Havre Daily News Sports
The Havre High boys golf team capped off a tremendous season by finishing third at the Class A state golf meet in Whitefish on Friday. For the Ponies, it was a return to prominence in Class A golf after a brief hiatus.
The HHS girls, however, are still trying to find their way into a spot among the state's elite golf teams. After winning their second consecutive Central A divisional championship in Butte two weeks ago, the Ponies wound up a disappointing eighth place in Whitefish.
Still, the combined success of the teams led Havre High head coach Karla Bolken to praise her golfers for a great season.
”I think this season has been a tremendous success for both teams,“ Bolken said. ”Winning a trophy at state is always a great accomplishment, and the boys had a really consistent year.
”Our girls team also had a great season, and the main thing is they improved so much every week. They are young and the future looks really good for all of them.“
The HHS boys didn't really have to sweat anything out on the Whitefish North Course on Friday afternoon. The Ponies were in third place after Thursday's first round, and that is exactly where they stayed. Fourth-place Ronan didn't make a charge at Havre and the Ponies never threatened second-place Billings Central.
Havre High finished the tournament with a two-day total of 675. As expected, the Whitefish Bulldogs captured their third straight Class A state championship with a score of 609. Billings Central finished a distant second at 648, but well out in front of the third-place Ponies.
”I told the kids that any time you win a trophy at state, it is a tremendous accomplishment, and this one is very special,“ Bolken said. ”But at the same time, I don't think any of our boys were completely happy with how they played.
”They feel like their scores could have been much better,“ Bolken added.
Junior Matt Hedstrom continued his fine postseason play by leading HHS in scoring for the second straight week. Hedstrom backed up his first-day score of 81 with a solid 82 on Friday. Hedstrom's 36-hole total of 183 put him in 13th place overall, just missing out on all-state honors.
”I am really happy for Matt,“ Bolken said. ”He played some really good golf the last two weeks.
”Most of the season Branden (Job) and Anthony (Wirtzberger) have been our top scorers,“ she added. ”But Matt has worked very hard on his game all season and he really stepped up and had a great state tournament.“
Wirtzberger finished the tournament with an 84 on Friday, and Job came in with an 87. Marshall Cartwright and Sean Strand rounded out the Havre High scoring with 87 and 86, respectively.
As the Havre High boys found state tournament glory on Friday, the HHS girls' difficulties on the Whitefish South Course continued. The Ponies struggled during Thursday's opening round and that trend continued for most of Friday. Individually, Havre's scores improved on the second day, but not enough for the Ponies to improve their standing in the tournament.
Havre finished the state tournament with a two-day total score of 881. The tournament was dominated by Polson. The Pirates unseated defending champion Whitefish by 25 strokes. The Bulldogs finished second and Miles City was third.
Individually, the Ponies were once again led by junior Ali Ward. Ward shot a 93 on Friday, which put her in 11th place. That finish meant Ward just missed out on repeating her all-state performance of a year ago.
”Ali was very disappointed and we are disappointed for her,“ Bolken said. ”It was a tough two days for all of our girls. They had a lot of trouble with the greens on the South Course.
”But Ali had a great season and she will be back to have another great season next year,“ Bolken added.
The rest of the HHS girls improved their scores on Friday. Sophomore Stacey Sheppard bounced back from a 112 on Thursday to shoot 103 in her final 18 holes. Fellow sophomore Haley McLain also shot 112 on Friday, five strokes better than her first 18 holes. Freshman Tabitha Beck's first state tournament came to an end with a 121 on Friday, 10 strokes better than her opening-day round. ”It was a disappointing state tournament for our girls team,“ Bolken added. ”But there is no reason that that should overshadow the great season that they had.
”The girls improved every week and they won another divisional championship,“ she added. ”I think it was a very successful year for them.“
Final team scores - Whitefish 609, Billings Central 648, Havre 675, Ronan 686, Polson 693, Belgrade 698, Anaconda 714, Dillon 718, Butte Central 720, Sidney 727, Miles City 734, Frenchtown 736.
Top 20 individuals - Chris Conners, Whitefish, 149; Chris Richter, Bigfork, 151; Matt Krause, Whitefish, 152; Sam Krause, Whitefish, 154; William Foust, Ronan, 155; Derek Denning, Whitefish, 155; Rob Fust, Billings Central, 155; Eamon Clancy, Billings Central, 159; Dan Markovich, Butte Central, 159; Tyler Kuhn, Frenchtown, 159; Jim Mee, Libby, 160; Jordan Michael, Laurel, 161; Tyler Holtet, Whitefish, 162; Matt Hedstrom, Havre, 163; Andrew Moorhead, Billings Central, 164; Tyler Wilsonski, Libby, 164; Josh Grenier, Ronan, 164; David Stephens, Stevensville, 167; Casey Moen, Frenchtown, 167.
Havre High Individuals:
Matt Hedstrom 81-82-163, Anthony Wirtzberger 84-85-169, Branden Job 84-87-171, Sean Strand 86-87-173.
Final team scores - Polson 721, Whitefish 746, Miles City 808, Livingston 827, Billings Central 834, Anaconda 835, Glendive 864, Havre 881, Ronan 892, Browning 899, Frenchtown 945, Hamilton 957.
Top 20 individuals - Amy Nordeen, Hamilton, 163 (won in playoff); Jen Orchard, Polson, 163; Rose Stepanek, Billings Central, 165; Maresa Jenson, Whitefish, 166; Brittany Hedge, Miles City, 171; Chelsea Ray, Whitefish, 174; Kristine Samsel, Polson, 176; Shayla Couture, Ronan, 180; Teri Rebo, Libby, 180; Stephanie Rowold, Polson, 182; Ali Ward, Havre, 185; Hanna Barney, Livingston, 186; Kynsi Berg, Livingston, 187; Alex Micklewright, Whitefish, 188; Kalli Stanhope, Glendive, 191; Lindsay Laughlin, Anaconda, 195; Jessie Scott, Browning, 197; Chandra Torgerson, Sidney, 198.
Havre High Individuals:
Ali Ward 92-93-185, Stacey Sheppard 112-103-215, Haley Mclain 117-112-229, Tabitha Beck 131-121-252.