Havre Daily News Sports
For The second time three years the Havre High boys and girls golf teams brought home dual championships from the Central A divisional golf tournament. On Saturday in Butte, the HHS boys edged Butte Central for the Central A boys title and the HHS girls successfully defended their 2004 title by holding off Livingston.
"It is very nice to win both trophies," said an elated HHS head coach Carla Bolken. "I think it is something that all of these kids are very proud of. Both teams played really well this weekend."
Indeed, the Havre High girls team was able to distance itself from the field thanks to a huge effort from all four of its players. Havre finished with a team score of 375, while second-place Livingston finished with a score of 398. The Blue Ponies had three players finish in the top four led by junior Ali Ward.
Ward was the favorite coming in to capture medalist honors at the Butte Country Club and she didn't disappoint, firing a solid 83 to win the tournament by two strokes over Kynsi Berg of Livingston.
"I'm thrilled for Ali," Bolken said. "She went out on Friday and played a great practice round and she duplicated it on Saturday by playing really good golf."
Ward wasn't the only HHS girl who gave the Ponies a lift. Sophomores Stacey Sheppard and Haley McLain both played some of their best golf of the season at exactly the perfect time. Sheppard shot a 92, which was good enough for third place individually. McLain also posted a great round of 94, which brought her in right behind her teammate in fourth place. Freshman Tabitha Beck, playing in her first Central A divisional tournament, shot a very respectable 106, good enough for 10th place.
"All three of those girls really stepped up and played some good golf," Bolken said. "As a team we were very consistent and we knew that is what it would take to win the tournament.
"I know the girls have to feel really good about this championship," she added. "It is very special for this team to go out and accomplish a goal like this."
Meanwhile, the HHS boys went into the tournament heavily favored to walk away with a divisional championship. But things didn't quite work out that way. There were some tense moments as the scores started to come in. The Ponies were very close with Butte Central, but in the end Havre edged the host Maroons by eight strokes, 322 to 330.
Individually, Havre placed all five of its boys players in the top 15. Junior Matt Hedstrom led the Havre contingent with a 78, which was good enough for second place.
"Matt played very well and I'm really happy for him," Bolken said. "Some of our boys had some trouble putting and figuring out the greens. But Matt stepped up and had a really good day.
Anthony Wirtzberger finished the day with a 79 which put him in a tie for third place. Brandon Job finished just behind Wirtzberger with a round of 80. Marshall Cartwright was 13th with an 85 and senior Sean Strand finished 15th with an 88.
"This was a nice win for our boys team," Bolken said. "There were some tense moments, because after three players were in the clubhouse we were tied with Butte Central. But our kids stepped up and played solid golf as a team and I know the boys team is excited about winning this trophy after we couldn't do it last year."
Both the HHS boys and girls golf teams will now have three days to prepare for Thursday's opening round of the Class A state tournament at Whitefish Lakes Golf Club in Whitefish.
CENTRAL A DIVISIONAL
Boys Team results: Havre 322, Butte Central 330, Belgrade 339, Lewistown 352, Livingston 356, Browning 411.
Top 15 individuals 1, Dan Markovich, BC, 76; 2, Matt Hedstrom, Hav., 78; 3-tie, Anthony Wirtzberger, Hav., and Adam Axelson, BC, 79; 5-tie, Brandon Job, Hav., and Matt Gruener, Lew., 80; 7, Buster Hansen, BC, 82; 8-tie, Tony Nelson, Bel., and Brandon Harvey, Bel., 83; 10-tie, Tony Erickson, Bel., and Kyle Whitcraft, Lew., and Steve Gruener, Lew., 84; 13, Marshall Cartwright, Hav., 85; 14, Tom Meyer, Liv., 86; 15, Sean Strand, Hav., 88.
HAVRE (322) - Hedstrom 78, Wirtzberger 79, Job 80, Cartwright 85, Stand 88.
BUTTE CENTRAL (330) - Markovich 76, Axelson 79, Hansen 82, Sean O'Leary 93, Mario Bartoletti 102.
BELGRADE (339) - Nelson 83, Harvey 83, Erickson 84, Wade Fellin 89, LJ Clayton 90.
LEWISTOWN (352) - M. Gruener 80, Whitcraft 84, S. Gruener 84, Randy Hartman 104.
LIVINGSTON (356) - Meyer 86, Matt Cissel 90, Ben Lyman 90, TJ Yost 90, Johnny Kaiser 92.
BROWNING (411) - Lakota Weatherwax 90, TC Tall Bull 103, Allan Bull Plume 105, Andrew Spotted Wolf 113, Clayton Juneau 116.
Girls Team results: Havre 375, Livingston 398, Browning 444, Lewistown 448.
Top 15 individuals 1, Ali Ward, Hav., 83; 2, Kynsi Berg, Liv., 85; 3, Stacey Sheppard, Hav., 92; 4, Hailey McLain, Hav., 94; 5, Kim Waldner, Lew., 96; 6, Hanna Barney, Liv., 97; 7, Jessie Scott, Bro., 101; 8, Chelsea McNamara, Liv., 102; 9, Jordan Butcher, 104; 10, Tabitha Beck, Hav., 106; 11-tie, Emily Lichte, Bel., 109 and Irene Harrison, Bro., 109; 13, Glenna Upham, Bro., 111; 14, Caitlyn Pace, Liv., 114; 15, Colleen Rau, Lew., 117.
Teams HAVRE (375) - Ward 83, Sheppard 92, McLain 94, Beck 106.
LIVNGSTON (398) - Berg 85, Barney 97, McNamara 102, Pace 114.
BROWNING (444) - Scott 101, Harrison 109, Upham 111, Tamerly Wagner 123, Corrina Gervais 124.
LEWISTOWN (448) - Waldner 96, Butcher 104, Rau 117, Caitlin Malone 131, Amber Disney 158.
BELGRADE (DNQ) - Harrison 109, Melissa Wilson 118, Danielle Crisp 127.
BUTE CENTRAL (DNQ) - Ashley Vega 147, Katie Faulkner 185.