Wildcats girls on verge of first title

The Mt. Spokane boys’ golf team last year won the Greater Spokane League title for the first time. It appears to be the girls’ turn this year.

The Wildcats have won each of the first four GSL tournaments and hold a five-point lead over Gonzaga Prep entering Tuesday’s finale at Sun Dance. Barring a major shakeup, Gonzaga Prep will finish second, nine-time defending champion Lewis and Clark third and Mead fourth.

“If we make it a sweep (Tuesday), there’ll be a big celebration,” Mt. Spokane coach Eleen Northcutt said. “We had a lot of lean years, years where I couldn’t put six players on the course. This is nice.”

Northcutt said the most rewarding part has been watching the players’ confidence grow and their support for each other.

“During practice they drill and drill on the shots they’re having trouble with, turning a negative into a positive,” she said. “Some of these girls were shooting in the 100s when they started as freshmen. Two of them really didn’t have a desire for golf and suddenly, almost overnight, all they wanted to do is play golf and that’s what it takes.”

Junior Sierra Bezdicek, the defending GSL player of the year, is battling Lewis and Clark sophomore Sierra Kersten for the individual title. Bezdicek, medalist at the last two events, is averaging 73.5. Kersten, medalist at the first two events, is at 73. The players’ four lowest scores will determine the champion. After Tuesday’s round, their highest score will be tossed out.

Bezdicek fired 73s at MeadowWood and Indian Canyon the last two weeks.

“She’s focused at practice and when she plays,” said Northcutt, who doesn’t have a senior on her team. “It’s fun to watch her hit the ball.”

Juniors Hailey Warren and Brianna Jensen are averaging 90.5. Freshman Cailin Spencer is at 94.75.

Vikings rolling

Coeur d’Alene’s boys and girls won titles at the Kraus Invitational at Avondale.

John Duffin’s 73 led four CdA scores in the 70s. The Vikings finished with 301, 30 strokes in front of Lewiston. CdA’s Chase Lincoln added a 74.

“I’ll take that any day,” coach Bryan Duncan said. “That’s a tough course.”

Freshman Emily Callahan was girls medalist with a 79. Coeur d’Alene shot 368, edging Kellogg by three strokes.

“I’m looking for great things from her over the years,” Duncan said. “She’s a four-sport varsity athlete (golf, basketball, cross country and track).”

Ferris nears crown

The Ferris boys are closing in on their first GSL title since winning back-to-back crowns in 2004-05. The Saxons have 38.5 points, followed by Mt. Spokane (35), Mead (29) and Lewis and Clark (28).

“The kids are playing at a really high level, the top-end kids of mine, and they’re really prepared,” coach Clarence Hough said. “They’ve pulled together and been a team.”

Saxons junior Eric Ansett, who leads the GSL with a 71.25 scoring average, was medalist with a 70 at Indian Canyon. Central Valley’s Michael Stansberry (73), Mt. Spokane’s Nick Thurston and University’s Rieley Smith (74s) and Lewis and Clark’s Isaac Hall (75) rounded out the top five.

“He’s hitting the ball so straight, great distance control,” Hough said of Ansett. “I think he’s about to break through and go low some place.”

Camus Chapman (76), Tanner Comes (77), Adam Martin (79) and Parker Ruehl (79) gave the Saxons five scores in the 70s.

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