Obie medalist as Havre wins first-ever team
ANACONDA With Billings Central literally chipping away at the Havre boys' lead in the Class A state golf tournament, Nick Obie and Jason Johnstone took matters into their own hands.
Obie fired a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine, and Johnstone followed with a 42 to help the Blue Ponies pull away for their first-ever state championship.
Havre finished the tournament with a team total of 646, 19 strokes ahead of Billings Central's 665. The Rams' rally faltered late, and they were able to make up just one stroke on Havre by the end of the day.
Obie claimed medalist honors with his second-day score of 79 and tournament-low 155 total after 36 holes.
Havre was able to secure the title despite weather conditions Ponies coach Keith Evenson described as "horrendous.
"It was windy, cold and rainy," Evenson said. "It was more of a drudgery than a golf match."
Evenson was thrilled the way his team handled the pressure of the second day and thwarting the comeback Billings Central was attempting to achieve.
"Billings Central was catching up after the first nine holes, and the boys played it like a match-play game," Evenson said. "(Havre golfers) were just trying to beat the opponents in their group. And with Nick coming in with and Johnstone following with a 42, that won it for the Havre boys."
Johnstone finished the day with an 84 and his 36-hole total of 159 tied him with Whitefish's Drew Krause for second place.
Freshman Trent Normandy, who Evenson considered to be a major factor in Havre's improving on third-place finishes at state the past two years, ended the tournament in a three-way tie for eighth after firing an 88 Wednesday and finishing the tournament at 165.
"He did a fine job," Evenson said.
Kevin Harada, who shot an 88 on Wednesday, finished with a score of 167. Troy Toner shot a final-round 89 and ended the tournament at 171.
Evenson said Obie, Johnstone, Normandy and Harada all earned all-state honors.
In the girls' tournament, Havre's Jessica Sande fired a team-low 97 to pace the Blue Ponies, who finished seventh overall with a two-day team total of 887.
Sande had been disqualified after the first round on Tuesday after failing to double-check her scorecard. The total number of strokes on the card was correct, but the number of strokes on a few holes were not, leading to the disqualification, Jessica's dad, Jesse, said.
Sande scored a 100 on Tuesday, and combined with her 97 on Wednesday would have placed fourth overall in individual play with a 197.
Her first-round total would have also improved Havre's seventh-place finish overall in the final team standings to fifth, just two strokes behind Dillon. The Beavers finished with a team total of 865.
For Havre, Julie Wagner shot a 110 and finished the tournament with a 212, Mikyla Veis fired a 117 and finished at 228, Katie Miller scored a 117 in the second round and concluded the tourney at 231, and Alysia Kato shot a 133 and ended the tournament with a two-day total of 253.
Miles City, led by medalist Ashley Griffith, won the girls' team title with a score of 805.
Team scores Havre 646, Billings Central 665, Whitefish 682, Lewistown 687, Polson 698, Columbia Falls 708, Butte Central 709, Sidney 711, Dillon 715, Colstrip 735, Laurel 739, Hamilton 747.
Top 10 1. Nick Obie (Hav) 155, 2. (tie) Drew Krause (Whi) and Jason Johnstone (Hav) 159, 4. (tie) Chris Scotten (Lew), John Nielsen (BC) and Mitch Wibert (BC) 163, 7. Tyson Johnson (Stev) 164, 8. (tie) Jeff Dooley (Pol), Raymond Pitman (CF) and Trent Normandy (Hav) 165.
Team scores Miles City 805, Whitefish 832, Billings Central 850, Dillon 865, Glendive 870, Colstrip 885, Havre 887, Anaconda 906, Hamilton 906, Belgrade 933, Libby 934, Polson 1,052.
Top 10 1. Ashley Griffith (MC) 179, 2. Katy Stevens (Col) 184, 3. Margauz Alvarez (Stev) 187, 4. Tia Morasko (Glen) 198, 5. (tie) Katie VonLindern (Whi) and Rachel Warren (BC) 199, 7. Katie Pyiefer (Lib) 201, 8. Katie Kuffner (Ana) 202, 9. Amanda Nielsen (BC) 203, 10. Katie Blades (Dil) 204.