Regular-season titles and honors have been handed out. Now, the goal for Greater Spokane League golfers becomes qualifying for state.
The chase for state berths – six for 4A boys, six for 4A girls; six for 3A boys, seven for 3A girls – begins Tuesday with the first round of the District 8 tournament at Indian Canyon. The final 18 holes for 3A schools will be a week later at MeadowWood. The 4As finish up May 15 at Qualchan. The fields will be trimmed after the first round.
“It turns into an individual game,” Lewis and Clark girls coach Michelle Grafos said. “Interesting things always happen at districts.”
There’s no magic formula for winning a state title, but it obviously helps to have numbers. Hanford, with four placers in the top 18, beat Mt. Spokane last year, despite sisters Sierra and Savana Bezdicek finishing 1-2.
“I have three guys that have been to state before and I would hope they would go again,” said Ferris coach Clarence Hough, referring to Eric Ansett, Camus Chapman and Tanner Comes. “They all have the ability to do it. If you have more than two on the second day of the state tournament you have a chance to make a run at the state title.”
Mt. Spokane’s Nick Thurston and Zack Spencer had the lowest 3A boys scoring averages.
“They played consistently all year and kept us in there,” Wildcats coach Greg Schultz said. “There’s a legitimate 10 guys that could probably qualify” for state.
Boys teams will have a final tune-up at the Inland Empire tournament Monday at Spokane Country Club. The tourney typically draws a strong field with teams from the Tri-Cities, Eastern Washington and Idaho.
Mt. Spokane’s girls and Ferris’ boys wrapped up GSL championships last week at the final tournament at Sun Dance. The Wildcats won all five girls tournaments, including a seven-stroke victory over Lewis and Clark on Tuesday.
The Ferris boys finished with 48.5 out of 50 possible points. Mt. Spokane was second.
Ansett, Kersten tops
Ansett claimed player of the year honors. He shot 73 at Sun Dance to finish with a 70.75 scoring average. The All-GSL first team consisted of Mead’s Matthew Heckel (72.75) and Blake Ellingsen (74.5), Mt. Spokane’s Thurston (73.25) and Spencer (74.25) and Ferris’ Comes (74.75) and Chapman (76).
University’s Rieley Smith (76.25) and Tyler Burns (78.5), Gonzaga Prep’s Michael Brutocao (76.75), Mt. Spokane’s Austin Meng (78.25), Central Valley’s Jake Dringle (78.5) and LC’s Isaac Hall (78.5) made second team.
Lewis and Clark’s Sierra Kersten, who closed with a 76 at Sun Dance, edged Sierra Bezdicek for girls player of the year. Kersten finished with a 72.75 scoring average; Bezdicek 73.5. Players are allowed to drop the worst of five scores. Kersten dropped a 77. Bezdicek’s 75 at Sun Dance was her highest score.
“She hit the ball well the whole season,” LC’s Grafos said of Kersten. “She’s just solid.”
Joining Bezdicek on the All-GSL first team were Mead’s Lydia Kim (77), Gonzaga Prep’s Kelly Hooper (80.25), Lindsey Dotson (83) and Casey Mills (84), and Ferris’ Nicole Berg (82.5). Mead’s Emily Herbster (87) and Maddy Underwood (93), Mt. Spokane’s Brianna Jensen (89) and Hailey Warren (89.5), LC’s Kassidy Krug (90), University’s Katie Ochoa (90.5) and North Central’s Keara Rypien (93) made second team.
Pouttu, Bayley first
Kellogg’s Kaceelyn Pouttu fired a 73 for girls medalist honors at the Lakeland Invitational at Twin Lakes Village. Coeur d’Alene edged Kellogg by one shot for the team title.
Lakeland’s Derek Bayley (71) posted the lowest boys score at The Links. Coeur d’Alene, paced by Kyle Kaufman’s 72, won the team title.