The Havre High wrestling team got off to a slow start on Tuesday night, but down the stretch the Blue Ponies were able to get the points when they needed them the most. On Tuesday night the Class A Ponies hosted the Class AA Great Falls High Bison for a nonconference dual. And after surging from behind it was the Ponies who came away with the 47- 24 win at the Havre high gymnasium. Starting out the Bison were the dominant team. They went up 9-0 early, and after the first seven matches stretched their lead to 24-6. “We fell behind to the heart of their lineup,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “They have some tremendous kids there, but more than anything I was tickled with how we wrestled those kids. I was pleased with the efforts.” In those first seven matches Duell Stadel earned the only Pony win. In Stadel’s 112-pound bout he brought in six points with a first period fall over Shandon Bilbrey. The fall came just 52 seconds into the match. At 98 pounds the Ponies gave up a forfeit. Gilbert Bara (105) lost by a 7-0 decision and Zack Smith lost by a 3-0 decision while Riley Harwood (135) was pinned late in the third period, falling in 4:20. Brett Normandy (125) and Dillon Seely (130) also lost on Tuesday, but put up good fights against talented wrestlers. Normandy overcame a near fall in the first and second period against Cole Mendenhall to give himself a chance in the third period. Normandy suffered the 9-4 loss, but gave up only three team points instead of six. Seely faced off against Josh Morin and also battled into the third period. Seely trailed from the stat of the match, but wrestled well, losing by an 8-2 decision. “I was very pleased with their (Normandy and Seely) efforts,” Filius said. After losing to Belgrade over the weekend the Ponies were most concerned about how they competed late into the third period. But after making that a focal point, they saw improvement after just one day of practice. “We talked about it in practice,” Filius said. “And I think more than anything just talking about it, addressing it and making the kids aware that in the third period when it’s crunch time you have to focus. You can’t just kinda hang out, and we got caught last weekend hanging a little bit and hopefully we will continue it the next couple of weeks.” HHS may have dropped the first 6-of-7 matches of the evening, but it was the Ponies winning of the next eight straight that earned the win. Tyson Gruber (140) first got the Ponies back on track. Gruber pinned Stephen Horn in 2:43 and cut the Bison’s lead to 24-12. Eli Hinebauch (145) nearly pinned Zech Shalz in the first period, but went on to win by a 9-0 major decision, bringing the Ponies within eight points. Kent Pattison (152) was on his way to a major decision win when he reached a 10-3 lead in the second period. But with just 10 seconds left in the second, he earned a 3:50 fall over Josh Allestad instead. At that point the Ponies trailed 24- 22. But Kameron Pribyl (160) added to the Pony wins with a 9-1 major decision over Julian Wichman. And though Pribyl gave the Ponies a 26-24 lead, Casey Schaub (171) pushed it to 29-24 with an 8-3 decision over Trevor Johnson. Josh Salapich (189) and Tim Williams battled next. Salapich took a 4-0 lead in the second period, but Williams came back with a two-point reversal and two point near fall to tie the match at 4-4. But after Salapich took the 6-4 lead on a reversal of his own in the third period he was in control. After the reversal, Salapich pinned Williams in 5:40 to give the Ponies a 45-24 lead. Jared Ruttkofsky (215) and Mitch Schnittgen (285) put the finishing touches on the Pony comeback. Ruttkofsky came out ready to wrestle. He earned a quick near fall and overcame a close call himself after a John Kellems reversal in the first period. But ending it early, Ruttkofsky earned a win by fall in just 58 seconds. Schnittgen came out ready as well, and earned a pin over Bridger Wren in just 54 seconds to top the Ponies lead off at 47-24 for the win. “We got our nose bloodied on Saturday,” Filius said. “And it’s good to get back on the mat and get rid of that sour taste.” The Ponies are back in action on Friday at 6 p.m. when they host Conrad for HHS senior night at the Havre High gymnasium.
Pony matmen come back on Great Falls High
Blue Ponies win eight straight matches against Class AA Bison
Published: Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
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