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Mt. Spokane off to strong start in 3A golf

The Mt. Spokane boys golf team did what it has been doing for most of the season.

The Wildcats bunched six players between 73 and 77, led by 73s from senior Tye Morrison and junior Nick Thurston, in the first round of the District 8 3A Tournament on Tuesday at Downriver.

Mt. Spokane is in position to grab all five of the district’s state tournament berths. The top 16 scores advanced to the final round of districts at MeadowWood on Tuesday.

“It’s fairly typical of the season,” said coach Greg Schultz, whose team also learned it won the 3A academic state championship. “Nick and Tye have been right there. Tyler McQuilkin’s (74) is huge.”

In the girls tourney, Mt. Spokane senior Savana Bezdicek shot a 1-over 74. Younger sister Sierra, the Greater Spokane League player of the year, was next at 83, followed by University’s Katie Ochoa (90) and Mt. Spokane’s Hailey Warren (91). North Central’s Madison McHenry-Kroetch and Mt. Spokane’s Makenzie Jones both shot 93s. Six state berths will be determined at MeadowWood on Tuesday.

“The driver is definitely something I’ve been working on lately and it was really good on the front side,” Savana Bezdicek said.

Morrison turned in 2-under and then endured a four-hole stretch of double bogey, triple bogey, par and double bogey. He recovered with three consecutive birdies and another on No. 18.

“It was kind of all over the place, but hey, I’ll take it,” said Morrison, who rebounded from hitting his drive out of bounds on No. 10 and taking an unplayable lie on No. 11.

Thurston was 2-under after nine holes and he also sent his tee shot on No. 10 out of bounds. After taking a triple bogey, Thurston steadied himself, playing the last eight holes 1-over.

“I’ve worked really hard to get my mental game back to a good place and I’m happy with the way I’ve recovered from bad holes lately,” he said.

Mt. Spokane’s Zack Spencer shot 76 and Austin Billeter and Marcus Bolam added 77s. The Wildcats’ closest pursuers are University’s Rieley Smith (79) and Adrian Orndorff (80) and Shadle Park’s David Beck (82).

Savana Bezdicek made nice chips to save par on No. 16 and No. 17.

“Chipping is my favorite,” she said. “My chipping got better throughout the round.”

Mt. Spokane figures to make another run at the state title after finishing second last year.

“What I like about these girls is they have a genuine desire to practice, to play golf, and they really want to play well,” coach Eleen Northcutt said.