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3A STATE: Lowry slips past Virgin Valley to claim crown

Seven strokes.
That was all that prevented Virgin Valley’s boys golf team from capturing its first Class 3A state championship since 2005 on Wednesday at Falcon Ridge in Mesquite.
Lowry took the team title and its ninth state trophy, and first since a 2A crown in 1986, with a 36-hole total of 834 to Virgin Valley’s 841.
“I feel sorry for the seniors because they’ll look back and they’ll think about seven shots that they could have helped,” Virgin Valley coach Kirk Hafen said. “That’s golf.”
The teams were deadlocked at 422 after Tuesday’s first round at The Canyons in Mesquite. But Virgin Valley trailed Lowry by five shots after the front nine Wednesday and was unable to make up any ground.
“That back nine, that’s where on this course it’s going to be won or lost,” Hafen said. “I thought we would have a little advantage here. The kids have played this course a bunch of times, and I think that their nerves just got to them.
“I know that it did yesterday, and I think it showed up a little bit again. But we’re happy; second in the state’s not bad.”
The individual state title went to Truckee senior Allan Nousiainen, who sank a birdie putt on the 18th hole to win a one-hole playoff over Lowry senior Joe Dendary. Both players shot 5-over-par 76 to finish with two-day totals of 150.
“I don’t know how to explain it right now,” Nousiainen said. “It’s just unbelievable. I made enough putts to keep myself in it. It means a lot to know that all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off.”
The top finisher from Southern Nevada was Moapa Valley sophomore Cody Kelly, who carded a 76 to finish with a 153 total. He edged Virgin Valley sophomore Ryan Baeza (75-78-153) on a scorecard playoff.
“I’ve got two more years, so hopefully I can get a state championship,” Kelly said.
Spring Creek senior Homer Andrae (74-80-154) took fifth, and Virgin Valley senior Lucas Molin (83-77-160) was sixth.
Hafen was optimistic for the future largely because of Baeza, who won the 3A Southern League tournament title.
“We’ve got a pretty good nucleus coming back,” Hafen said. “With Ryan being a year older, he’s going to improve with time, and we can build around him, that’s for sure.”
 
Class 3A
State Tournament
Wednesday’s Final Round Results
At Falcon Ridge, Mesquite (Par 71)
Team Scores
Lowry               422-412–834
Virgin Valley    422-419–841
Spring Creek   436-431–867
Dayton             514-489–1003
Top Individuals
x-Allan Nousianinen, Truckee   74-76–150
Joe Dendary, Lowry                   74-76–150
Cody Kelly, Moapa Valley          77-76–153
Ryan Baeza, Virgin Valley          75-78–153
Homer Andrae, Spring Creek     74-80–154
Lucas Molin, Virgin Valley          83-77–160
Marc Biederman, Truckee         81-81–162
Dillon Bryan, Lowry                   85-78–163
Cole Erquiaga, Lowry                87-81–168
Anthony Lucero, Virgin Valley    83-85–168
x-won title on first playoff hole

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