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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Golf notes: Gonzaga Prep boys off to dominant start in GSL

It’s been a while since Gonzaga Prep’s last Greater Spokane League boys’ golf title.

“Twelve years,” co-coach Phil Kuder guessed, “if not even a little longer.”

“I think 2004,” co-coach Dennis Dougherty suggested.

Turns out it was 2002, according to Dougherty’s research. It appears G-Prep wants to update the record book. The Bullpups have won the first two of five GSL tournaments by 16 and five shots, respectively, over second-place Mead. Central Valley, Lewis and Clark and Mt. Spokane are tied for third.

“We have some good experience at the top end and this young kid (Jack Plaster) is a pretty good player,” Kuder said. “It’s a good, solid group. We have to compete for our positions and it’s pretty healthy competition when they’re all playing against each other.”

The Bullpups are led by seniors Zachary Courson, Michael Brutocao, Patrick Parelius and Bryce Rieckers, junior Joe Hayford and the freshman Plaster. Brutocao, a two-time state qualifier, and Plaster were co-medalists at the first GSL tourney at Qualchan with 76s.

Courson shared second with LC’s Isaac Hall earlier this week at Hangman Valley, five shots behind Ferris’ Tanner Comes’ 71. Courson, Hall, Central Valley’s Jake Dringle, Mead’s Blake Ellingsen, Shadle Park’s Mitchell Weipert and University’s Nicholas Dixon are the only players to shoot in the 70s in the first two GSL events. Dringle carded a 66 at Liberty Lake on Thursday.

Mead closed the gap on G-Prep at Wednesday’s GSL tourney. Ellingsen shot a 79 and four teammates were between 83 and 86.

“At least we made you look,” Panthers coach Paul Peters joked with Kuder.

Ellingsen fired a 65 and Hall shot a 67 at Dominion Meadows in late March.

“He’s legitimate, experienced,” Peters said of Ellingsen. “After that we’re pretty young but they’ve put a lot of time into their games.”

Comes has posted several low numbers, including 68 at Manito, 70 at Liberty Lake and 71 at Palouse Ridge.

“He can really play,” Kuder said.

The 4A state tournament will be at Qualchan on May 27 and 28.

On the girls’ side, Lewis and Clark won the first GSL tournament by 27 shots and the second by 31. The Tigers are led by lone senior Sierra Kersten, the 2013 state champ and runner-up last year. The Stanford-bound Kersten shot 77 at Qualchan and 76 at Hangman Valley.

“She’s an incredible young lady,” coach Michelle Grafos said. “She’s striking the ball better than ever, her putts just haven’t dropped lately.”

G-Prep, led by junior Kelly Hooper, placed second in both GSL events.

Mead senior Lydia Kim was medalist with a 73 at Hangman Valley. Kim, who has signed with St. John’s, and Hooper shot 73s at the Big East Invitational at Wandermere on Friday with Kim winning a playoff for medalist honors.

“She’s had a great start to the season,” Panthers coach Keith Ross said.

The 4A state tournament will be held at Indian Canyon.

Lewiston and Post Falls are the favorites in the Inland Empire League boys’ race. The Bengals, led by Ben Trigsted, edged the Trojans at Moscow, Post Falls and Palouse Ridge tournaments. Post Falls topped the Bengals at the Lakeland Invitational.

The Trojans’ are led by Drew Harris and Joseph Glenn. Harris’ scores include 70 at Prairie Falls, 74 at the Links and 72 at CdA Public. Glenn fired 72s at Palouse Ridge and the Highlands and 73 at Prairie Falls.

“They’re both very committed to the game and they’ve improved tremendously,” Post Falls coach Maria Kostina said. “We have a deep team and they’re all going back and forth trying to get in the top five.”

The IEL receives an extra berth to state because the 5A tournament is at Avondale on May 11-12, meaning the top three teams will qualify.

Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene pace the IEL girls. The Bengals’ Sammi Jo Spring, who has signed with Lewis-Clark State College, has been medalist at the University of Idaho G.C. with a 75, Palouse Ridge with a 76 and Twin Lakes with a 79.

Coeur d’Alene, led by Emily Callahan, beat the Bengals at the Lakeland Invitational and Post Falls Invitational.

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