By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsemail@example.com
Coming into Friday's first round of the Class A state golf tournament in Sidney, both of the Havre High golf teams knew they were up against some stiff competition. The boys tournament featured some of the top individual golfers in the state as well as the undefeated Whitefish Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, the girls tournament featured three very deep teams in Polson, Whitefish and Miles City. In the end, the depth in both fields was too much for the Ponies to overcome, as both squads managed fifth-place finishes at the conclusion of the 36-hole tournament at the Sidney Country Club.
After the first day of competition, the HHS girls team was in sitting in seventh place. The Pony girls rallied with a solid overall second day, thanks to the continued stellar play of senior Brittany Job and sophomore Ali Ward.
The Ponies finished the tournament with a score of 828, as they bettered themselves by 11 strokes after the first day. Miles City torched the field on the second day, to finish with a 746 total and capture the girls Class A state championship. Miles City finishing eight strokes ahead of second-place Polson. Whitefish finished a distant third.
"I thought that where the girls finished this weekend was great for them," said HHS head coach Karla Bolken. "They all played very consistent both days, and they did a really good job to move up from seventh to fifth on the second day."
Individually, the Ponies got two players into the top 10, which qualifies a player for all-state honors.
Job led the way for Havre with a 177 for two days. She shot an 88 on the opening day and followed that up with an 89. Ward was also strong for Havre. She fired an 85 on the second day of the tournament to go along with a 97 in the first round, giving her a two-day total of 182, which put her in seventh place overall.
"Brittany played really well like she has done all season. She definitely had a great year," Bolken said. "Ali also had a great second day. We were thrilled for both of them to place so well in this tournament."
Freshman Stacy Sheppard also had a very strong first state tournament. Sheppard shot a 105 in the first round and followed that up with a 110 on the second day. Fellow freshman Hailey McLain stayed consistent as well. She shot consecutive 127s in her first state tournament.
"I thought this was a very good finish for our girls team," Bolken said. "We only had four girls competing and they all played well. I am really happy with the season they had."
While the HHS girls moved up on the field on Saturday, the same could not be said for the Havre High boys team, which also finished fifth. The Ponies were in fifth after the first day but were only eight strokes behind the second-place team. No HHS golfer bettered his score on the second day, however, and the Ponies never made up any ground on the rest of the field.
The tournament was captured by Whitefish as expected. The Bulldogs finished first in every tournament they competed in this season. Havre finished with a two-day total of 686.
"We were definitely disappointed, and I know the boys are disappointed in themselves," Bolken said. "We were in good shape after the first day, but everyone else played better on the second day and we didn't. That's just golf. The kids played hard, but things just didn't go our way this weekend."
Havre was paced by senior Ben Erickson, who wrapped up his HHS career with a pair of 83s to finish with a two-day total of 166. Sophomore Matt Hedstrom fired a pair of 85s to finish at 170. Anthony Wirtzberger finished with a two-day total of 172, including an opening-round 83. Sophomore Brandon Job shot a 178, and fellow sophomore Sean Strand shot 197 for 36 holes.
CLASS A GOLF
Team scores - Whitefish 304-317-621, Billings Central 336-307-643, Belgrade 332-339-671, Bigfork 331-348-679, Havre 339-347-686 Libby 340-350-690, Laurel 356-346-702, Miles City 355-349-704, Dillon 351-354-705, Anaconda 362-357-719, Lewistown 383-356-739, Frenchtown 384-378-762.
Top 10 individuals
Chris Goldan, Belgrade 73-77-150
Rob Fust, Billings Central 79-72-151
TJ Stevenson, Miles City 75-77-152
Spencer Hughes, Whitefish 74-80-154
Derek Denning, Whitefish 76-79-155
Chris Richter, Bigfork 78-77-155
Matt Krause, Whitefish 80-76-156
Tyler Holtet, Whitefish 74-82-156
Jim Mee, Libby 77-80-157
Jeff Allen, Dillon 79-79-158
Whitefish (304-317-621) - Spencer Hughes 74-80-154, Tyler Holtet 74-82-156, Derek Denning 76-79-155, Matt Krause 80-76-156, Sam Krause 83-82-165.
Billings Central (336-307-643) - Rob Fust 79-72-151, Eamon Clancy 85-73-158, Sean Clancy 86-79-165, Andrew Moorhead 86-83-169, Brady Wilbert 95-88-183.
Belgrade (332-339-671) - Chris Goldan 73-77-150, Joel Reichert 83-89-172, Tony Nelson 86-94-180, Jeff Prickett 91-79-170, Brandon Harvey 90-99-189.
Bigfork (331-348-679) - Chris Richter 78-77-155, Chance Keller 84-88-172, Nathan Roessmann 84-NS, Robert Walters 85-83-168, Owen Roberts 92-100-192.
