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Mt. Spokane’s boys, LC’s girls thrived with depth

For many of the same reasons, Mt. Spokane’s boys won their first Greater Spokane League golf title and the Lewis and Clark girls won their ninth straight crown.

“It’s pretty simple,” Mt. Spokane coach Greg Schultz said. “We were just really deep.”

Five Wildcats made first- or second-team All-GSL. Five Lewis and Clark girls made first- or second-team All-GSL.

“We played as a team and it worked out again for us this year,” Tigers coach Michelle Grafos said. “We’ve always traditionally done well at the top, but I’ve always tried to develop our lineup from top to bottom.”

Mt. Spokane trailed by one point after two of the five GSL boys matches. The Wildcats won the last three tournaments, securing their first title with a team score of 382 at MeadowWood on a breezy Monday.

“It was literally hard to stand up on the 18th tee box,” Schultz said. “We’ve been second three times, been in the top five probably 12 of the 15 years. It’s great for them to get over the hump.”

Mead senior Stephen Thoen was Player of the Year with a scoring average of 70. The first team consisted of Ferris freshman Tanner Comes (72.5), Mt. Spokane junior Nick Thurston (73), Ferris sophomore Eric Ansett (73.5), Lewis and Clark senior John-Michael Larson (74.25), Mt. Spokane senior Tye Morrison (74.25) and Mead senior Evan Dyar (74.75).

Central Valley’s Dakota Pearce (75), Danny Nemri (75.75) and Joel Christensen (76.25), Mt. Spokane’s Zack Spencer (76.5), Austin Billeter (76.75) and Tyler McQuilkin (76.75) and Lewis and Clark’s Carson Fuhs (75) made second team.

For the girls, Mt. Spokane sophomore Sierra Bezdicek was Player of the Year with a 71 stroke average. First-teamers were Lewis and Clark seniors Megan Haase (72.5) and Sydney Kersten (75), Mt. Spokane senior Savana Bezdicek (75.5), Mead freshman Lydia Kim (78), LC freshman Sierra Kersten (78.25) and Mead senior Kristen Hansen (78.75).

The second team featured Ferris’ Nicole Berg (85.75), Gonzaga Prep’s Lindsey Dotson (86), Mead’s Maddy Underwood (87.75), Lewis and Clark’s Katie Larson (89.75) and Kassidy Krug (92) and North Central’s Bridgid Rypien (92.5).

Districts are next. The 3A boys and girls play Tuesday at Downriver and May 15 at MeadowWood. Five boys and five girls advance to state. Fifty percent of qualifying is based on players’ GSL scoring averages and 50 percent on the two rounds at districts. Mt. Spokane has 3A’s top six scoring averages after GSL play.

“It rewards consistency,” Schultz said.

The 4A boys and girls tee it up Wednesday at Qualchan and May 15 at Liberty Lake. Regular-season GSL scores don’t factor into districts. Seven girls and seven boys will move on to state. There is a cut after the first round.

“It’s really tough to get through,” Mead coach Paul Peters said. “You can’t afford to make too many mistakes.”

Numbers game

Coeur d’Alene has a solid boys team – a couple of them, in fact. The Vikings’ first and second teams have finished 1-2 at three tournaments. Earlier this week, CdA’s second team had the low score at the Lake City Invitational, followed by Moscow, Post Falls and the Vikings’ first squad, but CdA No. 2 didn’t collect the first-place trophy.

“We won the tournament and we didn’t even get recognized,” coach Bryan Duncan said. “I’m still trying to get an explanation.”

Coeur d’Alene has just one senior. Ten players are capable of shooting in the 70s.

The Vikings’ first team fired a school-record 8-under 280 at The Links a few weeks ago.

Duncan will consider experience and scoring averages in hopes of fielding his best lineup for the 5A regional tournament Tuesday at Prairie Falls.

The top two boys and girls teams and top three individuals advance to state. Lewiston is favored to win the girls event.