The Belgrade Panthers came in with the No. 1 ranking and the depth. But in the end, the Havre Blue Ponies had the firepower. Saturday afternoon at the HHS gymnasium, the Blue Ponies stormed their way to an eighth straight Central A championship by edging the Panthers and placing 17 wrestlers overall. Havre scored 280.5 points while the Panthers scored 263. The Ponies had an outstanding final round, crowning seven individual champions, including Gilbert Bara (112), Duell Stadel (119), Dillon Seely (135), Eli Hinebauch (145), Kameron Pribyl (152), Casey Schaub (171) and Josh Salapich (215). The Ponies trailed Belgrade by 20 points going into the finals, but rebounded with an outstanding round.
Lewistown finished in third place Saturday with 200 points, while Browning scored 70, Livingston 49 and Butte Central 9.
In all, Havre qualified 17 wrestlers for the state tournament which runs Friday and Saturday in Butte.
For full coverage, see Monday's HDN.