KEARNEY — After managing to remain in contention by surviving a wind-dominated first round at the opening day of the Class B state tournament, the Scottsbluff boys golf team knew the kind of score it would take to hopefully climb up the leader board during Wednesday’s final round at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course in Kearney.
The Bearcats came through with just what they needed by shooting the second-lowest round of the tournament. However, Scottsbluff didn’t get the help it also needed as most of the front-running teams above the Bearcats took advantage of the improved weather conditions to lower their scores as well.
The second-day results left Scottsbluff in fifth place in the final team standings with a two-round score of 668. Scottsbluff’s 325, which was 18 shots better than Tuesday’s 343, was the second-lowest score posted by the 12-team field.
“It was a pretty good day really,” Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein said. “Most all of them improved quite a bit. The guys just finished off their rounds a little better today and nobody really exploded or had any horrible holes coming in. It was a much better day.”
Norris, the overnight leader, fired a tournament-low 318 in Wednesday’s final round to capture the team championship with a 649. Omaha Skutt Catholic finished runner-up with 661, McCook was third with 663 and Aurora placed fourth with 664.
Klein said the Bearcats did as much as they could to make a strong run at the top, but the deficit was just too much to make up.
“Our scores were much better today, but the teams ahead of us each had better scores than they did in the first round too,” Klein said. “When you have to make up that many strokes, it gets tough because somebody has to blow up. You can only do so much yourself. We improved 18 shots. You can’t ask for much more than that from one day to the next. The other teams just hung in there and didn’t back up.”
Juniors Andrew Holloway and Michael Hadden led Scottsbluff as individual medalists.
Holloway, who placed first at state as a freshman and finished seventh last year, added another medal to his collection with a third-place finish. He totaled a 154 after carding rounds of 78 and 76.
“Andrew played fine,” Klein said. “He wants to win every tournament he plays in. But third is still a good finish.”
Hadden rebounded from a tough opening round of 86 to shoot 78 and end in a tie for 12th with a two-day score of 164. He had three birdies in the final round.
“Michael just had one bad hole in the first round,” Klein said. “If he pars that hole he made 13 on [Tuesday], he finishes fourth. It’s just one of those deals. I was glad to see him come back and win a medal.”
Sidney junior Taylor Barton also medaled in a tie for 12th. Barton shot rounds of 87 and 77 to also finish with a 164.
Norris senior Max Rudder won the individual title with a 147. McCook’s Sean Backer was runner-up with a 148.
The biggest improvement by any of the Bearcats from day one to day two was from freshman Koy Potthoff. After opening with a 96, Potthoff knocked off 14 shots in a round of 82 on Wednesday. He finished in a tie for 46th with a 178.
“He had a good day,” Klein said of Potthoff. “In fact, he made eight on the second to his last hole or he was going to break 80. He’s capable of that. He’s gotten better this year and he’s the type of kid who will work at it this summer. He’ll improve a lot more. I’m expecting good things from him next year.”
Klein also praised the play of Curtis Welsh and Grant Lacey. Welsh finished in a tie for 31st with a 172 and Lacey shot a 193 to finish 66th.
The Bearcats were the youngest team competing in this week’s state field. Lacey is the only senior on Scottsbluff’s roster.
“Most of these guys will all be back next year,” Klein said. “We also have a couple eighth graders coming up who can shoot in the low 80s and high 70s right now. It’s going to be interesting to see who breaks through and comes on next year.”
Sidney also had a much better performance in Wednesday’s final round. After shooting a 363 in the opening round, the Red Raiders bounced back with a 328 to finish eighth in the team race with a 691.
Barton was the only Raider to place in medalist contention.
Austin Miller, who won a district championship last week, finished in a tie for 19th with a 165. Also for Sidney, Ryan Lococo ended in a tie for 35th with a 173, Conor Lococo finished in a tie for 60th with a 189 and Brendon Brown was 67th with a 196.
Competing individually in the tournament was Gering senior Colton Keller. After opening with a 93, Keller enjoyed a much-improved performance with a final-round score of 85. He finished in a tie for 46th with a 178 total.
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Final Team Scoring
Norris 649, Omaha Skutt Catholic 661, McCook 663, Aurora 664, Scottsbluff 668, Blair 681, Beatrice 685, Sidney 691, Adams Central 695, Omaha Gross Catholic 715, Syracuse 729, York 730
1, Max Rudder, Norris, 147. 2, Sean Backer, McCook, 148. 3, Andrew Holloway, Scottsbluff, 154. 4, Tanner Johnson, Broken Bow, 157. 4, Konnor Oltman, Norris, 157. 6, Michael Wilhelm, Omaha Skutt, 159. 6, Mitchell Oswald, Aurora, 159. 8, Harrison Agena, Syracuse, 160. 9, Lucas Grossnicklaus, Aurora, 162. 10, Samuel Morse, Columbus Lakeview, 163. 10, Mackenzie Alspaugh, McCook, 163. 12, Ian McGowan, Crete, 164. 12, Brady Barrett, Adams Central, 164. 12, Alan Goodenberger, McCook, 164. 12, Tommy Hamilton, Omaha Gross, 164. 12, Zachary Lundak, Norris, 164. 12, Michael Hadden, Scottsbluff, 164. 12, Taylor Barton, Sidney, 164.
Local Individual Team Scoring
Scottsbluff — Andrew Holloway, 78-76-154; Michael Hadden, 86-78-164; Curtis Welsh, 83-89-172; Koy Potthoff, 96-82-178; Grant Lacey, 98-95-193. Sidney — Taylor Barton, 87-77-164; Austin Miller, 87-78-165; Ryan Lococo, 89-84-173; Conor Lococo, 100-89-189; Brendon Brown, 102-94-196. Gering — Colton Keller, 93-85-178.
Local golfers compete in Class D
NORTH PLATTE — A pair of local golfers finished their seasons competing individually at the Class D state tournament on Wednesday at the River’s Edge Golf Club in North Platte.
Crawford freshman Colton Micheel placed 57th with a two-day total of 187, while Hay Springs junior Regg Strotheide finished 81st with a 203.
Micheel shot rounds of 94 and 93.
Strotheide tallied rounds of 100 and 103.
Elwood’s Shad Wellmann won the individual title with a 152.
The Class D team championship was won by Heartland-Lutheran with a 684. Bancroft-Rosalie finished runner-up with a 699.