It figures that the medalist had plenty of mettle.
A day after carding a 3-under-par 69, Coeur d’Alene High’s Alex Pounds wasn’t at the top of his game Tuesday at Avondale Golf Club, understandable given the rain and wind that dogged the players for most of their rounds.
Pounds went through several gloves, occasionally lost the battle to keep his grips dry and he even had a couple of shanks. But Pounds stayed with it, found his swing midway through the first nine holes and finished strong, grinding out a 78 to win medalist honors at the Idaho 5A boys state tournament.
Pounds’ two-day total of 147 edged Eagle’s Jon Van Dyk (74-74) and Ty Travis (72-76) by one stroke. Pounds is CdA’s first individual state champion since Ryan Morton won in 2004 at the Coeur d’Alene Golf Club.
“I was just hoping I could start hitting the ball solid,” said Pounds, who will play for CC Spokane next year. “I know this course and I knew I’d be able to make some birdies and at least make a comeback. I made a couple of adjustments and I hit the ball a little bit better the rest of the front and I hit it a lot better on the back nine.”
Eagle won the team title for the second time in three years. The Mustangs and Vikings both shot second-day 316s, but Eagle had a nine-shot lead after Monday’s round. Lewiston took third.
Pounds survived a rocky start.
“I was 5 over through four,” he said. “I got a lucky break on No. 2 when I shanked it, but it kicked off a house and stayed in bounds. I shanked another one out of bounds on No. 4. My putting was decent, good speed, but I just couldn’t make any putts.”
He birdied the par-5 ninth to make the turn in 42. He birdied the par-4 12th and shot 36 on the back side.
“He struggled a little bit, but that shows his character,” CdA coach Bryan Duncan said. “He kept grinding and put a score together.”
“They battled all year and they had a great year overall,” Duncan said. “We added up somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 penalty shots (over two days) that we usually don’t have on this course.”
Lewiston’s girls, featuring three juniors, one sophomore and one freshman, cruised to the state title. The Bengals won by 48 strokes after a second-day 347. Rocky Mountain placed second. Vallivue’s Tyler Barker followed Monday’s 76 with an 80 to win medalist honors by five shots.
Post Falls, led by Rachel Westby (94-89), tied for seventh.
The Moscow girls repeated as champions. Taylor Anderson (second), Katie Greear (third) and Nikki Tatham (fifth) led the Bears, who won by five shots over Middleton at Twin Lakes Village near Rathdrum. Medalist Cali Hipp of Middleton shot 147.
Bishop Kelly (641) edged Moscow (644) for the boys crown. Taylor Schmidt fired a two-day total of 149 to win medalist honors. Garrett Adair (157) and Brennen Hanson (158) paced Moscow, which finished three shots in front of third-place Middleton.
Kellogg freshman Kaceelyn Pouttu fired a 79 in difficult weather conditions at The Links in Post Falls to win the girls individual title and help the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish. Coupled with her 79 Monday, Pouttu defeated Sheryl Bitter of Shelley by nine shots.
“I didn’t do anything different (because of the inclement weather), I just tried to play my own game,” Pouttu said.
Marsh Valley captured the boys title. Medalist honors went to Shelley’s Will Higham, who beat Marsh Valley’s Tanner Hunsaker in a playoff.
Kellogg, led by Dain Harden’s two-round total of 163, was sixth. Bonners Ferry, paced by Carey Reynolds’ 160, placed eighth.
Emily Vester carded a two-round total of 197 to place fourth and help the Wallace Miners girls finish second at Bryden Canyon in Lewiston. Wallace’s Kenzie Dire (214) placed eighth, while Molly McGee (223) was 10th.
Jase Bennett, competing as an individual, finished fourth in the boys tourney with a two-round total of 153.
Washington 2B/1B girls
Erin Schuster of St. John-Endicott shot rounds of 92 and 103 to finish second at 195 at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland. Shuster qualified for state along with teammate Michal Schuster, who took fifth at 208.
Samantha Pegram of Tri-Cities Prep won top medalist honors with a 194 as the Jaguars also won the team title.