Bentonville’s boys golf team closed out its regular season Tuesday afternoon with a 162-181 victory over Van Buren at Bella Vista Country Club.
The Tigers won’t play again until the Class 7A state tournament, which takes Oct. 3-4 in Fayetteville. In the meantime, coach Kent Early said there’s still plenty of work they can do between now and then.
“We’re going to go out and play a couple of rounds so we can solidify our five spots for the state tournament,” Early said. “We have had eight golfers that have shared time in our one through five spots this year.
“We’re going to get them some course time and get them ready to play 36 holes in a row, which is something they haven’t done all season.”
It’s been a learning experience all season long for Bentonville, which opened the season with seven freshmen out of its 12 golfers. The Tigers, however, have performed well throughout the season and was within striking distance of their opponents in the matches they have lost.
The pleasant surprise out of the group has been freshman Phisher Phillips, who started the season at the eighth spot and has worked his way near the top of the team.
“With him being a freshman, you wondered when the pressure would finally get to him,” Early said. “But he has been steady as he climbed up the chart. He never had that blow up where he might score a double or a triple on a hole, and he’s been solid and stayed in the fairway.
“All the kids have improved a lot. They have worked hard in practice and tried to become better golfers, and that’s all you can ask for.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
The Mounties tennis team has a 12-1 record with only a couple of weeks left before the 7A-West Conference tournament.
The team’s overall depth has contributed to the Mounties’ success in match play, but that outlook changes for conference and state tournament. Rogers coach Mike Harper said he will likely lean on his two doubles teams in the postseason.
“My singles guys are still young and learning,” Harper said. “Singles are really strong at the top of our conference this year, too. So we’re hoping to get points from both our doubles teams.
“Conference is really wide open. A point here or there can make a big difference. It really will come down to who plays well on those two days.”
Rogers’ lone team loss came to Bentonville, but they also have two wins over the Tigers.
The No. 1 doubles team of Payne Henry and Cooper Gommel has lost just one match this season and that came with Henry coming off a surgical procedure.
“That was in the tournament in Russellville and he wasn’t anywhere near 100 percent,” Harper said. “Payne’s leadership has been big. He’s helped Cooper, been very encouraging and helping him focus.”
Henry, a junior, has state tournament experience as he and another partner finished third last year. That experience should also help in the postseason.
“That should help us, being calm when you need to be and he communicates really well,” Harper said.
Ethan Nguyen is the lone senior among the top six. He’s shown good leadership and improved on the court, too., Harper said.
Nguyen and Lucas Camerlingo play No 2 doubles.
Freshman Hailey Day went up against stiff competition at the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo., and finished fifth overall, edging Fayetteville senior Rebecca Boushelle by a second.
Day ran a time of 19 minutes, 12.74 seconds and also finished ahead of defending Class 7A state champion Tori Willis of Bentonville. Heritage coach Jeff Shaw said Day ran a solid race, just her second high school varsity event.
“She went out a little fast in Little Rock and ran a 20 flat,” Shaw said. “But I think she ran really well and finished pretty strong. I think she can get better and better. But I’m happy with the way she’s run.”
The Lady War Eagles finished 38th out of 44 teamvs in the top division. Senior Charity Rohrbaugh was Heritage’s next individual to cross at No. 237 in a time of 24:18.
The Heritage boys finished 41st out of 47 teams. Junior Jake Edwards was the top individual, fnishing 166th in a time of 18:09.31, followed by sophomore Andy Avila (239) in 19:14.56.
Shaw said his boys’ team didn’t run as well as he expected.
“Right now, the boys are taking the way they run in practice out to the course in a race,” Shaw said. “I think it’s more mental.”
— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB
Springdale Har-Ber boys golf
Coach Tim Aynes’ Har-Ber boys golf team closed out the regular season with a bang.
The Wildcats finished with three consecutive wins against Bentonville West, Mountain Home and Siloam Springs/West in the last week. Har-Ber edged West 320-327, the Bombers 339-374 and West/Siloam Springs 152-160-176.
Logan Bradley led Har-Ber with two team-best scores (76 vs. West, 33 vs. Siloam/West) and Kade Keith added a 79 against Mountain Home. The boys 7A state tournament begins Oct. 2 at the Fayetteville Country Club.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
Springdale High cross country
Springdale traveled north last weekend to Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo., for its third race of the season.
The Red’Dogs’ Kelvin Santos recorded a personal best time of 18:08 Saturday. Santos was one of three boys runners to set a PR – Javier Solis 19:30, Jose Anguiano-Martinez 20:52.
Also, sophomore Jasmine Acosta finished in 10th place in the Green Division last weekend. She finished the race with a time of 21:44. Springdale will head to Berryville this weekend for its next competition .
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
The Bulldogs’ boys golf team continue its march toward a school-record fifth straight state title.
This past week, Fayetteville defeated Fort Smith Southside by nearly 100 strokes, winning 293-387 in an 18-hole match on Tuesday in Forth Smith.
Senior Jackson Cole won medalist honors with a one-ver par score of 71.
The Bulldogs get their final tuneup today against Russellville and Southside in a dual meet at Fayetteville Country Club before the state tournament begins on the same course on Oct. 3-4.
— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
West’s girls golf team closed out its regular season Thursday with a match against Rogers High, and Lady Wolverines coach Curt Yarrington is tickled with the progress his team has shown throughout the season.
“It’s been amazing,” Yarrington said. “We’re still not super-competitive, but how much improvement the girls have made has been amazing.
“We started the season with four of our six golfers having just starting playing within the last six to eight months — two of them right before the season started. It’s been fun to watch the improvement and be a part of it.”
The biggest improvement has come from Cierra Bowen, who just took up the sport in May. She has now become West’s No. 2 golf and has improved her scoring by about 10-15 strokes throughout the season, Yarrington said.
Bowen will join Palak Ojha, Molly Myers and Katie Eddy as the Lady Wolverines’ representatives as the Class 7A state tournament next week in Conway. They will play a practice round Monday before taking part in tournament play the following day.
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry