Class A State Golf Tournament
Just when it looked as though the Whitefish boys golf team was going to upset the Havre boys, and dash any hopes the Ponies had of a repeat, Havre came crashing back and coasted to the win.
Havre was down by eight strokes after the first day of the tournament and had the difficult task of beating the host team on its own course. But the Ponies didn't panic and came back to win their second-consecutive championship by nine strokes.
"We beat them by a total of 17 strokes the second day," Havre coach Keith Evenson said. "The die was cast after Jason's (Johnstone) score was posted so he alone probably made up the difference of the eight strokes we were behind."
Johnstone, who shot a disappointing 86 the first day, came back to shoot an even-par 71 to lead Havre on day two.
"Nothing was seeming to work," Johnstone said of his first day. "I just told myself there's nothing you can do about it now. I just really really focused on trying to make myself play better. I told myself I wasn't going to let my team down two days in a row."
And he didnt. Golfing in his last tournament as a Blue Pony, the senior one of four on the Havre team made the most of the situation and carried his team to a repeat.
"He's too good of a player to have two bad days," Evenson said of Johnstone. "His posting that even par score was really really important to us."
Defending state champion, Nick Obie, finished in third to lead the individual placers for Havre. Obie shot a 75 the first day and a 76 the second for a 151. Tied with Johnstone was senior Troy Toner, who shot a 76 on day one and an 81 on day two, also for a 157 and all-state honors.
Senior Kevin Harada fired a 76 on the first day and an 82 on the second day for a 158. Sophomore Trent Normandy shot an 82 on the first day and a 79 on the second for two day total of 161. Harada and Normandy also earned all-state honors, Evenson said.
"We didn't play exceptionally good," Evenson said. "We just played better than anybody else."
When asked if winning the state title the second time around was better than the first, Evenson said: "I think (this one) was more exciting because we had to come from behind. It's always nice when you have that many seniors to go out with a win."
Said Johnstone: "A state championship in general is just fantastic. The second one did a good job of solidifying our place in Havre High history and in state history. Just to win it is great."
The Havre girls were without a doubt the surprise of the tournament. Shortly after his girls team narrowly won a trip to the state tournament, Evenson said he would be happy with a finish in the top eight for the girls at state. They placed third and missed second place by just one stroke.
"That was just totally unexpected," Evenson said. "The girls were a real pleasant surprise."
Senior Julie Wagner led the team with a second-place finish. Wagner posted a 93 on the first day and an 86 on the second for a 179. Shannon Newth fired a 108 on the second day and Amanda Brock followed with a 105 to lead the girls to the trophy.
"(Julie) played well and I was very, very pleased," Evenson said. "(Shannon) had a really good tournament. (Amanda) had a great second day. She really improved her game the second day."
The following are the results from the State A Golf Tournament in Whitefish:
Billings Central 642
Butte Central 699
Miles City 729
Drew Krause, Whitefish, 68-75-143
Kiel Duckworth, Polson, 73-72-145
Nick Obie, Havre, 75-76-151
Riely Tolstedt, Billings Central, 79-73-152
Tyson Johnson, Stevensville, 77-78-155
Dan Agnew, Bigfork, 78-78-156
Jayme Duty, Whitefish, 76-81-157
Conor Keenan, Bigfork, 76-81-157
Troy Toner, Havre, 76-81-157
Mitch Wilbert, Billings Central, 78-79-157
Jason Johnstone, Havre, 86-71-157
Other Havre finishers: Kevin Harada 76-82-158; Trent Normandy 82-79-161.
Rachel Warren, Billings Central, 87-83-170
Julie Wagner, Havre, 93-86-179
Ali Bethel, Stevensville, 93-94-187
Andrea Griffith, Miles City, 93-94-187
Erin Wallace, Polson, 96-91-187
Emily Maag, Colstrip, 99-89-188
Jaylin Morasco, Glendive, 97-93-190
Margaux Alvarez, Stevensville, 103-87-190
Haily Goosey, Hamilton, 101-94-195
Kelsey Phillips, Belgrade, 100-95-195
Other Havre finishers: Shannon Newth 112-108-220; Amanda Brock 123-105-228; Katie Miller 103-127-230; Heather Bowker 124-119-243.