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Lady Panther golf team conference champions

Panther Boys runners-up in Evanston

A series of career-best rounds boosted the Powell High School girls golf team to the Class 3A conference championship this weekend, while the boys’ squad took second-place honors at Evanston’s Purple Sage Golf Course.



Bowen Prestwich and Pax Mitchell took individual All-Conference medals for the boys, while all four Powell girls — Tess Mitchell, Alyssa Hildebrand, Carli Brown and Mikala Brown — finished third, fourth, fifth and sixth for All-Conference honors.

“The girls picked a nice time to put together a great weekend as a group,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand.

Indeed, the Lady Panthers posted one of the lowest girls scores in PHS’ history on Saturday to leap from second place on Friday to a 15-shot victory.

Their 287-265=552 showing beat Cody’s 292-275=567, while Lander slipped to third on day two with a 274-304=578.

Tess Mitchell led PHS by shooting 93-87 — the 87 being her first-ever round under 90. It was good for third place.

“She played very steady both days and was able to make a lot of pars and really minimize any trouble that she was in,” said Hildebrand. “Purple Sage is a course with tough greens and a lot of trouble and Tess did a great job of managing all parts of it.”

Alyssa Hildebrand struggled with putting on her first nine holes, the coach said, but rebounded on the final 27 in shooting 101-88 and claiming fourth place.

“She had a great mental approach on Saturday and with that she was able to earn her fourth All-Conference honor in a row. Breaking 90 in a tournament this year should be a good sign as we head to state for both Alyssa and Tess,” said Coach Hildebrand.

Carli Brown got off to a solid start with a 102 on Friday, but on Saturday, she blew that out of the water by putting together, as her coach put it, “the round of her life to shoot 90 and give us a huge boost in our team score.”

Brown finished in fifth place.

“Carli is very quiet and seems to keep a very level head about things during her rounds which really helps through the ups and downs,” Coach Hildebrand said.

Mikala Fulton also had the round of her life, but did so on Friday to shoot 93-103.

“She has worked hard lately on a couple of aspects of her game and it was great to see her put it all together in such a great round,” said Coach Hildebrand.

He said both Fulton and Brown should be heading to the state tournament in Worland this week with plenty of confidence.

PHS’ boys team took second place in shooting a steady 326-332=658, trailing only Jackson’s 311-316=627. Lander was five back of Powell to take third, shooting 329-334=663.

Prestwich shot 78-75 to finish in fourth place and lead the Panthers.

“By his standards he didn’t play great, but he really battled through his rounds and used a strong short game to hang in there throughout,” Coach Hildebrand said. “He has been so steady this year and I know he is looking forward to state in Worland.”

Pax Mitchell shot 79-80 for a seventh-place finish.

“He had some ups and downs during each round but was able to keep grinding away to post good scores both days,” the coach said. “This was Pax’s best tournament of the year so far and it came at the perfect time to set him up for state.”

Jared Wantulok shot 81-90.

“Jared had a great day Friday for us and while Saturday was a little bit tougher he still held together a good round in windy conditions,” said Coach Hildebrand.

The team got a steady 88-87 showing from Cameron Nielson.

“Each week at practice he has done a great job of focusing on a part of his game and I think he’s put himself in a position to have a great state tournament,” the coach said.

Zach Kienlen rounded out the varsity squad by shooting 100-101.

“Zach played well for his first time of ever seeing the course in Evanston,” said the coach, and it was good to secure PHS’ fifth varsity slot at the state tournament.

Cody High School’s Patrick Maslack used a “tremendous performance” on Friday to shoot a 64 and followed it with a 78 to claim top individual honors at conference, the coach said. The 64 is the lowest round he’s seen in a dozen years of coaching.

In junior varsity action for PHS, Dillon Nix wrapped up his season with a 109 and 104.

“He has made some great strides over the last two years and with the losses we are facing on the boys’ side, he will be a real key to our success next fall,” said Coach Hildebrand.

Zane Henderson shot 121-111.

“This was Zane’s first trip out of the Basin to a tournament and he handled himself very well,” said the coach. “Much like Dillon, Zane looks to be an important part of our future. He seems to really enjoy the game and I know he’ll work hard to improve as he moves through his career here.”

The PHS varisty squads will play in the Class 3A tournament in Worland on Friday and Saturday.

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