The final golf meet of the regular season finished on Friday as Scottsbluff and Gering took part in an invitational with Hastings, McCook and North Platte at Monument Shadows in Gering. The Bearcats took the win by 36 strokes over North Platte with a 358.
The course was set up a little differently though as some of the tees were pushed back, resulting in the holes being longer than normal.
“They set the course up pretty tough, nine of the tees were set back into the senior tees so it played a little bit longer than usual and the girls competed. We had some good things happen, we left some shots out there and we certainly feel we can continue to improve,” Bearcat coach Brock Ehler said. “I’m proud of them and we got to play all 14 girls today and that was great. Our jayvee kids are working hard and I just think as a whole, we’re a package team.”
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This was also a chance for all teams, except North Platte, to play on the state course two weeks before.
“It was good to be able to play a practice round on our state course and just practicing for upcoming districts on Monday,” Scottsbluff senior Anna Kelley said. “We’re going to grind this weekend and then state in two weeks so we’ve got to keep practicing and playing as a team. It’ll all come together.”
Kelley won the invite with a 71 and was followed by Shae Willats with an 81. Also for Scottsbluff, Nielli Heinold (83) finished fifth and Addi Wilson and McKinley Knotts right behind in sixth and seventh with an 87 and 90 respectively.
Eighth place saw Gering’s Madi Mumm with a 92, playing on her home course for the final time in a regular season capacity.
“I’m sad because I didn’t play as well as I wanted to today,” the senior said. “I’m pretty upset but I still placed so that’s all you can ask for.”
For Kelley, it’s sad to think that the high school golf season will be ending in the next two weeks as golf has been a part of her life for a while.
“Golf’s been my life forever and it’s just sad to think about that I’ve only got districts and state left and that this is my last home invite,” Kelly said. “It’s sad and it’s been a ride but I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”
The results for the rest of the Bulldogs saw Jaylei Cervantes in 12th with a 109, Maia Swan (112) in 15th, and Kenna Bowron and Lauren Doll in 18th and 19th with 116 apiece. The team finished third with a 429.
“Most of the girls struggled today. I was glad it was not districts and maybe they got their bad shots out of the way,” Gering coach Jessica Boswell said. “I think sometimes when it’s their home course, they expect to play better so when they don’t, there was a lot of frustrations out there.”
Boswell hopes that her team will relax a bit after playing a practice round prior to district competition.
“We go down Sunday to play a practice round for districts so we’ll play that course one more time so they are prepared to shoot a better score on Monday,” she said. “Getting to state is the stressful part, once they’re here, they relaxa bit more usually.”
Both teams, along with McCook, will be in Ogallala on Monday for the B-4 district invite at Crandell Creek Golf Course.
“We’ve got to continue to play against ourselves. Ogallala is a tail of two different nines, the courses are quite a bit different. One you have what’s called a Parkland course, really old school, no trees, short, Donald Ross greens and then you have the back nine which is a lot of fescues, which is a lot of native grass and plays more of a link style course and big greens,” Ehler said. “You get a nice variety there but we’ll compete, it’ll play a little bit shorter but we’ve got to hit wedges and putt. We’re going to go and try to get confidence and get ready to play well.”
Scottsbluff will be working on some fundamentals but it is hard to prepare for a course like Crandell Creek without being there.
“Unless you’re at Crandell Creek, it’s a little bit hard to prepare for it because we don’t have that similarity,” Ehler said. “We’re going to do some fundamental things, work on touch-up, just get our swing and get the girls’ confidence going.”
1. Anna Kelley, Scottsbluff, 71
2. Shae Willats, Scottsbluff, 81
3. Karsen Morrison, North Platte, 82
4. Abbie Jones, North Platte, 82
5. Nielli Heinold, Scottsbluff, 83
6. Addi Wilson, Scottsbluff, 87
7. McKinley Knotts, Scottsbluff, 90
9. Anna Brant, Hastings, 95
10. Kaylee Carlson, North Platte, 97
11. Hailey Matthews, North Platte, 97
12. Jaylei Cervantes, Gering, 109
13. Emily Hansen, North Platte, 109
14. Kendall Consbruck, Hastings, 110
15. Maia Swan, Gering, 112