Don’t look for an all-state player on the Desert Vista boys golf team.
The Thunder didn’t have one in the state 5A-I championship earlier this week on the Papago Golf Course in Phoenix.
But even without a player in the top 10, Desert Vista still shot well enough to take home a second-place trophy with 609, 28 strokes behind five-time champion Chandler Hamilton (581).
It was the highest finish for a Thunder boys team in the history of the school. Desert Vista’s best finish had been a fifth in 2007 at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen, where the tournament had been held the last two years.
A change of venue obviously didn’t hurt Desert Vista.
“Papago is a hard test,” said Desert Vista’s Sean Buchanan, who led the Thunder with a 73-79-152. “But we knew we could compete in any tournament.”
After a solid season this year Mountain Pointe had hoped to challenge Hamilton for the state title.
But even though the Pride had two all-state players – juniors Chris Felix (78-72-150) and Michael Anderson (74-76-150) – tied for seventh they finished fifth after getting a fourth last season.
Desert Vista won the Ahwatukee Cup at the beginning of the season then disappeared into the middle of the pack during most tournaments this year.
“We had some struggles,” senior Erik Long-Goheen said, “but to get a runner-up trophy and not have anyone on the all state team; I don’t know if that’s ever been done before and it shows it was a team effort.”
He was the only senior on the Thunder team and was clustered with juniors Cody McManus and Ryan Witte at 154. Brad Goodlander shot a 158.
“This is the greatest moment of my high school career,” Long-Goheen said. “Everyone contributed on one or both days and we had been building up to this the whole year.”
Desert Vista had trailed the Huskies by 13 shots after the first day, but Hamilton, led by C.J. Kim’s tournament medalist one-under 143, scrubbed three shots off its opening day round.
“If we can’t win, we hope someone from our district can,” said Mountain Pointe coach Tony Ramseyer. “We have a great rivalry with Desert Vista and we want to beat them, but at the same time we’re pulling for Ahwatukee, too.”
Although the Pride shaved three strokes off their opening day round of 312, they were too far behind Desert Vista and Hamilton after the first day to catch up.
“The course was challenging,” Anderson said. “It was longer than most courses we’ve played. Aguila was a lot easier, but DV played well and we can’t be too mad about it.”
The rivalry will likely continue through next season. The Pride, like the Thunder, have four players coming back next season.
“It’s kind of sad we didn’t do as well as we wanted,” said Felix, who shot the third best score of the day with an even-par 72, “but we hope to be good next year.”
The top 10 teams were: Hamilton (581), Desert Vista (609), Tucson Salpointe Catholic (615), Phoenix Brophy (616), Mountain Pointe (621), Mesa Red Mountain (626), Chandler Basha (639), Sierra Vista Buena (642), and Mesa Mountain View (644).
MP girls finish 6th, DV 7th The Mountain Pointe girls golf team barely edged Desert Vista for sixth place overall at the girls state championship at Aguila Golf Course in Laveen Tuesday.
While Phoenix Xavier and Chandler Hamilton battled for the top spot, with the Gators winning the title yet again with a two-day score of 571 (Hamilton shot 579), it was The Pride holding on for a 10-shot advantage over seventh-place Desert Vista, 721-731.
Individually, Mountain Pointe’s Darian Spivey led local finishers with a total score of 160, good for 14th place. Desert Vista’s Kassidy Long-Goheen finished 17th (163), with Thunder teammate Cady Espinoza finishing 29th (180). Mountain Pointe’s Sami Springs and Shelby Liggett finished 31st and 32nd, respectively (182, 184).
– From staff and wire reports