Early GSL tournaments reveal tight competition
Two Greater Spokane League golf tournaments have produced a couple of early trends.
Mt. Spokane won both girls tourneys to establish itself at the top, but the Wildcats’ closest pursuer changed. Gonzaga Prep took second Tuesday at Wandermere, trimming 16 shots off its team score from a third-place finish behind Lewis and Clark in the opening event at Esmeralda.
Nine-time defending champion LC edged Mead by one stroke for third place. Through two events, Mt. Spokane has 20 points, followed by Gonzaga Prep and LC with 17. Mead is fourth with 14.
The boys’ race is closer at the top and figures to be more unpredictable from week to week. Ferris leads the way with 18.5 points after taking second Tuesday. Defending champion Mt. Spokane is second with 18 points, improving from third in the first tournament to first on its home course of Wandermere.
Then it gets muddled. Central Valley, which shared the top spot with Ferris at Esmeralda, slipped to sixth. The Bears are in third overall with 14.5 points, followed by Mead (14), Lewis and Clark (13) and Gonzaga Prep (12).
“I have three kids that have gone to state before so we should be pretty good,” Ferris coach Clarence Hough said. “And I have a few others that have played pretty good. It’s nice to have three kids that can win every week.”
Ferris only had two of those three Tuesday but still managed to finish second. Junior Eric Ansett and senior Camus Chapman both shot 1-over 71s. Tanner Comes wasn’t able to play because of flight delays returning from a junior tournament in Texas. Several teams were missing key players coming off spring break.
Sophomore Mike Almquist stepped into the Saxons’ lineup and shot a 76.
“Everybody has a couple of kids,” Hough said. “It’s really how the bottom of the lineup performs.”
Ansett is second in the individual standings, one shot behind Mead’s Matthew Heckel, who shot 70 at Esmeralda and 69 at Wandermere. Mt. Spokane’s Nick Thurston (72-73) and Mead’s Blake Ellingsen (74-72) round out the top four of those who played in both tourneys.
Ansett, a state qualifier last year, has “worked with strength and conditioning people and he’s hitting it farther and he’s very accurate,” Hough said.
Gonzaga Prep’s girls were within six shots of Mt. Spokane.
“We’re not going to beat them at Wandermere,” coach Phil Kuder said, “plus (the Wildcats’ Sierra) Bezdicek is one heck of a player and they have two or three others.”
Senior Lindsey Dotson led Gonzaga Prep with a 76 and a fifth-place finish. Freshman Kelly Hooper and junior Casey Mills tied for seventh with 83s.
“Lindsey’s putting is improving on a daily basis,” Kuder said. “Casey is a little drink of water but she can hit it with the big dogs.”
LC sophomore Sierra Kersten shot an even-par 71, extending her lead over Sierra Bezdicek (74) to nine strokes after two events. Mead’s Lydia Kim (74-75) trails Bezdicek by one shot. Ferris’ Nicole Berg (81-74) is fourth, followed by Dotson (86-76).
Vikings win in Moscow
Coeur d’Alene relied on balance to earn the title Tuesday at the Moscow Invitational . Kyle Kaufman shot a 76, John Duffin and Chase Lincoln added 77s and Stephen Roller a 79 as the Vikings finished five shots ahead of Clarkston. … Clarkston’s Joe Baldeck was medalist with a 73 at the University of Idaho course. Lakeland’s Derek Bayley was second with a 74. … Michael Baldeck’s 68 led Clarkston to the team title at the Great Northern League tournament at Deer Park on Wednesday.