Valiants win league title, Gulls tie for second

From left to right, Seaside's Connor Merrell, Mason Shamion, Curtis Kunde, Jackson Kunde and Samson Sibony following their second-place finish in Monday's league tournament.

BANKS — For the first time since 2003, Cowapa League boys golf has a champion other than Scappoose or Seaside.

Valley Catholic won this year’s league tournament, as the Valiants shot a 318 team score Monday at Quail Valley Golf Course.

The Indians and Gulls finished in a second-place tie at 331. It was the second time this season that the two teams tied in a tournament.

Both times, the Gulls won the potential tiebreaker with a better fifth score, as Mason Shamion shot an 87 to outscore the Indians’ fifth man, who had a 93.

Banks finished fourth with a 356, followed by Astoria (377). Tillamook did not field a complete team, although Tillamook’s Carter Lee defended his Cowapa League medalist title (his third) by shooting 77.

Chase Elliott of Scappoose tied with Valley Catholic’s Peter Boileau and Cole Schmidlin for second place, one stroke behind Lee.

There was a four-way tie for fifth at 81, with Seaside senior Jackson Kunde, Jake Gray of Scappoose and Valley Catholic’s Cole Heinsen and Andrew Plambeck. Rounding out the all-league team was a tie for ninth with Seaside freshman Curtis Kunde and Banks’ Liam Birr. Curtis Kunde is the first freshman to earn all-league for Seaside since Joel Bletscher in 2003.

Dylan Althiede-Nielsen and Conner Long each shot 92 to lead Astoria. Taylor Palmberg added a 95.

“This was a very competitive tournament,” said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch. “As I’ve said all year, Valley Catholic is the team to beat this year. They now have beaten us four times, but we are closing the gap. We are also very close with Scappoose, each of us winning once and ending up tied the other two times we played.

“On the individual side, every one of our players shot a score that would be good enough to get on the all-league team in most years,” he said. “But this isn’t most years. The Cowapa is a very tough league.”

Jackson Kunde made the all-league team for the third year.

“He was able to complete his round today with nothing worse than a bogey,” Poetsch said. “His brother Curtis only had one double-bogey and was able to offset it by chipping in for birdie on the second hole.”

The Gulls “have done a good job of limiting big numbers the past few weeks and our scores have shown that,” he said. “Now we need to take the next step and hit a few more putts. If we can do that, we will be as good as any team in the state.”

All Cowapa teams will now compete in a regional tournament next week, to decide qualifying for the state tournament.

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