By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
An old saying says: "You can't win them all."
Unfortunately, that was the case for the Havre High wrestling team this past weekend in Miles City. For the first time this season, the No. 1-ranked Ponies failed to capture the team title at an invitational tournament.
But things weren't all bad for the Ponies. Havre finished second to Sidney at the Cowboy Invitational in Miles City, racking up 235.5 team points. The Eagles scored a whopping 278.5 points to take home the team title.
"Sidney did a great job of reworking their lineup, and you have to take your hat off to them this weekend," said HHS head coach Scott Filius. "They placed 13 kids and we placed 12. But they had five champions and we only had one. They had a great weekend."
Still, Filius was not at all unhappy with his team's second-place finish in what turned out to be a highly competitive two days of wrestling. Havre did indeed place 12 wrestlers and crowned one individual champion to finish ahead of such Class AA powerhouses as Billings Senior and Gillette, Wyo.
"I am more than happy with 236 points," Filius said. "Normally that would win this tournament, but Sidney was just better this weekend. Our kids wrestled well. We had some kids that were sick and it was a really tough trip and we got a little tired. But the whole team wrestled hard and did a great job this weekend."
Freshman Chad Ranes was the lone individual champion for the Ponies this weekend. Ranes defeated Lyman Mahaffey of Belle Fourche, S.D., 6-0 in the 98-pound final.
"Chad has taken his wrestling to a whole different level since Christmas," Filius said. "He was great in Cut Bank last weekend and he was even better this weekend. He did a great job against some tough opponents."
Sophomore Evan Hinebauch tasted defeat for the first time this season in the 160-pound final. But Hinebauch's loss came at the hands of a wrestler he won't have to see again this year. Hinebauch fell 8-4 on Saturday night to Belle Fourche's Shane Bennett.
No. 1-ranked Mike Hipple also finished second for the Ponies after losing to second-ranked Byron Kuylen of Sidney, 13-3. Hipple and Kuylen are now 1-1 against each other this season. Havre's lone third-place finish came from sophomore heavyweight Matt Schnittgen, who defeated Dustin Merritt of Sidney 4-2 in the consolation final.
"We had some kids who ran into some tough opponents from the out-of-state schools," Filius said. "We also let a few matches slip away from us when we were leading. We lost some points that we could have picked up, but it was still a good weekend for us."
Fourth-place finishes for Havre included Nate Harada at 119 pounds and Beau LaSalle at 125. Dustin Haukenberry lost a tight match in the 171-pound semifinal before falling 8-4 in the consolation final. Chad Seely lost a tight 3-2 decision in the consolation final at 189 pounds.
Mike Sutherland finished in fifth place at 135 pounds, and Bill Zuelke continued to wrestle well, finishing fifth at 215 pounds. Havre also got sixth-place finishes from Billy Wagner at 105 pounds and Lorren Mack at 112 pounds.
The Ponies will be back in action on Friday when they travel to Belgrade for the Class A Duals. The tournament will run through Saturday afternoon at the Belgrade Special Events Center.
Final team scores
Sidney 278.5, Havre 235.5, Gillette (Wyo.) 221, Billings Senior 203, Hettinger (N.D.) 139.5, Belle Fourche (S.D.) 120.5, Hardin 115, Cody (Wyo.) 113.5, Baker 95, Bozeman 94.5, Sheridan (Wyo.) 78, Glasgow 73, Miles City 69, Glendive 62, Bismarck (N.D.) Century 57.5, Lewistown 45, Laurel 42, DesLacs (N.D.) 40, Poplar 30.5, Broadus 26.5, Powell (Wyo.) 26, Colstrip 20, Forsyth 15, Billings Central 6, Circle 4.
Championship - Chad Ranes, Havre, def. Lyman Mahaffy, Belle Fourche, 6-0.
Third place - Chad Smith, Sidney, def. Clayton George, Gillette, 9-4.
Fifth place - Nelson, Sheridan, p. Ladd, Glendive, 1:14.
