The Kellogg boys golf team repeated as 3A State champions Tuesday with the same five players who brought home the hardware a year ago.
It was anything but easy, which became apparent when coach Simon Miller choked up recapping the journey.
The Wildcats encountered some rough patches during the season and on the front nine Tuesday at Twin Lakes Village in Rathdrum, but they finished strongly to pull away from Fruitland.
“This one was a lot of work,” Miller said. “Just being there for the kids, it was a lot of (work) off the golf course and seniors getting stuff together, working with parents and keeping the kids focused. They’re great kids, but we had a (stretch) there for a while where we needed some redirection.”
The Wildcats, who won by 66 shots in 2017, beat Fruitland by 14 strokes after trailing by one following Monday’s first round.
Kellogg, which shot 330 for a two-round total of 653, did it as a team. Senior Chase Jerome (78-77-155) took third, senior Tyler Gibbons (80-84-164) was sixth, sophomore Taylor Bush (82-84-166) was seventh and senior Cade Finlay (83-85-168) placed eighth.
Fruitland’s Jake O’Neil (75-76-151) edged teammate Jonas Bickenese (72-80-152) for the individual title and the Grizzlies’ Lucas Rynearson (77-83-160) took fourth. The Grizzlies only brought four players because of an injury. They counted a 204 for their fourth score in the five-count-four format.
“We talked on the bus when we got here, ‘You’re playing for each other,’ ” Miller said. “They went crazy on the back. They were hitting drivers. It’s not a long course on some of these holes, but Chase’s mom told me he took driver out of his bag and winked at them and proceeded to nuke it.”
Kellogg’s girls, led by third-place Kat Rauenhorst (89-85-174), took third. Buhl posted a 17-shot victory over Weiser for the team title. Buhl’s Kylie Crossland (85-81-166) edged Shelley’s Nicole Nelson by one stroke for the individual championship.
Vikings second in 5A boys
The Coeur d’Alene boys shot 306 for the second straight day – the team’s lowest two scores of the season – to finish second behind Rocky Mountain at Lewiston Country Club.
CdA’s Brayden Ogle (72-74-146) took third place and Jackson Davenport (77-76-153) was 10th. Rocky Mountain’s Carson Berry and Sam Tidd finished 1-2. Berry fired an 8-under 64 to move past Tidd, who carded a 67 on Monday.
Senior Cameron Flores, who shot 76-75-151 to take eighth, helped Post Falls to a sixth-place finish.
In 5A girls, Lake City’s Kyla Currie (83-84-167) was the top area finisher. Highland’s Payton Fehringer (68-75-143) cruised to the individual title while Eagle captured the team crown.
Hawks fourth in 4A
Lakeland claimed the fourth-place trophy from the 4A girls tournament at StoneRidge.
The Hawks’ Madeline Neff placed 10th. Moscow’s Makenna Rauch finished second, three shots behind Twin Falls’ Tayllore Ward.
Bishop Kelly’s Dick Roberts (67-70) won the boys title.
Twin Falls swept the boys and girls titles. The Bruins boys won by one shot, the girls by 109.
Lakeside girls fourth in 2A
Cole Valley Christian’s Jack Curran (68-73) won the title with a 3-under 141 by three strokes over Aberdeen’s Bo Knittel (76-68) at Circling Raven.
Cole Valley’s boys (316-318-634) and girls (387-399-786) claimed team championships.
Lakeside’s girls placed fourth. Soda Springs’ Tyler Erickson (72-75-147) earned the individual title.