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Cougars struggle, Raiders improve at WildCreek
by Dan Eckles
Mar 26, 2013 | 5263 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs golfer Anthony Decker watches a tee shot sail down the fairway during his round Tuesday at WildCreek Golf Course.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs golfer Anthony Decker watches a tee shot sail down the fairway during his round Tuesday at WildCreek Golf Course.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs golfer Owen Bartlett chips toward the green Tuesday during HDL tournament action at WildCreek Golf Course.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs golfer Owen Bartlett chips toward the green Tuesday during HDL tournament action at WildCreek Golf Course.
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As the wind gusts increased Tuesday afternoon at Sparks' WildCreek Golf Course, so did the scores. The breezy conditions wreaked havoc on many local prep golfers at this week's High Desert League Tournament, especially those from Spanish Springs.

At the season-opening tournament a week ago at RedHawk Golf Club, Spanish Springs finished second, just five strokes behind tourney champion Reno. While the Cougars finished second to Reno again in Week 2, they didn't threaten the HDL power Huskies. On Tuesday, Reno turned in a team total of 419, just a stroke high than its 418 of a week ago, in spite of much cooler, windy conditions at WildCreek.

Conversely, Spanish Springs, which turned in a team total of 423 last week at RedHawk, watched its scores balloon and settled for a 450 Tuesday.

So was Reno much better or Spanish Springs much worse?

"Maybe a little of both," Cougars coach Nick Wirshing said. "But probably mostly our fault. We did not play very well today. It was pretty windy and we just didn't deal with the elements as well as we should have.

"Basically, every one of our guys shot a few strokes higher than they should. That adds up really quickly. When each guy is five strokes worse than they should be, it adds up. The wind played a big part but as you can see it didn't affect Reno as much. We should've been able to handle it. WildCreek was fine. The course was playing fine. For us, everyone was having a bad day at the same time."

Matt Perera and Cole Shirley led the Spanish Springs' scoring as both carded 88s, leaving them in a tie for fourth place. Anthony Decker (89), Tommy McAllister (91) and Drew Hargrove (94) made up the rest of the SSHS scoring contingent.

Schools are allowed to throw out their sixth and highest score. That was the 96 of Owen Bartlett for Spanish Springs.

"I think that is the highest score we've had in the last three years," Wirshing said. "My hope is we don't come close to that 450 for the rest of the year. I've got higher expectations for these guys and they've got higher expectations for themselves. I'm really hoping and believe that we should be closer to 400 than 450 for sure."

Another Rail City school was in action at WildCreek Tuesday. Reed posted a team total of 464, good for third place among the five competing teams. The Raiders' team total was one stroke better than their season-opening 465 of last week.

"It was tough," Reed coach Nick Nemsgern said. "On that WildCreek course, when the winds get up and you're playing 13 of the 18 holes on a side hill, it's tough. Spanish Springs' number went way up. Reno was pretty consistent from last week, which is a testament to them because the conditions were tougher this week.

"I'm totally proud of my boys' numbers. I know Trevor (Wood) and Nathan (Daylo) were both looking to get in the low 80s and both shot in the low 90s. They were both frustrated but Will (Rizzuto) and Travis (Page) shot career bests."

Rizzuto's 89 was Reed's lowest score on the day. Wood was next up for the RHS squad with a 92 while Daylo and Page both finished with 94s. Wyatt Koski (95) was Reed's fifth and final counting score. the Raiders threw out the 103 of Garrett Marchese.

"We know we can still improve," Nemsgern said. "I'm really proud of where the team is at this point in the season. It's looking good ... I told the boys when we got there if we were within 20 strokes of last week I'd be happy. I said 'don't be upset if a double bogey bites you in the butt, just play through it. Everyone's scores would be higher.' The guys seemed to relax and took it to heart."

Reno swept the top three individual scoring slots. Huskies golfer Patrick Phelps finished with a score of 74 to take home individual medalist honors. His 74 was seven strokes better than the next best score.

Reno, Spanish Springs and Reed, as well as the rest of the HDL's golfers, will compete in the third conference tournament of the spring season, next Tuesday at Somersett Golf and Country Club in northwest Reno. The event begins with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start.

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