Championship - Jesse Obergfell, Sidney, t.f. Darren Pulver, Senior, 16-0.
Third place - Ty Moncur, Belle Fourche, p. Lee Bowman, Gillette, 1:21.
Fifth place - Hebdon, Hardin, p. Wagner, Havre, 1:47.
Championship - Duane Engraf, Hettinger, d. Dallen Madsen, Gillette, 2-0.
Third place - Brandon Uffelman, Hardin, d. Matt Cellmer, Laurel, 3-2.
Fifth place - Kuylen, Sidney, d. Mack, Havre, 13-5.
Championship - Trent Sprenkle, Senior, d. Joe Carlson, Glendive, 10-4.
Third place - Eric Seamands, Hettinger, d. Nathan Harada, Havre, 9-5.
Fifth place - Schultz, Belle Fourche, p. Ringler, Cody, 3:52.
Championship - Ryan Hecker, Sidney, d. Jeff Wood, Gillette, 11-7.
Third place - Leo Pattison, Glasgow, p. Beau LaSalle, Havre, 2:34.
Fifth place - Hyde, Hardin, won by forfeit over Perlichek, DesLacs.
Championship - Byron Kuylen, Sidney, d. Mike Hipple, Havre, 13-3.
Third place - Blake Hunter, Baker, p. Tate Ashton, Gillette, :34.
Fifth place - Whisonant, Cody, d. Ayers, Poplar, 5-4.
Championship - Craig Dunn, Sidney, p. Leo Pluhar, Miles City, 3:02.
Third place - Andy Corean, Hettinger, d. Travis Bruce, Sheridan, 5-2.
Fifth place - Sutherland, Havre, d. French, Lewistown, 6-5.
Championship - Doug Copeland, Sidney, d. Josh Beeman, Senior, 4-3.
Third place - Terry Irvine, Miles City, d. Jory Wasserburger, Gillette, 3-1.
Fifth place - Tay Todd, Bozeman, d. Burkart, Cody, 8-2.
Championship - Danny Whitby, Senior, d. Casey Dschaak, Belle Fourche, 11-2.
Third place - Tel Todd, Bozeman, d. Dustin Scotten, Lewistown, 10-2.
Fifth place - Casey Cook, Miles City, d. Fritz, Sidney, 5-3.
Championship - Jeff Brokaw, Hardin, d. Corey Shilhanek, Senior, 8-3.
Third place - Eric Scott, Gillette, d. Mikah Kadera, Sheridan, 4-3.
Fifth place - Mahaffy, Belle Fourche, p. Collins, Sidney, 4:29.
Championship - Shane Bennett, Belle FOurche, d. Evan Hinebauch, Havre, 8-4.
Third place - Gresh Melby, Sidney, d. Drew Dangerud, Hettinger, 9-2.
Fifth place - DeVore, Bozeman, p. Neiter, Senior, 3:19.
Championship - James Muhlbeier, Hardin, d. Pat Leach, Cody, 5-4.
Third place - Brandon Carrigan, Bismarck Century, d. Dustin Haukenberry, Havre, 8-4.
Fifth place - Shilhanek, Senior, d. Larson, Sidney, 9-3.
Championship - Dusty Vliem, Hettinger, d. Wacey Coleman, Gillette, 6-5.
Third place - Mike Keyser, Bozeman, d. Chad Seely, Havre, 3-2.
Fifth place - Edwards, Cody, won by forfeit over Weppler, DesLacs.
Championship - William Wine, Senior, d. Jerry Murch, Glasgow, 3-0.
Third place - Jordan McWilliams, Baker, p. Trevor Getchell, Sidney, 5:59.
Fifth place - Zuelke, Havre, p. McMillan, Cody, 3:31.
Championship - Craig Rogers, Gillette, d. Brian Hastig, Baker, 6-4.
Third place - Matt Schnittgen, Havre, d. Dustin Merritt, Sidney, 4-2.
Fifth place - Lyles, Senior, won by default over Johnson, Bismarck Century.