Wildcats ready for state

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Courtesy photo The Kellogg golf team poses with their newest trophies after winning the 3A IML district match. The teams will now move onto state competition next week in Rathdrum.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was enough to get the job done.

That is probably the easiest way to describe the Kellogg Wildcats’ district golf match performances.

But now, both teams will need to bring their best games if they want to continue their string of successful state tournaments.

For the boys, their district match team score of 345, although 130 strokes better than their closest competition, was still higher than their average, but once again showed off just how dominant the Kellogg boys have been throughout Intermountain League competition.

“We won, but we did not play well at districts,” coach Simon Miller said of his boys team. “But, if we’re going to lay a stink bomb, let’s do it at districts, where we can still win.”

Sophomore Taylor Bush brought home the individual medalist honors, shooting a team-best 78. Meanwhile Chase Jerome finished third overall with an 83, and Cade Finlay fourth, with an 88.

The girls have been consistent throughout the season, with junior Kat Rauenhorst staying the steadfast leader of the team, but the other three members have all rotated in and out of the second spot on the team and their games are really coming together at the right time.

“Kat is Kat, she can turn it on when she needs to,” Miller said. “Morgan (Nusz) played her best match of the year at districts.”

Rauenhorst took home the medalist award with a score of 90, meanwhile Nusz turned that career high into a third place finish with a score of 99 (narrowly missing second place by two strokes).

“Morgan and T-Bone (Taylor Bush) really played well for us when we needed it,” Miller said. “Hopefully they can continue to play like that and that the rest of the kids play the way they can.”

As mentioned, the Wildcats now move onto the state competition, this year being hosted at Twin Lakes in Rathdrum.

This makes state more of a home match than anything as the team has played this course several times this year and numerous times over the course of their high school careers.

Miller does a little bit of scouting throughout the season, just to get an idea of what the other teams throughout the state are scoring, but he believes that it all still boils down to the individual.

“I scout a little bit, but I hesitate to do too much looking at what other teams are doing,” Miller said. “Golf is so individual, you have to stay focused on what you’re doing. That goes for me, but even more so for the kids.”

For the girls teams, Miller knows exactly what is going to take for the girls to reclaim their spot at the top.

“If our girls all shoot under 100. They have all done it at one point or another, but they’ve never done it together,” Miller said. “We know that Kat will shot somewhere in the mid-80’s, but if the rest of the girls all stay under 100 or even 105, that puts us right with Buhl or better.”

The boys team is similar in the fact that they have to have a good showing as a team if they want to repeat as state champs.

“We are a team that can get hot,” Miller said. “All the boys can play under par and if we get four guys in the 70s or at least at 80. If we shoot a 320, then we’re at least in the top two.”

Miller was also congratulatory toward his neighboring teams from Wallace, who qualified their boys team and one individual for the girls’ state tournament.

“I wish the Wallace golfers nothing but the best,” Miller said. “I hope they bring home a banner.”

The win was the Kellogg girls’ 15th straight district title, on top of their 15th straight Intermountain League title, meanwhile the boys made it nine straight IML and district titles this year.

It will be Kellogg boys’ 16th straight trip to state, and 15th straight for the Wildcat girls.

Kellogg will begin their quest for more state championships on Monday morning at Twin Lakes Golf Course in Rathdrum, tee times vary.

Here are the results from this week’s 3A District Tournament.

BOYS

TEAM SCORES (top 2 to state) — 1, Kellogg 345. 2, Timberlake 475. 3, Priest River 490. 4, Bonners Ferry 518.

INDIVIDUALS (top 4 to state) — 1, Taylor Bush, 78. 2, Kody Salesky, Priest River, 80. 3, Chase Jerome, Kellogg, 83. 4, Cade Finlay, Kellogg, 88.

KELLOGG (345) — Chase Jerome 83, Cade Finlay 88, Taylor Bush 78, Tyler Gibbons 96, Hogan Samuelson 100.

TIMBERLAKE (475) — Wyatt Dickinson 110, J.T. Wilfong 106, Chris Jenkins 114, Cody Gilson 145.

PRIEST RIVER (490) — Kody Salesky 80, Ben Zapfe 92, Parker Macalaire 125, Logan Millward 193.

BONNERS FERRY (518) — Reece Bell 90, Wyatt Iacolucci 101, Michael Youngwirth 151, Seamus Newcomb 176.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES (top 2 to state) — 1, Kellogg 418. 2, Timberlake 442. 3, Priest River 532. 4, Bonners Ferry 573.

INDIVIDUALS (top 4 to state) — 1, Kat Rauenhorst, Kellogg, 90. 2, Tatum Qualsund, Timberlake, 97. 3, Morgan Nusz, Kellogg, 99. 4, Hannah Mendenhall, Timberlake, 106.

KELLOGG (418) — Kat Rauenhorst 90, Emma Bristow 111, Anika Sundstrom 118, Morgan Nusz 99.

TIMBERLAKE (442) — Tatum Qualsund 97, Lilly Kelley 118, Izzy Hilliard 121, Hannah Mendenhall 106, Sawitta Imyuang 146.

PRIEST RIVER (532) — Olivia Hoepfer 125, Maddy Rusho 109, Keona Brown 150, Heather Pound 148.

BONNERS FERRY (573) — Alayna Youngwirth 129, Emily Blackmore 137, Sierra Brown 146, Maya Robertson 161.

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