Garden City Buffaloes
Buffs boys eighth at 6A
BY BRETT MARSHALL
Garden City High School boys golf coach Walker Frey had hoped to see his Buffaloes finish among the top half of the 12 teams that competed Tuesday in the Class 6A state tournament at Topeka Country Club.
And the start that his team had certainly had all of those opportunities available, as the Buffs were just 10-over-par collectively after the opening five holes on the tightly-narrow fairways of TCC.
But from there, things went south, and with it the hopes of a top-six finish, ending with a team score of 334, putting them in eighth place, eight shots behind sixth-place finisher Hutchinson's 326.
Shawnee Mission East got three of its players in under 76 for the 18-hole round to post a 300, which was eight shots ahead of runner-up Topeka-Washburn Rural. Manhattan and Blue Valley West each finished at 314, but Manhattan got the tiebreaker with a lower fifth-player score.
Senior Austin Swender had the team's low round of the day with an 80 as he played the back nine in 37, and the front in 43. Freshman Taylor Larsen was consistent with nines of 40-41--81, and another freshman, Logan Durst, came in at 41-43--84. Junior Connor Schultz, playing his first season of varsity golf, had an 89 on nines of 43-46. Senior Tucker Schiffelbein was next with a 90 (43-47) and junior Lucas Goss had a 106 (53-53).
Kale Reynolds of Maize and James Henderson of Blue Valley West had the day's low rounds with 70s. It took a score of 79 to finish in the top 20 individual medal race.
Frey could point to the four-man back nine total of 161 (where the Buffs began play), compared to the front nine of 173, as the big difference for the Buffs.
"We got off to a really good start, but coming down the stretch, the wheels kinda came off for the kids," Frey said. "I thought as a group we played really loose at the start, and then when we realized we were playing good, then maybe we tightened up a bit."
The Buffs brought a relatively young and inexperienced team to the state showcase, and Frey believes the experience will benefit those who return next year.
"Seeing different high schools, and the fact the state tournament is a big deal will help us down the road," Frey said. "People were everywhere. If we can built on that, there's a lot to look forward to next year."
Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.
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