By Kim Staudinger
After taking a five-stroke lead in the first day of competition at the Helena Invitational Golf Tournament, the Havre boys fell to a second-place finish at tournament's end.
Billings Senior crept past the Ponies to finish with a 596 at the two-day event at Bill Roberts Golf Course. The Ponies were four strokes behind with a 600. Billings Skyview ended in third with a 613, Missoula Sentinel in fourth with a 616 and Great Falls High in fifth with a 617. The only other Class A school at the tournament was Whitefish, which ended with a 627 in sixth place.
"I was real pleased with my kids' results," Havre coach Keith Evenson said. "If we do half as well next weekend as we did this weekend, I'll be real happy."
Senior Nick Obie took third with a 146. Senior Kevin Harada tied for fifth with Billings Seniors' Chet Limberland with a 149 but lost a tiebreaker to end in sixth.
Jason Johnstone also lost a tiebreaker for 10th place with a 150 to finish in 11th. Troy Toner shot a 155 and Matt Felt a 163.
"The kids played very, very well," Evenson said. "They were all in the 70s the second day. I couldn't ask for more."
Winning the boys crown was Renzi Lee of Billings Senior. Lee shot a 69 both days. Helena Capital's Jess Dalton finished with a 143 for second. Whitefish's Drew Krause shot a 147 for fourth.
While one of the Ponies' goals was to win every tournament they golfed in, Evenson said he was pleased with the second-place finish.
"The only A school there was Whitefish and we beat them by 27 strokes," Evenson said. "We were invited to a AA tournament and I don't mind that a AA school won."
Only two girls made the trip to Helena, with Julie Wagner shooting a 96 the first day and a 92 the second day. Katie Miller shot a 118 the first day and a 100 the second.
"They both improved the second day so that's a positive for them," Evenson said.
The junior varsity boys team along with three Havre girls traveled to Conrad Saturday for Conrad's varsity tournament.
Amanda Brock led the girls with a 115, Brittany Job followed with a 119 and Heather Bowker had a 121. Without a full team, no team scores were kept for the Havre girls.
Fort Benton won the girls title with a 395, Choteau finished in second with a 436 and Valier in third with a 465. Choteau's Katie Wilson won the individual title with a 92. Kertsan Ritlin and Cassie Erb followed with a 97 and a 98, respectively. Both girls are from Fort Benton.
For the boys, the Ponies finished in fourth, led by a 10th-place finish from Ben Erickson. Erickson shot an 84. Jon Johnstone was close behind with an 85 and Tony Jensen had an 87. Eric Holden shot a 96 for Havre, with teammate Eric Ward close behind with a 99.
Cut Bank won the boys title with a 332. Conrad finished in second with a 334 and Fort Benton in third with a 345. The Ponies ended in fourth with a 352.
Conrad's T.J. Benehoff claimed the individual title with a 77. Cut Bank's Trevor Matz followed in second with a 78 and Shelby's Andrew Olson was third with a 79.
The golf teams will be in Great Falls on Friday and Saturday for another Class AA tournament.