By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
In its final test of the regular season, the Havre High wrestling team passed - sort of.
The Ponies were defeated by No. 1- ranked Class B-C Conrad on Saturday night, 42-33, in front of a boisterous crowd at the Havre High gymnasium.
While there are no moral victories in sports, HHS head coach Scott Filius used the dual with the Cowboys as a measuring tool to see where his team is as it heads into the postseason. And based on Saturday's results, he still likes what he sees.
"We wanted to win this dual and I thought we could have," Filius said. "There were a couple of matches I expected to go the other way. But Conrad is a very good team. They are very deep and talented, and anytime you give them a very good dual like we did, you have to feel pretty good about yourself."
The dual got under way at 171 pounds with Havre's Guy Seely making quick work of Neil McKeone with a pin in the first minute of the match. Colby Mader followed that up with a pin over Eric Makelky at 189 pounds to give the Ponies a 12-0 lead.
At 215 pounds, Chad Seely was the victim of a little revenge from Tom Radach, who earned a hard-fought 7-1 decision over Seely. Seely had defeated Radach earlier in the season.
"That was one match I thought we would win that we didn't," Filius said. "Chad has beaten him before, but he was giving away at least 25 pounds and Radach is a very tough kid."
Following Seely's loss, freshman Matt Schnittgen got the Ponies back on track at 275 pounds with a 5-3 decision over Bob Kinyon to give Havre a 15-3 lead. Conrad subsequently forfeited the 98-pound match to the Ponies, giving Havre a 21-3 lead. But Conrad won matches at 105, 112 and 119 pounds to get back to within 21-16.
In the 125-pound match, Blue Pony senior Jeff Hedges capped off his home career at Havre High with a stellar performance. Hedges earned a pin over Justin Jones at the 1:46 mark of the match while already leading 8-0. It was a dominant performance that kept his record unblemished on the season and gave his team a 27-16 lead.
Havre and Conrad then traded victories by pins in the next two matches. After Logan Reichelt was pinned by Conrad's Ross Johnson at 130 pounds, Havre's Michael Sutherland earned a dramatic win by pin at 135. Sutherland trailed Paul Carroll 10-2 late in the third period, but then through a reversal was able to pin Carroll with 1:17 remaining in the match. The win gave Havre a commanding 33-22 lead, but it would be the last match the Ponies would win.
"That was a really nice win for Mike," Filius said. "Even though he was way behind, he didn't quit. That showed me that we are wrestling pretty good at the right time."
Unfortunately, Conrad's strongest portion of its roster came next for the Ponies. Caleb Lockyer earned a 18-2 technical fall over Adam Burrington at 140 pounds, and Trent Zempel followed that up with a win by pin over Alex Leyba to tie the score at 33-33. At 152, Dan Murr made short work of Cody Seely to give the Cowboys a 39-33 lead. In the final match, Brett Michels did all he could do to get his team a tie by pinning Greg Stuart but suffered an 11-5 defeat instead.
"If Brett wasn't trying to get a pin, I think that is definitely a match he wins," Filius said. "But he wanted to get us a tie and you can't fault him for that. He wrestled hard and gave everything he had."
The loss means that Havre finishes the regular season with a very solid 14-6 dual record. Filius said that judging by what he saw on Saturday night, his team is ready for the postseason.
"I really like where we're at right now," Filius said. "Everybody competed hard and wrestled well tonight. We're definitely ready for the next two weeks."
Havre will now prepare to head to Browning on Saturday for the Central A divisional tournament. The Class A state tournament is the following week in Billings.
Conrad 42, Havre 33
171 - Guy Seely, Havre, pinned Neil McKeone, Conrad, :52; 189 - Colby Mader, Havre, pinned Eric Makelky, Conrad, 2:26; 215 - Tom Radach, Conrad, dec. Chad Seely, Havre, 7-1; 275 - Matt Schnittgen, Havre, dec. 5-3, Bob Kinyon, Conrad, 5-3; 98 - Clint Bradbury won by forfeit; 105 - Jacob Schlosser, Conrad, dec. 8-0 Gray Chagnon, Havre, 8-0; 112 - Thad Zempel, Conrad, pinned Beau LaSalle, Havre, 1:09; 119 - Colby Johnson, Conrad, dec. Scott Sheppard, Havre, 9-3; 125 - Jeff Hedges, Havre, pinned Justin Jones, Conrad, 1:46; 130 - Ross Johnson, Conrad, pinned Logan Reichelt, Havre, 1:06; 135 - Michael Sutherland, Havre, pinned Paul Carroll, Conrad, 4:43; 140 - Caleb Lockyer, Conrad, tech. fall Adam Burrington, Havre, 18-2; 145 - Trent Zempel, Conrad, pinned Alex Leyba, Havre, 3:25; 152 - Dan Murr, Conrad, pinned Cody Seely, Havre, 1:45; 160 - Greg Stuart, Conrad, dec. Brett Michels, Havre, 11-5.
CMR 43, Havre 38
145 - Alex Leyba, Havre, dec. Andrew Satterlee, 12-5; 152 - Ryan McCracken, CMR, dec. Cody Seely, 21-6; 160 - Chase Gazzerro, CMR, dec. Guy Seely 3-1; 171 - Andy Fogerty, CMR, pinned Dallas Thompson, 3:47; 189 - Chad Seely, Havre, pinned Tom Griffin, :56; 215 - Bill Zuelke, Havre, pinned Shawn Christofferson, 1:32; Hwt -John Turrin, CMR, pinned Ricky Hovim, :30; 98 -Clint Bradbury, Havre, pinned Jake Jaraczeski, :27; 105 - Bill Wagner, Havre, pinned Kyle Flood, 2:31; 112 - Ryan Caldwell, CMR, pinned Beau LaSalle, 5:45; 119 - Scott Sheppard, Havre, dec. Jeff Yoder, 18-1; 125 - Jeff Hedges, Havre, pinned Michael Graham, 4:33; 130 - Jesse Kruse, CMR, pinned Mike Sutherland, 5:29; 135 - Jace Oeleis, CMR, pinned Logan Reichelt, 3:47; 140 -Tom Daniels, CMR, dec. Adam Burrington, 17-0.
Great Falls High 43, Havre 25
145 - Brandon Henry, GFH, pinned Alex Leyba, 1:31; 152 - Jake Wichman, GFH, dec. Cody Seely, 12-0; 160 - Brett Michaels, Havre, dec. Cameron Prinzing, 9-7; 171 - Guy Seely, Havre, pinned Brian Watkins, 4:50; 189 - Chad Seely, Havre, dec. Caleb Cunningham, 12-10 in OT; 215 - Chris Johnson, GFH, dec. Bill Zuelke, 9-8; Hwt - Matt Schnittgen, Havre, dec. Bob Anderson, 5-2; 98 - Ben Spencer, GFH, pinned Clint Bradbury, 5:32; 105 - Shane Grever, GFH, won by forfeit; 112 - Beau LaSalle, Havre, dec. Logan Mendenhall, 9-0; 119 - Zach Gregoire, GFH, pinned Arrota, 4:48; 125 - Jeff Hedges, Havre, dec. Brandon Haman, 9-4; 130 - Michael Sutherland, Havre, dec. Ty Grove, 15-7; 135 - Ronnie Lashley, GFH, pinned Logan Reichelt, 2:34; 140 - Jeremy Noble, GFH, pinned Adam Burrington, :48.