NWA Fall Sports Notebook — Week 3

Bentonville High

With only two matches remaining in the regular season, Bentonville girls golf coach Lindsey Davis is thrilled to see what her players have accomplished.

The Lady Tigers continued their winning ways Tuesday with a victory over Rogers Heritage. Bentonville has been unbeaten so far this season, with the closest margin of victory being a two-stroke win (116-118) over Rogers High on Aug. 31.

Junior Lilly Thomas and sophomore Kinslee Miller have provided the Lady Tigers with a solid one-two punch, including Tuesday’s match when they both shot 37 over nine holes and shared medalist honors with Heritage’s Chloe Kordsmeier.

“Lilly has stepped up and done her part on the team, and Kinslee has been playing some good golf,” Davis said. “Chloe Ellis has been a solid No. 3 player, and I think Sydney Billington may have spread herself a little thin between golf and volleyball.

“Lilly and Kinslee both have been good with their drivers, hitting some shots 250 yards and more. We just need to work a little harder around the greens with our chips and putts, but I’m excited about this group and we’re ready to go.”

Bentonville will close out its regular season next week with a rematch Monday against Rogers at Lost Springs and a Tuesday match against Van Buren at Bella Vista Country Club. The Lady Tigers will then head to Conway the following week for the Class 7A state tournament.

Rogers High cross country

The Mounties and Lady Mounties cross country teams are off to strong starts, both notching wins at the competitive Carthage (Mo.) Invitational recently.

The boys team won by a point, while the Lady Mounties took the title by just two points on a challenging, hilly course.

The Mounties were strong overall, putting four runners in the top four and six in the top 15. Senior Tyler Bender was the first Rogers runner to cross and took third overall in 17 minutes, 43 seconds. His brother, Andrew, was sixth — 19 seconds behind Tyler.

Rogers High coach Carlton Efurd said those two runners are doing exactly what’s expected of a pair of veterans. But the underclassmen are making big strides, Efurd said.

“Andrew Flister ran a really good race at Carthage,” Efurd said. “I was really impressed with him. He stepped up big as a sophomore. And William Pender, too. He’s been our fourth two weeks in a row.

“Matt Smith, our fifth guy, is getting stronger, too. That’s where we have to get better.”

The Lady Mounties went 1-2-3 overall led by freshman Ali Nachtigal taking the overall victory. She was followed by teammates Anna Jeffcoat and Emily Efurd.

But Rogers’ fourth runner to cross — Tristyn Wann — was 21st overall. Efurd said the fourth and fifth runners, but be better. But he also said the regular four and five runners did not compete.

“Olivia Breazeale got sick right before the race and Amanda Sakalares was at a golf tournament,” Efurd said. “So we were counting on our six and seven to score. But our first three were 13 seconds apart, then we had a gap.”

The boys will compete in Joplin, Mo. this weekend, while the Lady Mounties will run in Siloam Springs.

Rogers Heritage golf

Coach Jay Gilstrap has been looking for his boys’ team to show some consistent competitive fire and that’s what he got, despite falling 5-0 to crosstown rival Rogers High in in match play Thursday.

“When we came on the course, the look in our kids’ eyes was a desire to compete,” Gilstrap said. “That’s what I expected from this team, is to compete. We finally got that today.”

The change from stroke play to match play is also a way to give his team, which hasn’t won  yet this season, a different outlook, Gilstrap said.

“My intention for this kind of match is to break things up a little bit,” Gilstrap said. “In our situation, getting eat the whole season and in some cases significantly is frustrating. Match play is a great way to do that. It’s hole to hole.”

The War Eagles have just one senior among their top five players, so Gilstrap is excited for the future.  Even though Heritage didn’t win a match, he liked what he saw.

Freshman Kolton Paul has been consistent for almost the entire season, Gilstrap said. Junior Logan Rumsey has also done well.

“Kolton’s been very solid,” Gilstrap said. “He had one bad round where he shot 85, but he’s been in the 70s the rest of the time. He didn’t start out No. 1 because he was an incoming freshman. But I’ve known him for years and I knew he was going to be there.”

“Logan Rumsey is one who has improved steadily, but he’s got some room to improve mentally. ”

— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB

Springdale High boys tennis

Springdale’s boys tennis team has been named Academic State Champions for the 2016-17 school year, according to the Springdale Schools Twitter account:

It is the second such honor Springdale has received since last fall. The Springdale softball team was recognized at a November 2016 School Board meeting after it was named Academic State Champions for the 2015-16 school year.

– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie

Springdale Har-Ber boys/girls golf

Springdale Har-Ber’s boys golf team dropped a tightly contested match at Lost Springs Golf Club Monday.

Rogers High edged Har-Ber 156-159 to claim first place. Har-Ber’s score of 159 was more than enough, though, to take second over Siloam Springs, who shot a collective 187. Kade Keith led the Wildcats with a 37 followed by Cole Bishop’s 39 and Logan Bradley’s 40.

The Lady Wildcats did not fare as well in the match, taking third place with a team score of 153 – 14 shots back from second-place Siloam Springs. Abbey Ott led Har-Ber, shooting a 47.

– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie

Bentonville West

While other teams already have a meet or two under their belts, West’s girls cross country team will have their first test Saturday when the Lady Wolverines travel to Joplin, Mo., and take part in the Missouri Southern Stampede.

“We wanted to take the extra time and train like we should,” West coach Todd Boddie said. “We agreed that Joplin would be a great opening meet to see where we are.”

West returns everybody from last year’s group, which finished sixth at the Class 7A state meet in Hot Springs. The Lady Wolverines are led by Alysa Martinez, who finished 19th with a time of 20 minutes, 17.1 seconds over the Oaklawn Park course, while Megan Martin finished 23rd.

“We still in the second year of building a program,” Boddie said. “One thing we have going for us this year is our leadership is better, and we have progressed one year closer to being the program we want to be.

“The girls have been feeding off of each other during our training while building those team bonds and trying to accomplish the team goals we have set. All of them have done a good job progressing so far, and they’re building a good team atmosphere.”

— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Hole-in-One for Fayetteville’s Davis

Fayetteville senior Denver Davis hit a hole-in-one during the Bulldogs’ 18-hole match victory against Greenwood on Thursday.

Davis’ ace came on the 163-yard, Par-3 17th hole at Fayetteville Country Club, He finished with a round of 74 to help Fayetteville defeat Greenwood, 289-318. Teammate Fisher Vollendorf led all scorers with a 68 while Jackson Cole shot a 73 and Palmer McSpadden came in at 74.

Fayetteville coach Scott Williams believes it’s the first hole-in-one by a Fayetteville boys golfer since Sam Hudson scored an ace at Springdale Country Club in 2012.

— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy

Henry Apple

Henry Apple

Henry Apple is a veteran sports reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His primary beat is Bentonville and Bentonville West, as well as topics that include state schools and the Arkansas Activities Association. During the spring, he handles high school track in Northwest Arkansas. He is a lifelong Arkansas resident.
Henry Apple

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