Led by a stellar Andrew Shopinski, the Panthers collectively shot 298 and advanced to 3-0 on the season.
“We’ve got a lot of experience on our side right now,” Panther coach Gary Higgins said. “Our top three seniors – Andrew, Hayden (Hayward) and Brandt (Pierce) – are playing great. The kids are working hard.”
Shopinksi led his team with a score of 68, or 4-under par, on Bloomington’s slippery course.
“I had a great day overall,” said Shopinski, now adorned in a thick beard. “I had four birdies in a row to start the day and ended up with six. I only got two bogies and 27 putts for the entire round, which is really good.”
Shopinski’s phenomenal play might be attributed to the relatively easy course, but Higgins knows better.
“It was really wet out there,” he said. “I saw a lot of kids having trouble hitting against all the thick moisture – the ball didn’t fly so well. But Andrew still played great.”
Indeed, the day brought out the Pine View star’s best performance of the year and helped keep his team atop Region 9 – something he couldn’t have done by himself.
“I have a great team,” Shopinski said. “We have state experience and a lot of time on these courses. That helps.”
Pierce, who shot a 71 on the day, feels that this may be the year Pine View takes the crown.
“I think it’s our year,” he said. “We have really good players, which helps all of us improve our game.”
Still, state is a long way out.
“It’s tough to stay focused when you’re doing well. You can get ahead of yourself. It’s important to think about each individual shot.”
Shopinski said there’s still a long way to go.
“We have to continue to feed off each other. And of course take it one game at a time. We’ll see what happens.”
The Panthers 298 score is the second time this season they’ve shot under 300 collectively.
Meanwhile, Snow Canyon finished in second with 311 thanks to strong showings from Austin Sweeney (74), Payton Scott (77) and Joey Sargent (77).
Desert Hills and Canyon View rounded out the top four with 315 and 325 apiece. Dixie finished at 329, Cedar with 330 and Hurricane with 356.
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