The Harlem Wildcats have been building for it for a long time. And on Saturday, they finally got there.
At the Northern B-C Divisional wrestling tournament Saturday in Cut Bank, the Wildcats pulled off a divisional championship by scoring 151 points, five points better than perennial Northern power Conrad which had won the last 17 astounding years. The Wildcats did it with balance, crowning five individual champions and placing nine wrestlers overall.
Saturday was a good day for Hi-Line teams in Cut Bank. A shot-handed Chinook team powered its way to a strong fourth-place finish with 87.5 points. The Sugarbeeters finished just behind Conrad and Malta. Chester/J-I finished sixth with 75 points and Big Sandy was seventh with 53 points.
The Wildcats made the most of their final round on Saturday, winning all five matches they wrestled in. Shay Snider captured the 98-pound title and Teague Jones added a 105-pound title for the Wildcats. Chris Schupe then won at 140 pounds for Harlem, while juggernauts Colten Dirden (135) and Trent Jones (171) did as expected, winning their respective weight class, and sealing Harlem’s championship over Conrad in the process.
But not to be outdone, Harlem was good in the wrestle backs as well. The Wildcats got third-place finishes from Song Stuker (171) and Tom Lamebull (215), while Gus Taylor (105) and Seth Adams (189) came in fourth, giving the Wildcats nine wrestler at this week’s state tournament.
Chinook, which has finished fifth or better at state the last three years and has won three straight Class C championships, didn’t have the depth of years past, but the Beeters were still strong on Saturday. Undefeated Ben Stroh cruised to the 189-pound championship, while Jorrell Jones was upset by Brock Calvi of Cut bank in the 215-pound title match. Chinook also got outstanding second-place finishes from Wyatt Brandel at 130 pounds and Robbie Klingaman at 171 pounds, while Angelo Flores (119) and Cord Anderson (189) came in third and Geoff Qualls (112) finished fourth.
Two big surprises on Saturday were how well C/J-I and Big Sandy competed with so few wrestlers in the field.
C/J-I also got titles from Leonard Pugsley (145) and Ethan Wolery (HWT) and will send four to state. Big Sandy qualified five.
All of the Hi-Line wrestlers who qualified will head to Hamilton for the state B-C tourney Friday and Saturday. For more results, see Tuesday's Havre Daily News.
at Cut Bank
Final team scores
1. Harlem 151. 2. Conrad 146. 3. Malta 135. 4. Chinook 87. 5. Cut Bank 84. 6. Chester-Joplin/Inverness 75. 7. Big Sandy 53. 8. Shelby 25
98—Shay Snider HAR 16-4 maj. dec. Morgan Koenig CON; 105—Teague Jones HAR 6-0 dec. Kylan Berkram CTB; 112—Luke Schlosser CON pin Travis Vermulm CTB 1:50; 119—Chris Doney MAL pin Garrett Moritz CON 5:24; 125—Landon Shettel MAL 7-0 dec. Nolan Simanton MAL; 130—Neil Johnson CTB 11-2 maj. dec. Wyatt Brandel CHI; 135—Colton Dirden HAR 18-5 maj. dec. Colt Harris CON; 140—Chris Shupe HAR pin Erik Kelly CJI :46; 145—Leonard Pugsley CJI 4-2 dec. Ryan Miller BGS; 152—Johnny Schlosser CON 3-1 dec. Noah Harms MAL; 160—Ryan Smith MAL pin Ryan Orcutt CON 2:34; 171—Trent Jones HAR pin Robby Klingaman CHI 3:13; 189—Benjamin Stroh CHI pin Lucas Schultz CON :28; 215 - Brock Calvi CTB 3-1 OT dec. Jorell Jones CHI; 285—Ethan Wolery CJI pin Shalon Norick CJI 1:46
Quick pin award was won by Ethan Wolery (285) of C-J-I
98—Henry Ramirez MAL; 105—Joe Rappold MAL 9-8 dec. Gus Taylor HAR; 112—Rabe Whitford CTB pin Geoff Qualls CHI 4:27; 119—Angelo Flores CHI; 125—none; 130—Kasey Martin BGS pin Brandon Tuma 2:05; 135—Robert Jennings CTB 7-2 dec. Dusty Gasvoda BGS; 145—Nate Carlson MAL pin Graeme Giblette MAL :32; 152—Lane Martin BGS inj. def. Colter Knox CON; 160—Keane Stewart SHL pin Westin Brown BGS 1:50; 171—Song Stuker HAR 7-1 dec. Tyler Nelson CON; 189—Cord Anderson CHI 15-4 maj. dec. Seth Adams HAR; 215—Thomas LameBull HAR pin Justin Ratzburg CON 2:30; 285—Cody Nelson SHL pin Henry Oyler MAL 3:41.
None at 98, 105, 119, 125, 130, 140, 145; 112—Carter Eppeson MAL.135—Riley Martin MAL.152—Lucas Brauchle SHL; 160—Ramsey Offerdahl CON; 171—Matt Gullickson BGS pin Rocky Guardipee SHL :53; 189—Guy Hutton HAR pin David Atkinson CTB :11; 215—Jake King HAR pin Parker Score MAL 2:13; 285—Jace Johnson HAR pin Trent Noel HAR 3:38.
98—Koenig CON pin Ramirez MAL 1:04; Snider HAR bye; 105—Jones HAR pin Taylor HAR 1:08; Berkram CTB pin Rappold MAL 3:11; 112—L. Schlosser CON pin Whitford CTB 1:10; Vermulm CTB pin Qualls CHI 2:36; 119—Moritz CON pin Flores CHI 1:39; Doney MAL bye; 125—Shettel MAL bye; Simanton MAL bye; 130—Brandal CHI pin Tuma MAL :49; Johnson CTB pin Martin BGS 1:32; 135—Dirden HAR pin Gasvoda BGS 3:37; Harris CON pin Jennings CTB :17; 140—Kelly CJI 5-3 dec. French CON; Shupe HAR bye; 145—Pugsley CJI pin Giblette MAL 1:24; Miller BGS pin Carlson MAL 2:18; 152—J. Schlosser CON pin Martin BGS 1:54; Harms MAL inj. def. Knox CON; 160—Smith MAL pin Stewart SHL 1:09; Orcutt CON pin Brown BGS 4:34; 171—Jones HAR pin Nelson CON 1:10; Klingaman CHI pin Stuker HAR 5:29; 189—Stroh CHI pin Adams HAR :41; Schultz CON 7-4 dec. Anderson CHI; 215—Jones CHI pin Ratzburg CON :39; Calvi CTB pin LameBull HAR 1:51; 285—Wolery CJI pin Nelson SHL 1:06; Norick CJI pin Oyler MAL 3:12.