After struggling in their first three tournaments of the season, Mike Deming noted his team made big strides Thursday in Helena.
Both Belgrade squads placed last at the Helena Golf Invitational, but there were several notable improvements individually.
“We made some good strides this week in practice. The guys and the girls both played much better,” Deming, who is the Panthers’ second-year head coach, said. “We had three guys that played 15 strokes better than they did last week, so it was encouraging to see. I was pretty excited with the way they competed today.”
With just one regular season tournament remaining before the postseason, the timing could not have been better for the team.
“Making progress,” Deming said. “I really liked the way they competed and I liked their mental approach to the game today.”
Belgrade had a week off before competing at Bill Roberts Golf Course, and Deming noted it allowed the players an opportunity to refocus during the break.
Jacob Maroney led the Panthers with an 80, while Jaxson Hinshaw and Anthony Madison posted scores of 81 and 84, respectively. Both Hinshaw and Madison cut 15 strokes off their scores from the Belgrade Invitational Sept. 3.
“Jacob’s put two good weeks together,” said Deming. “But it was good to see Anthony and Jaxson shoot a number that I think they should be playing at anyways.”
Brodie Falk and Justin Garcia rounded out the team with a 93 and 97, respectively. The Panthers finished eighth with a team score of 338, while Glacier won with a 293.
Lelia Mamagum led Belgrade’s girls with a 105, while Jordan Whitaker, Alyssa Lineback, Riley McMahon and Brynn Butler carded scores of 119, 122, 125, and 129, respectively.
“I thought Brynn bounced back and had a better round today than she did last week,” said Deming. “She was very consistent on several holes.”
Glacier’s girls edged Helena Capital, 367-370, to win the invite. Belgrade placed fifth with a 471.
The Panthers will wrap up the regular season Sept. 17 at the Bozeman Invitational. The two-day divisional tournament will be held Sept. 24-25 in Billings.
(at Bill Roberts Golf Course)
Team scores: Glacier 293; Kalispell 306; Missoula Sentinel 307; Helena Capital 310; Helena 313; Missoula Hellgate 332; Missoula Big Sky 336; Belgrade 338.
Top 10 individuals: Tyler Avery, Gla, 66; Ezra Epperly, Glacier, 68; Logan Meyer, Hel, 68; Will Salonen, Glacier, 73; Kade McDonough, MS, 74; Hayden Ellis, MBS, 74; Caswell Bloomquist, HC, 74; Austin Zeller, Hel, 75; Kadin Gall, Fla, 76; Cale Hines, HC, 77.
Team scores: Glacier 367; Helena Capital 370; Kalispell 401; Missoula Hellgate 463; Belgrade 471.
Top 10 individuals: Marcella Mercer, Fla, 69; Lauren Williams, Hel, 76; Alana Griffin, Gla, 84; Celi Chapman, Hel, 87; Lexi McNew, HC, 87; Zita Gravely, HC, 89; Chloe Tanner, Gla, 90; Kenna Sandler, Gla, 95; Makayla Bury, HC, 95; Stella Claridge, Gla, 98.