can salvage a good score and a team first place, golfing under those conditions is a plus.”

Bayard won by eight shots over runner-up Mitchell, which finished with a 352. Bridgeport was third with a 355 and Kimball ended fourth with a 370.

Mitchell also placed three golfers in the top 10. Senior Peyton Briggs led the Tigers by shooting an 83 to finish fifth. Also for Mitchell, seniors Tristan Robles and Luis Panduro both shot an 87 to place eighth and ninth, respectively.

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