By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sports/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre High wrestling team went into Saturday's Central A divisional wrestling tournament as the defending champions.
When the Ponies left Browning Saturday night, there was no doubt that the Ponies are still the dominant team in the Central A.
According to veteran head coach Scott Filius, his team may have also served notice that it is back on the Class A radar as well.
The Ponies scored 349.5 team points en route to their second straight divisional title.
Anaconda finished a distant second with 279 points and Belgrade was third at 193.5 team points.
Havre's team total was a new Central A tournament record. The Ponies also had seven individual champions on the day and qualified 18 of 19 wrestlers for this week's Class A state tournament in Billings.
"Even though we scored that many points, we did exactly what I thought we could do," Filius said. "Everybody wrestled really well and as a team we had a great weekend. I knew that if our kids wrestled the way they have been, we could run away with this tournament."
Not only did Havre have seven champions, but the Ponies advanced 11 wrestlers to the finals.
At 125 pounds, Jeff Hedges capped off his spectacular Central A career by running through the bracket to the 125-pound championship.
The divisional title means that Hedges will enter the state tournament undefeated as he seeks his third consecutive state championship.
At 98 pounds, it was an all-Havre final as freshman Clint Bradbury defeated freshman Billy Wagner by technical fall.
Sophomore Gray Chagnon also had a fine tournament at 105 pounds. Chagnon cruised to the finals where he pinned fifth-ranked Dustin Hansen of Anaconda.
At 119 pounds freshman, Nathan Harada captured a surprise championship.
Harada earned a win by forfeit in the semifinals over No. 1-ranked Dustin Brown of Butte Central, who was suffering from the effects of a broken foot. Harada then earned a win by fall in the championship match.
"Nate Harada, Billy Wagner, Clint Bradbury and Gray Chagnon all wrestled really well all day," Filius said. "What happened to Brown was really unfortunate, but things just kind of fell our way like that all day."
It was also an all-Havre final at 160 pounds with Brett Michels earning a hard-fought 3-1 win over Guy Seely. The 189-pound final saw Chad Seely earn a win by forfeit over teammate Colby Mader.
As expected, freshman sensation Matt Schnittgen captured the 275-pound final with a 3-2 win in overtime over Livingston's Kiel Kovash.
"I thought that Brett Michels wrestled really well this weekend," Filius said. "And Chad (Seely) and Colby have been beating each other up for three years so there was really no reason to wrestle that match."
"Matt Schnittgen also came up big on Saturday," Filius added. "The kid from Livingston has wrestled him tough before, but Schnittgen just keeps winning."
Bill Zuelke cruised to the finals for the Ponies at 215 pounds, but then ran into one of the state's best wrestlers - regardless of classification - in Belgrade's Jake Kallestad, who pinned Zuelke at the 2:24 mark of the match.
Havre got third-place finishes from Scott Sheppard at 119 pounds and Michael Sutherland at 130 pounds.
Freshman Beau LaSalle finished fourth at 112 pounds, as did Dallas Thompson at 171.
Freshman Logan Reichelt also qualified for the state tournament with a fifth-place finish at 135 pounds as did Adam Burrington at 140 pounds. Cody Seely also finished fifth at 152 pounds.
"All in all, this was a great weekend," Filius said. "The kids wrestled well from start to finish and we are taking a lot of kids to the state tournament, which is good for us if we want to make a run at a trophy.
"These guys have worked really hard this season and it is nice to see that they are all having some success right now."
Havre will now prepare to travel to Billings for the Class A state tournament. The tournament will get under way Friday morning at the Billings Metra.
CENTRAL A DIVISIONAL
1. Havre 349.5, 2. Anaconda 279, 3. Belgrade 193.5, 4. Lewistown 153.5, 5. Dillon 147, 6. Browning 117, 7. Livingston 81.
98 - Clint Bradbury, Havre, def. Billy Wagner, Havre, by tech. fall (3:39)
105 - Gray Chagnon, Havre, pinned Hanson, Anaconda, 3:44;
112 - Fisher, Anaconda, dec. Solan, Anaconda, 6-0;
119 - Nate Harada, Havre, pinned Smith, Anaconda, 2:39;
125 - Jeff Hedges, Havre, dec. Richmann, Anaconda, 11-0;
130 - Rutherford, Browning, dec. Kelly, Belgrade, 13-12;
135 - Nesbit, Dillon, dec. Scotten, Lewistown, 9-6;
140 - Andreoli, Anaconda, dec. Nordahl, Dillon, 5-2;
145 - Rinaldi, Lewistown, dec. Lucas, Belgrade, 13-4;
152 - Caddell, Anaconda, dec. Musick, Lewistown, 4-2;
160 - Brett Michels, Havre, dec. Guy Seely, Havre, 3-1;
171 - Burns, Browning, pinned Lubbes, Anaconda, 1:13;
189 - Chad Seely, Havre, won by forfeit over Colby Mader,
215 - Kallestad, Belgrade, pinned Bill Zuelke, Havre, 2:24;
HWT - Matt Schnittgen, Havre, dec. Kovash, Livingston, 3-2 in OT.
Third FOurth place matches
98 - Burdick, Livingston, pinned Anderson, Anaconda, 1:44;
105 - Klemann, Belgrade, pinned Hansen, Livingston, 1:42;
112 - Schlenden, Dillon, dec. Beau LaSalle, Havre, 15-7;
119 - Scott Sheppard, Havre, won by forfeit over Brown, Butte Central;
125 - Vezina, Dillon, pinned Mann, Anaconda, 1:52;
130 - Michael Sutherland, Havre, pinned Wilson, Livingston, :43;
135 - Anderson, Butte Central, dec. Blume, Anaconda, 8-2;
140 - Raty, Lewistown, pinned Wagner, Browning, 3:57;
145 - Thomas, Belgrade, dec. Pierce, Dillon, 10-8;
152 - Stanhope, Dillon, dec. Peterson, Dillon, 11-3;
160 - Holt, Dillon, pinned Racine, Browning, 4:23;
171 - Terry, Lewistown, dec. Dallas Thompson, Havre, 10-0;
189 - Bellon, Anaconda, dec. Brown, Lewistown, 3-2;
215 - Swift, Lewistown, pinned Boyce, Browning, 2:21;
HWT - Clark, Belgrade, pinned Latray, Anaconda, 3:23.
Fifth-sixth place matches
98 - Payne, Belgrade, pinned Bartoletti, Butte Central, 3:45;
105 - Hemsath, Lewistown, dec. Ritterbush, Livingston, 16-0;
112 - Stoddard, Dillon, pinned DeJongh, Belgrade, :36;
119 - Klemann, Belgrade, dec. Reynolds, Dillon, 11-6;
125-Riechle, Dillon, pinned Monroe, Browning, 2:46;
130 - Cook, Anaconda, pinned Hurst, Dillon, 2:00;
135-Logan Reichelt, Havre, dec. Martz, Anaconda, 11-9;
140 - Adam Burrington, Havre, pinned Sarrazin, Belgrade, 3:57;
145 - Forsman, Anaconda, dec. Mad Plume, Browning, 9-5;
152 - Cody Seely, Havre, pinned Anderson, Belgrade, 3:42;
160 - Arcand, Belgrade, dec. Hillman, Belgrade, 7-5;
171 - Small, Butte Central;, pinned Vigil, Livingston, NA;
189 - Running Crane, Browning, dec. Steinman, Belgrade, 1-0;
215 - Eamon, Anaconda, pinned Murillo, Browning, :19;
HWT - Shupe, Lewistown, pinned Burt, Belgrade, 4:25.