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Clovis boys finish second at 6A state golf

Cleveland DQ flips team placings; Clovis girls finish fourth

 


FARMINGTON — Clovis’ boys golf team will take it.

The Wildcats certainly worked hard enough to be the state’s second-best 6A team. They ultimately did take second place behind champion Piedra Vista in Tuesday’s final round at Pinon Hills’ par-72 golf course due only to a disqualification of Cleveland. But the ’Cats were a solid third place (673) in the original scoring, and did so on a difficult course.

“It was really hard,” Clovis boys coach Dale Fullerton said. “Piedra Vista had a real big advantage. That’s their home course — just the knowledge of what to do on the surface and how to approach those greens makes a big difference. Plus they’ve got some really good players, too.”

Piedra Vista’s winning score was 645 — Monday’s 320 and Tuesday’s 325. Cleveland initially finished just two strokes off the pace at 647, but Storm player Enrique Armijo signed his card with the wrong score, bringing on a disqualification. Instead of the 71 he did shoot, Cleveland had to take its fifth-best score — a 113 from Cody Anderson.

The 42-shot tumble meant Clovis and Cleveland flipped places for the red and green trophies.

“It was one of those things,” Fullerton said of Armijo’s error. “I felt sorry for the kid.”

Armijo initially finished as the medalist, but the DQ meant the honor went to Centennial’s Nolan Gillihan, whose championship-winning score was 148 (73, 75).

Clovis’ top golfer over the two days was Christian Fontanilla, who finished with a four-over 76 on Tuesday to post an overall 163 score, good enough for an 11th-place tie with Rio Rancho’s Jahmar Hylton.

“He hit greens and made a few putts,” Fullerton said of Fontanilla’s second-day improvement over Monday’s 87.

Next for Clovis was Woody Casey, whose 169 (81, 88) tied him for 14th with Carlsbad’s Jim Alpers. Kolt Bennett’s 170 (80, 90) tied La Cueva’s Casey Kozlowski for 16th, and David Maldonado was 18th with a 171 (89, 82), rounding out the Wildcats’ top four.

Dakota York also golfed for Clovis and shot a 183 (93, 90), placing him in a three-way tie for 25th with Carlsbad’s Eli House and Hobbs’ Jake Raines.

Overall, it was a decent season for Clovis, but one plagued with inconsistency according to Fullerton. The state tournament, he says, was a microcosm of that inconsistency.

“We had three or four kids play well on different days,” Fullerton said. “David played a lot better today. That’s kind of what we’ve done all year. We can’t get in sync where we all play well at the same time. ... They’d go along and they’d play real well, then something would jump up and get ’em.”

Clovis loses four seniors from its five-man lineup — Casey, Fontanilla, Maldonado and York. They do return Bennett for his senior season in 2019.

“Kolt, he’s been No. 1 most of the year, so we’ve got him back,” Fullerton said. “And we’ve got a couple of kids who played on the JV. Hopefully, they’ll come around.”

Lady ’Cats take fourth — The Clovis girls, meanwhile, finished just out of trophy contention in the four-team field after shooting 387 on Tuesday.

“I was really, really proud of them,” Clovis girls coach Steve Speck said. “We just had three holes that killed us. That course has some really big numbers on it.”

La Cueva had only two players in the top 10 — Victoria Jamharian in second (164) and Elieanna Carris tied for 10th with Clovis’ Sydni Hill (183). But the Bears had 13, 14 and 15 to post a 722 — topping Cleveland (736) and individual champion Jacque Galloway (161).

Rio Rancho finished at 772, topping Clovis (781) for third.

Logan Clayton finished seventh to lead Clovis at 175. Other golfers for the Wildcats were Destiny Hodges at 206, Ashley Maldonado at 217 and Matti Dosher at 260.

Though a trophy eluded his Lady Wildcats, Speck was proud of how they played this spring.

“At the beginning of the season,” he said, “I wasn’t sure we were going to make the tournament. We were neck and neck with Rio Rancho for third place until a couple of bad holes. Rio Rancho played well, and they deserved it.”

 

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