The Havre High wrestling team has found little resistance at the annual Cut Bank Booster Club Invitational in recent years, and in 2013, that trend continued.
Friday and Saturday, the No. 2-ranked Class A Blue Ponies attended the Cut Bank Invite in Cut Bank, and ran away with the team title. The Central A Ponies scored 247.5 points to earn the No. 1 finish, and was barely challenged by No. 2 Choteau with 217.5. The conference rival Lewistown Golden Eagles finished in a distant third with 159 points, as the Ponies cruised through the 23-team pool of talent.
Through Friday’s matches, the Ponies were well in control of their own destiny. They were the favored team going in, and all they had to do is wrestle well and perform to the level they have been at all season long. HHS did that, as nearly every grappler was alive heading into Saturday, leading to 13 ponies placing in the top six.
“We wrestled pretty well this weekend and it was pretty pleasing,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “You always want all of your kids to show improvement, but while looking for improvement through the course of the year, you also want to see that improvement through the course of a weekend or tournament. I was really pleased.”
Grayson Brenna (105) and JT Belcourt (160) were perfect examples of showing improvement this weekend.
Brenna Earned a No. 1 finish, but had to defeat a two-time state champion to do so. Last year Wolf Point’s Maestro Martinez defeated Brenna in the Cut Bank finals, but this season, Brenna returned the favor, defeating Martinez in a 5-0 decision in the championship match. Belcourt also lost to Eureka’s David Wilson early in the tournament, but returned to the third-fourth place matchup with revenge on his mind. Belcourt defeated Wilson in a 4-3 decision and earned a third-place finish.
But the entire lineup wrestled well over the weekend.
Keegan Kennely (98) and Grant Pattison (189) also earned No. 1 finishes, while Kody Pribyl (145) and Jordan Schroeder (152) finished in second place for the Ponies. Gilbert Bara (135) and Travis Adams (215) added third-place finishes to the mix, while Jake Williams (171) finished in fourth place. And also finishing strong, Dylan Stewart (119), Jace Billy (189), and Dustin Odegard (HWT) all earned victories to end the weekend with fifth-place finishes.
But Filius was also very impressed with his group of young wrestlers, grapplers like Pleninger and Adams to be more specific.
“I found that our young kids are winning the close matches,” Filius said. “And at this point in the year, you want to win those close ones just for the fact that the more close ones they win, the more they believe they can win. That helps them, and I think Logan Pleninger really benefited from that after winning a couple close matches by just keeping his nose in it. The same goes for Travis Adams, and
both of those kids are freshman, so it is good to see that they are so hardnosed already.”
Pleninger came up big in some tight matches all weekend long, and came through in his fifth place match again. This time he gained a little more ground on the opposition, as he beat Chinook’s Jake Norby in a 7-2 decision. Adams emerged out of his tight matchups to finish the weekend with win by fall, pinning Shelby’s Streeter Stirling in 2:34 in his third place match.
Now heading into the toughest stretch of the season, the Ponies have to wrestle extremely well. Thursday they will compete in Great Falls, but will then move onto the Missoula Invite on Friday and Saturday.
Cut Bank Booster Club Invitational
Team scores -- 1. Havre 247. 2. Choteau 217.5. 3. Lewistown 159. 4. Harlem 129. 5. Great Falls JV 126. 6. Cut Bank 112.5. 7. Chinook 98. 8. Eureka 97.5. 9. Whitefish 96. 10. Conrad 93.5. 11. Glasgow 89.5. 12. Wolf Point 76. 13. Great Falls CMR JV 69. 14. Browning 64. 15. Malta 43. 16. Fort Benton 33. 16. Big Sandy 33. 18. Cascade-Simms 32.5. 19. Chester/J-I 18.
98 -- Keegan Kennely Hav pin Blade Massey Gfh JV :32.
105 -- Grayson Brenna Hav dec. Maestro Mertinez Wpt 5-0.
112 -- Kylan Berkram Ctb maj. dec. Shay Snider Har 13-5.
119 -- Hunter Grover Fer maj. dec. Morgan Koenig Con 10-2.
125 -- Teague Jones Har pin Trei Bullock Fer 3:40.
130 -- JJ Werdal Cho dec. Travis Vermulm Ctb 7-1.
135 -- Quinn Trindle Ftb Ren pin Nikko Bakkila Lin 2:38.
140 -- Neil Johnson Ctb dec. Brandon French Con 4-2.
145 -- Nolan Simanton Mal pin Kody Pribyl Hav 1:27.
152 -- Jim Malone Fer maj. dec. Jordan Schroeder Hav 10-0.
160 -- Cole Werdal Cho dec. Layne Durfree Cho Ren 5-3.
171 -- Jake French Cho pin Ethan Blythe Fer 3:44.
189 -- Grant Pattison Hav pin Rob Klingaman Chi 2:36.
215 -- Seth Adams Har pin Justin Ratzburg Con 2:18.
Hwt. -- Wolf Zinke Whi dec. Dakota Rutherford Bro 8-4.
98 -- Trevor Moore Cho dec. Donovan Moon Chi 3-1.
105 -- Mick Reyling Gla pin Jacob Miller Gtf JV Ren 2:16.
112 -- Tommy McMillen Gfh JV dec. Garrett White Lin 5-2.
119 -- Zach Durden Lin pin Jack Shawver Gla 2:26.
125 -- Jace Berkram Ctb dec. Brandon Albert Gfh JV Ren 4-0.
130 -- Brennan Armstrong Fer pin Matt Barton Whi 2:21.
135 -- Gilbert Bara Hav pin Brenden Johnson Har 4:56.
140 -- Ben Kountz Gla pin Braden Deiziger Fer 3:30.
145 -- Steeler French Cho OT dec. Zues Rutherford Bro 4-2.
152 -- Travis Austin Gla pin Garrett Horsman Wpt 3:36.
160 -- J T Belcourt Hav dec. David Wilson Lin 4-3.
171 -- Lane Martin BgS dec. Jake Williams Hav 7-4.
189 -- Greg Hinojosa Cho pin Dave Hopson Wpt 4:00.
215 -- Travis Adams Hav pin Streeter Stirling Shl 2:34.
Hwt. -- Gerome Lamb Mal Ren maj. dec. Trent Noel Har 11-2.
98 -- Conner DeBruycker Ftb pin Gavin Martin CMR JV 2:54.
105 -- Dillon Thorsteinson Whi pin Tyler Schilling Gfh JV 1:33.
112 -- Logan Pleninger Hav dec. Jake Norby Chi 7-2.
119 -- Dylan Stewart Hav pin Caleb Shigley Gfh JV :41.
125 -- Cody King Gla pin Levi Lambertson Lin 2:15.
130 -- Justin Meyer CMR JV pin Ryan Tempel CJI :13.
135 -- Geoff Qualls Chi maj. dec. Dougal McMorris Wpt 11-2.
140 -- Trey Stone Cho pin Drew Floerchinger CSm 2:00.
145 -- Nick Grassisch CMR JV inj. def. Perry Woodland CSm.
152 -- Brandon Bilbrey Gfh JV pin Kenny McCormick Cho 4:08.
160 -- Allan Gobert Bro pin Konrad Zinke Whi 2:44.
171 -- Travis Field Cho Ren pin Seth Schimeroski CMR JV :57.
189 -- Jase Billy Hav Ren maj. dec. Mateo Amatto-Cattaneo Gfh JV 14-1.
215 -- Kevin Young Chi forfeit from Jordan Wanner CMR JV.
Hwt. -- Dustin Odegard Hav pin Dominic Streich Cho 4:32.