Longhorns golfers finish No. 7 at state
In the second round of the 4A state golf championship Tuesday in Steamboat Springs, Basalt juniors Jim Knous and Connor Rakowski were hoping to move up in the overall standings.Their putters, however, did not cooperate. While both recorded scores that were lower than in round one, the two had 71 combined putts. Basalt finished seventh – the same position it occupied after Monday’s round.Knous shot a 75, Rakowski a 76 and senior Nick Johnson a second consecutive 80 for the Longhorns, who finished two points behind Steamboat Springs. Kent Denver (428) took first, Pueblo West (437) was second, and Greeley Central (441) finished third.”We definitely were outmatched, but we could’ve played better,” Basalt coach Pat Riley said. “Imagine how well we could’ve done if we made putts.”One day after errant tee shots and irons led to ballooning numbers on their scorecards, Knous’ and Rakowski’s struggles were confined to Haymaker Golf Course’s greens. Knous, who finished with 37 putts on the round, missed a two-footer for birdie on No. 8. He reached the putting surface on the par-5 ninth in two shots, but squandered a scoring chance when he three-putted. Rakowski, who triple-bogeyed his final hole Monday to shoot 78, had 34 putts.”From tee to green they played beautifully,” Riley said. “They hit good drives and hit most greens in regulation. Putting just wasn’t working out today.”Pueblo West’s Zach Zaremba took the individual title after firing a 7-under-par 65 Tuesday – eight shots lower than his Round 1 score. Gunner Wiebe was second and Justin Spray from Cheyenne Mountain took third. Three Kent Denver players, who cumulatively shot 214 Tuesday, finished in the top eight.”I don’t think we could really compete with those schools, but maybe next year,” Riley said. “It’s super what Kent Denver shot today. Our guys didn’t get dejected. They were a little disappointed, but I think they were happy with what they accomplished. They worked hard on their games and did the best they could out there. I can’t ask for anything more.”Following a season that far exceeded even the coach’s expectations, there is little reason for Basalt to hang its heads. Of the 13 tournaments they entered, the Longhorns finished first nine times. And, with its top two players returning in 2007, optimism abounds.”We can’t judge the season on this one tournament,” Riley said. “It’s a great pleasure to get to state, and that was our goal. We had a great season and played a lot of great golf. I’m hoping to be back next year and be a part of what should be a great season.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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