Scottsbluff golfers win district tourney: Gering finishes third, qualifies team for state tournament
     2015-05-21      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Both Scottsbluff and Gering golfers were impressive at the Class B District 4 Tournament in Sidney on Monday as both teams qualified for the upcoming state tournament.

Scottsbluff took first place at districts with a team score of 317. The Bearcats were led by individual top scorer Koy Potoff at 74 and Jared Pilkington as the runner-up with a 76. Scottsbluff’s other finishers included Jonah Wright in fifth with a 77 score. Sean Mercer-Smith carded a 90 and Bailey Hort tapped in at 91.

“We had a good day, but you have to remember it’s just a one-day deal,” said Scottsbluff Coach Mike Klein. “If you goof it up, you’re not going to go. And the course at Sidney is a tough one.”
Klein said one of the team’s goals every year is to finish in the top three at the district tournament and go to state as a team. They’ve done that every year Klein has been the coach.

“We can’t get caught up in all the hype while we’re in Lincoln,” he said. “We’re there to play golf and see what happens.”

He added the team should get some more practice in before heading to state, although the weather doesn’t want to cooperate.

It was day to remember for Gering as well as they earned their first trip to state in several years. The Bulldogs finished third at districts with a team score of 352. Alex Lupher led the pack with a 10th place score of 85. Mason Marsh shot an 86 for Gering, followed by Grant Maser at 88, Kraiger Ebbers with a 93 and Logan VanAnne at 112.

Scottsbluff with 317 team points, defending state champ McCook with 334, and Gering with 352 automatically qualify for a trip to state.
“The kids are super excited to qualify as a team for state,” Gering Coach Keaton Green said. “The team part of it is something we’ve been discussing all year. It’s good for us because we accomplished that part of the plan.”

Green added that after looking at the team scores, he’s confident his team can be competitive. “There’s a little bit of nerves because this is the first time they’ve played in the state tournament as a team,” he said. “But I think they’ll do fine. For the seniors, this will be the last tournament of their high school careers. They all want to do their best and post the best scores they can.”

Gering’s graduating seniors are Kraiger Ebbers and Alex Lupher. Scottsbluff seniors are Koy Potoff, Baily Hort and Sean Mercer-Smith.
Both Scottsbluff and Gering were confident about the district tourney after finishing out their regular season at the Ogallala Invitational May 14. Scottsbluff captured its fourth consecutive top place finish with a 314 team score, five strokes ahead of defending Class B state champs McCook, in at 319.

Rounding our the top five were third place Cozad at 337, Gothenburg in fourth at 339, and Sidney in fifth with 342.

“We had three guys shoot in the 70s to finish second, third and fourth,” said Scottsbluff Coach Mike Klein. “It was a pretty good day for us with really good conditions. We had to count a score that was higher than usual, but it goes like that sometimes.”

McCook’s Noah Hoffman took first place with a low score of 73. But the next three top finishers were all Scottsbluff: Jonah Wright at 75, Koy Pothoff with 76 and Bailey Hort carding a 78.
Other Bearcat finishers were Jared Pilkington, who shot an 85, Sean Mercer-Smith with 90, and Craig Smith at 92.

Gering was also at the Ogallala Invite and finished in the middle of the pack, in sixth place with a team score of 348. Kraiger Ebbers medaled by finishing in 9th place with an 80. Teammates Alex Lupher and Grant Maser both shot an 89, Mason Marsh was one stroke back at 90, and Logan VanAnne carded a 104.

“It went pretty well for us,” Coach Green said. “Scores for Alex, Grant and Mason were a little higher than usual for them, but not that terrible.”

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