Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior night is usually a festive affair, but on Thursday night, the Great Falls High Bison spoiled the celebration for the Havre High wrestling team with a 41-36 upset win in a dual between the two teams last night at the HHS gymnasium. GFH held a 38-24 lead when topranked Evan Hinebauch of Havre stepped on the mat to face off against Steve Hystad of GFH. Hystad finished fourth in the Class AA state tournament last year, but on this night he proved to be no match for Hinebauch. Needing a pin to keep Havre’s hope for victory alive, Hinebauch dominated the match from start to finish. At times it appeared as though he was just toying with Hystad, notching an incredible 11 takedowns before finally getting the pin in 5:16, cutting the Bison lead to 38-30. “He looked angry out there tonight,” HHS head coach Scott Filius said. “He just completely dominated the match. He knew that we needed him to get a pin, so he got the pin. Steve is a good wrestler too, but Evan just wrestled great.” The pressure then shifted to the match at 215 pounds between Chris Buskirk of Havre and Zach Deffinbaugh of the Bison. A win by Buskirk would put the Ponies within striking distance of a win in the final match at 275 pounds. He jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, only to see it evaporate. Deffinbaugh held a 6-3 lead late in the third period, but was called for stalling, which awarded a point to Buskirk, making the score 6-4. However, less than 20 seconds remained on the clock and Buskirk just didn’t have enough gas left in the tank to score the takedown he needed to tie the match. In the end, Deffinbaugh held on to win a dramatic 8-4 decision. The win extended the Bison lead to 41-30 which was enough to clinch the dual. HHS senior Matt Schnittgen did finish off the dual with a dominating victory over Rich Bomgardner at 275 pounds. Schnittgen recorded a pin in 3:48 to remain unbeaten on the season. “I am very proud of the way that our team wrestled tonight,” GFH head coach Steve Komac said. “They were very intense and they beat a really good Havre team. I think that Havre is one of the best teams in the state and it means a lot for our team to come down here and beat them.” The dual started off with Havre forfeiting at 98 pounds and the Bison forfeiting at 105 pounds and 112 pounds. The first match of the night took place between Julian Wichman of Great Falls and Tyson Gruber of Havre at 119 pounds. Wichman controlled most of the match and finally earned the victory by pin in 4:32. At 125 pounds, Myles Mazurkiewicz earned an impressive victory for the Ponies, as he grabbed a 10-3 decision over Frank Ramsey. Beau LaSalle grabbed another victory for Havre with a 5-2 decision over Zach Mendenhall. The win gave Havre an early 18-12 advantage. But that was when the tide turned in favor of GFH, as the Bison reeled off four straight victories to re-take the lead. Billy Wagner lost a 13-3 major decision to GFH defending state champ Zack Gregoire at 135 pounds. Then the Ponies lost their second consecutive match, when Aaron Olson was pinned by Bobby Vinson in 3:07. Ethan Hinebauch of Havre won by forfeit, giving the Ponies a short-lived 24-22 lead, but the Bison regained it quickly, when Maxx Gallad won a 14-2 major decision over Phillip Sutherland at 152 pounds, and Zach Wichman pinned Curtis Shandorf at in 1:47 at 160 pounds to give the Bison a 32-24 advantage. Ty Vinson of GFH also won by forfeit at 171 pounds to push the Bison lead to 38-24. “I just got out-coached tonight,” Filius said. “I should not have let them forfeit to Ethan Hinebauch at 145 pounds. I should have moved everyone down a weight class and had Chris Recio wrestle at 98 pounds, so that was my fault. But their kids wrestled very well and win or lose you get the same thing out of these things, which is mat experience.” The Ponies, who have still only lost two duals all season, will close out their regular-season campaign on Saturday with a dual in Conrad at 6 p. m.