The Havre High wrestling team has talent from top to bottom this season. And housing a solid mix of veterans and young up-and-comers, the Blue Ponies have shown good balance and consistent improvement.
And the improvement continued this weekend, as the Central A Ponies continued to dominate the conference.
Saturday the Ponies competed in the Central A Divisional meet in Belgrade. And showing the Ponies are still a top team in the state, HHS grabbed the Central A championship with 276.50 points. Belgrade finished second with 210, while Lewistown was third with 128.5. Browning was fourth with 41 and Livingston was fifth with five points.
“Well we kind of expected this,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “And we are definitely pleased with it. We did it in a real nice fashion, we put all of our kids through to state and that was a goal, and we put 11 kids in the finals while winning nine of those. We have ourselves set where we need to be and that is always pleasant.”
The Ponies won in dominating fashion.
With 19 wrestlers entered, the Ponies had every single kid finish in the top four and qualify for state. And to add to the dominant performance, the Ponies earned nine individual titles out of the 11 kids they had in the championships.
“We haven’t had all 19 kids make it for a couple of years,” Filius said. “Because we haven’t had those bottom weights, so we are real pleased.”
Grayson Brenna (98) earned a title with an 8-2 decision over Dakota Erickson (BEL). And Dylan Stewart (105) earned his title with fall over Zavier Plouffe (LEW) in just 14 seconds. Nate Kennelly (112) pinned Zach Phelps (LEW) in 34 seconds, while Thomas Gruber (130) earned an 8-2 decision over Tanner Johnson (BEL). Eli Hinebauch (152) remained undefeated on the season and pinned Jacob Sanford (LEW) in 1:10, and Kameron Pribyl (160) earned a 15-0 tech fall over Colter Devers (BEL), while Grant Pattison (171) earned a 5-0 decision over Ethan Blyth (LEW). Casey Schaub (189) also dominated his opponent, with 24-second pin over Van Beek (BEL), while Tyler Adams (215) grabbed a 12-6 decision over Brennan Schram (BEL).
Gilbert Bara (119) and Kolton Lodge (285) also made the finals. Bara gave up the match by a forfeit, while Lodge suffered a 4-1 decision loss to Dakota Rutherford of Browning.
“All of our kids who won in the finals were really dominating,” Filius said.
The rest of the Blue Pony lineup also performed well over the weekend, punching their ticket to state by making the third/fourth place match.
Dustin Seely (125) pinned Andrew Allen (LIV), Jace Billy (171) defeated Bullshoe (BRO) and Dustin Odegard (215) defeated Marshall Ray (BRO). Gunnar Aageson (130), Matt Emge (135), Dillon Seely (140), Jordan Schroeder (145) and Jayson Kohler (152) all lost in the round, grabbing fourth place finishes.
“Our younger guys wrestled well,” Filius said. “And every week they are improving. And this weekend they just competed against kids that on paper, maybe they weren’t supposed to compete with, and won a bunch of those matches while competing in the rest. And our older kids beat everybody they were supposed to beat.”
HHS wrestled well over the weekend. All of their kids performed well, and it is the first time in a while they entire team made it state. And while they had a good idea of where the team was before divisionals, the Ponies know exactly where they are at heading into state.
“I think we had a pretty good idea of where we were before,” Filius said. “But we know we are going to have to bang with Laurel, Sidney and Corvallis. That is where we are at, and we are right where we expected to be.”
All that is left for the Ponies this year is the state tournament. And after taking second place a year ago, the Ponies are ready to get back on the big stage Friday and Saturday in Billings.
Central A at Belgrade
Team scores: 1, Havre 276.50; 2, Belgrade 210; 3, Fergus 128.50; 4, Browning 41; Park 5.
98 - Grayson Brenna, Hav, dec. Dakota Erickson, Bel, 8-2. 105 - Dylan Stewart, Hav, pinned Xavier Plouffe, Fer, :14. 112 - Nathan Kennelly, Hav, pinned Zach Phelps, Fer, :34; 119 - Cameron Alverson, Bel, def. Gilbert Bara, Havre, forfeit. 125 - Bryce Weatherston, Bel, pinned Jerime Granot, Fer, 3:58. 130 - Thomas Gruber, Hav, dec. Tanner Johnson, Bel, 8-2. 135 - Tyler DeBuse, Bel, dec. Jeremy Quintero, Bel, 7-4. 140 - Ethan Sterling, Bel, dec. John Chamberlain, Fer, 5-1. 145 - Jim Malone, Fer, dec. Keaton Sterling, Bel, 6-4. 152 - Eli Hinebaugh, Hav, pinned Jacob Sanford, Fer, 1:10. 160 - Kameron Pribyl, Hav, tech fall Colter Devers, Bel, 15-0. 171 - Grant Pattison, Hav, dec. Ethan Blythe, Fer, 5-0. 189 - Casey Schaub, Hav, pinned Sam Van Beek, Bel, :24. 215 - Tyler Adams, Hav, dec. Brennan Schram, Bel, 12-6. 285 - Dakota Rutherford, Brown, dec. Kolton Lodge, Hav, 4-1.
119 — Tre' Bullock, FER, def. Doug McDonald, BRW; 125 — Dustin Seely, HAV, def. Andrew Allen, LIV; 130 — Ethan Bristol, BEL, def. Gunnar Aageson, HAV; 135 — Braden Dieziger, FER def. Matthew Emge, HAV; 140 — Zeus Rutherford, BRW, def. Dillon Seely, HAV; 145 — Bryce Akers, BEL, def. Jordan Schroeder, HAV; 152 — Keeven Pickle, BEL, def. Jayson Kohler, HAV; 160 — Alex Grant, BRW, def. Seth Walters, FER; 171 — Jace Billy, HAV def. S. Bullshoe, BRW; 189 — Jason Gervais, BRW, bye; 215 — Dustin Odegard, HAV, or Marshall Ray, BRW.
The 19 Havre High wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament will begin wrestling Friday morning at the All-Class State Wrestling Tournament inside the Billings Metra. The Havre Daily News will have full coverage from Billings, including live updates at www.havredailynews.com and on Twitter at twitter/havredaily. Also, see full coverage of the state tournament in next Monday's Havre Daily News.