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Boys golf: Chan Lee earns medalist honors as team state berth eludes Wilsonville at NWOC district tournament

by: FILE PHOTO - Wilsonville junior Chan Lee earned medalist honors at the NWOC district tournament May 12-13 at The Reserve in Aloha.With a team state bid up for grabs at the district tournament, the Wilsonville boys golf team put together two of its best rounds of the season.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that still wasn’t quite good enough.

Despite a phenomenal performance by junior Chan Lee, who earned medalist honors May 12-13 at The Reserve in Aloha, they came up short in their weeks-long battle with St. Helens and missed out on qualifying for the OSAA state championships as a group for just the second time in nine years.

Wilsonville tallied a two-day score of 649 — including a season-best 323 on the second day — to finish eight strokes behind the second-place Lions (641), who will join Northwest Oregon Conference champion Sherwood (623) at the Class 5A tournament.

“They were strong competitors throughout the season, and it’s not like we just let them walk into a state berth,” Wildcats coach Jeff Deeder said of St. Helens. “They had to go out and play good golf to earn it. I’m proud of how our team played and am excited for the future.”

Wilsonville’s future is promising in part because of Lee and sophomore Jake Bell, who advanced as individuals to the May 19-20 state finals at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks. Both golfers received first-team all-league honors.

“We were fortunate to have two players qualify individually for state,” Deeder said. “Both are excited to play against the best competition in the state of Oregon.”

Lee, a three-time state qualifier who carded a 72-74 (146) at the district tournament to win the individual title, shared the top spot on the leaderboard after shooting what Deeder called a “fantastic” even-par round on the first day.

He posted a 2-over score on the second day to pull away from Sherwood runner-up Joe Reed, who logged a 72-78 (150).

Lee is aiming to improve on his previous two efforts at the OSAA tournament, where he placed 17th as a freshman and tied for 43rd last year.

Bell, meanwhile, captured a state bid for the second time in his prep career with an 82-79 (161) at the district finals. He tallied a two-day 182 at last year’s state competition.

Deeder said before the tournament that Bell had the potential to finish in the top five in the NWOC season standings, and the sophomore did just that.

“I am very excited for state and can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do,” Bell said. “My preseason goals were to make the top five in league and go to state either individually or as a team, so I achieved all of my goals and am very happy about that.”

Blake Crane turned in the Wildcats’ third-best score on the first day, finishing with an 83-87 (170). Spencer Chames posted the squad’s third-best score on the second day, carding an 89-83 (172). Kris McCormick rounded out the lineup with a steady 89-89 (178).

Wilsonville trailed St. Helens by just four strokes after 18 holes, but it wasn’t able to snag second place despite shooting its best round of the year on the second day.

“(The two teams) knew going into the tournament that whoever finished second would be going to state and whoever finished third would not,” Deeder said. “We played our best golf of the season. ... But St. Helens was just a little bit better.

“Overall, we can hold our heads high for how we played this week and know that we are a young team with everyone returning next year, and we expect to continue getting better.”

***

AT A GLANCE

NWOC boys golf district championships

May 12-13 at The Reserve (Aloha)

Team scores: 1. Sherwood, 623; 2. St. Helens, 641; 3. Wilsonville, 326-323 (649).

District medalist: Chan Lee, Wilsonville, 72-74 (146).

Wilsonville: Chan Lee, 72-74 (146); Jake Bell, 82-79 (161); Blake Crane, 83-87 (170); Spencer Chames, 89-83 (172); Kris McCormick, 89-89 (178).

WILSONVILLE BOYS GOLF 2014

March 19 at Wildwood: 331 (2nd of 7)

April 2 at Langdon Farms: 324 (2nd of 6)

April 9 at Glendoveer: 342 (3rd of 7)

April 14 at Chehalem Glenn: 333 (2nd of 6)

April 23 at Quail Valley: 367 (3rd of 6)

April 28 at Waverley: 341 (3rd of 6)

May 5 at Resort at the Mountain: 328 (3rd of 6)

May 12-13 at The Reserve (districts): 326-323 (649) (3rd of 6)

May 19-20: Class 5A championships at Quail Valley (Banks)


By Jeff Goodman
Sports editor
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