Havre (339-347-686) - Ben Erickson 83-83-166, Anthony Wirtzberger 83-89-172, Matt Hedstrom 85-85-170, Brandon Job 88-90-178, Sean Strand 95-102-197.
Libby (340-350-690) - Jim Mee 77-80-157, Tyler Wilkonski 85-83-168, Rory Hendrickson 88-98-188, Wyatt Crismore 90-89-179, Beau Thompson 103-107-210.
Laurel (356-346-702) - Jordan Michael 83-79-162, Trevor Thurman 88-92-180, Brett Smith 90-86-176, Nic Tikalsky 95-95-190, Eddy Nelson 108-89-197.
Miles City (355-349-704) - TJ Stevenson 75-77-152, Curtis Dickinson 91-82-173, Ryan Howe 96-90-186, Chaz Hedge 93-100-193, Pete Markuson 96-102-198.
Dillon (351-355-705) - Jeff Allen 79-79-158, Marko Stanisich 89, Shane Cottom 91-89-191, Jason Schumacher 92-102-194, Chase Godecke 99-119-218.
Anaconda (362-357-719) - Zane Kenny 88, Paul Johns 92-84-176, Cory Donahue 92-89-191, Pete Reisenauer 90-105-195, Allen Johnson 99-1808-207.
Lewistown (383-356-739) - Kyle Whitcraft 96-85-181, Matt Gruener 94-88-182, Steve Gruener 96-89-185, Justin Cooler 97-94-191, Mitch Braine 99-96-195.
Frenchtown (384-378-762) - Tyler Kuhn 82-80-162, Casey Moen 94-101-195, Chad Hansen 101-95-196, Todd Roullier 107-102-209.
Team scores - Miles City 387-359-746, Polson 368-386-754, Whitefish 384-379-763, Billings Central 395-398-793, Havre 417-411-828, Hamilton 411-423-834, Anaconda 414-432-846, Colstrip 430-427-857, Livingston 434-439-873, Libby 437-444-881, Lewistown 465-462-927, Frenchtown 484-479-963.
Top 10 individuals
Jen Orchard, Polson 82-82-164
Brittany Hedge, Miles City 82-83-165
Maresa Jenson, Whitefish 80-92-172
Brittany Job, Havre 88-89-177
Rose Stepanek, Billings Central 90-92-182
Teri Rebo, Libby 93-89-182
Ali Ward, Havre 97-85-183
Kristine Samsel, Polson 88-96-184
Chelsea Ray, Whitefish 95-90-185
Alex Micklewright, Whitefish 94-92-186
Miles City (387-359-746) - Brittany Hedge 82-83-164, Whitney Wankel 98-92-190, Andrea Flotkoetter 99-92-191, Carmen Fleming 108-101-209-1, LaRae Hartman 108-92-200.
Polson (368-386-754) - Jennifer Orchard 82-82-164, Kristine Samsel 88-96-184, Sami Beaver 98-104-202, Stephanie Rowold 100-104-204, Whitney Pitts 108-104-212.
Whitefish (384-379-763) - Maresa Jenson 80-92-172, Alex Micklewright 94-92-186, Chelsea Ray 95-90-185, Porsche Erekson 115-105-220, Hillary Johann 119-119-238.
Billings Central (395-398-793) - Rose Stepanek 90-92-182, Jill Rigg 97-97-194, Terese Thelen 97-98-195, Rachel Turley 111-111-222, Jess Walker 114-113-227.
Havre (417-411-828) - Brittany Job 88-89-177, Ali Ward 97-85-183, Stacey Sheppard 105-110-215, Hailey McLain 127-127-254.
Hamilton (411-423-834) - Amy Nordeen 93-102-195, Chenelle Smith 105-116-221, Amanda Richie 106-105-211, Kristen Farley 107-100-207.
Anaconda (414-432-846) - Lindsay Laughlin 99-102-201, Nicole Miller 100-108-208, Amy Eubanks 105-108-213, April Capp 110-114-224, Erin Heaney 130-114-244.
Colstrip (430-427-857) - Ashley Kroll 92-97-189, Channing Olson 108-109-217, Kristen Donisthorpe 117-106-223, Sammie Holzwarth 113-115-228
Livingston (434-439-873) - Kynsi Berg 98, Hanna Barney 102, Caitlyn Pace 121-106-227, Chelsey McNamara 113-126-239.
Libby (437-444-881) - Teri Rebo 93-89-182, Lea Castor 100-103-203, Korey Kulbeck 119-124-243, Cassy Sargent 125-139-264, Shawn Auge 158-128-286.
Lewistown (465-462-927) - Shea Downey 102, Kim Waldner-Reid 103, Jordan Butcher 116-128-244, Collen Rau 144-138-272, Justice Kimmel 124-WD.
Frenchtown (484-479-963) - Kristen Kreyenhagen 103, Akasha Galstad 124-113-237, Danielle Davis 122-130-252, Amanda Hawkins 135-122-257.