By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre High wrestling team has beaten the best teams in Class AA and Class A in dual action already this season, and now you can add one of the best teams in Class B.
The Ponies picked up a hard-fought 35-33 dual win over the Cut Bank Wolves Monday night in Cut Bank to open the 2005 portion of their schedule.
"I was pleased with the way the kids wrestled," said HHS head coach Scott Filius. "To come back after break and pick up a win over Cut Bank is good. They have a good team and it's going to be between them and Conrad for the Class B-C state title."
The outcome was made closer largely because Havre came into the dual without all of its wrestlers. Four varsity wrestlers didn't make weight for the Ponies, forcing Filius to fill those spots with junior varsity wrestlers.
"It's tough coming back from Christmas break to get everybody to make weight," he said. "We worked hard over the break and we had a couple kids that just barely missed making weight."
Havre opened the dual by getting a 7-2 win from Matt Schnittgen at heavyweight to take a 3-0 lead. Chad Ranes followed that up with a tough 8-6 overtime win over Casey Bird at 98 pounds.
"Chad had a nice match," Filius said. "He beat a pretty good wrestler at 98 pounds."
Cut Bank tied the match at 6 as defending state champ Egan Black pinned Billy Wagner. Josh Harrison pushed the Wolves' lead to 12-6 with a pin of Shane Boucher.
Clint Bradbury got Havre back on the winning track at 119 with a 9-6 win over Jeff Lane. Beau LaSalle followed that up with a 5-2 win at 125 to knot the dual at 12-12.
Havre then added to its lead, getting a technical fall win by Michael Hipple at 130 and a pin from Mike Sutherland at 135 to go up 23-12.
Cut Bank stormed back to take the lead at 24-23 as Tyrell Utterdahl and Daniel Winowitsch scored back-to-back pins at 140 and 145, respectively.
The lead would be short-lived as Dallas Thompson picked up a big 7-5 overtime win in the first match of the season and Evan Hinebauch continued his run of pins with a win by fall over Nathan Price to push Havre's lead to 32-24.
"Dallas really looked good for his first match of the season," Filius said. "He was down the whole match and fought back at the end to win in overtime. We've been short at 152 and he really fills the hole there."
Cut Bank cut the lead to 32-27 as Bob Greenwood edged Cody Seely 6-5 at 171, setting up a showdown at 189 between Havre's Chad Seely and Cut Bank's Alex Calvi in a rematch of the championship match at the Holiday Classic.
But unlike the Holiday final, Seely got the better of Calvi, picking up a tough 2-0 overtime win and securing the dual win.
"I was real pleased with Chad Seely," Filius said. "Calvi pinned him at the Holiday after Chad led most of the match. He wrestled smart and picked up a big win. His win made the last match of the dual academic."
In the last match, Quincy Weatherwax pinned Havre's Tyler Wheeler to make the final score seem closer at 35-33.
"We could've made sure that Tyler went the distance if the dual was in doubt, but once we had it locked up, I had him work on some things to get better," Filius said.
While Filius will gladly take the win over a Class B powerhouse, he still saw some things that his team needs to work on.
"We need to work at being better on our feet, and we gave up more pins than I would like to see," he said. "But we worked all break at getting off bottom and our kids didn't get ridden much at all in the dual."
Havre will return to Cut Bank on Friday for the two-day Cut Bank Invitational.
Havre 35, Cut Bank 33
98 - Chad Ranes, HAV dec. Casey Bird 8-6 OT; 105 - Egan Black CB pinned Billy Wagner 4:53; 112 - Josh Harrison, CB pinned Shane Boucher 2:33; 119 - Clint Bradbury, HAV dec. Jeff Lane 9-6; 125 - Beau LaSalle, HAV dec. Buck Lunack 5-2; 130 - Mike Hipple, HAV tech. fall over Jeremiah Kennedy 17-2; 135 - Mike Sutherland pinned Tad Kimmet 1:30; 140 - Tyrell Utterdahl, CB pinned Logan Reichelt, 1:34; 145 - Daniel Winowitsch, CB pinned Adam Burrington, 2:25; 152 - Dallas Thompson, HAV dec. Reid Askelson 7-5 OT; 160 - Evan Hinebauch, HAV pinned Nathan Price 1:54; 171 - Bob Greenwood, CB dec. Cody Seely, 6-5; 189 - Chad Seely, HAV dec. Alex Calvi 2-0 OT; 215 - Quincy Weatherwax, CB pinned Tyler Wheeler, 3:41; HWT - Matt Schnittgen, HAV dec. Drew Koepke, 7-2.