BILLINGS — Every team from the Hi-Line came to the 2012 Class B-C state wrestling tournament looking for glory. That’s the nature of the sport, and the tournament, which returned to Billings after a one-year hiatus.
And for Harlem, Chester/J-I and even Big Sandy, glory came in many forms.
At this weekend’s 2012 state tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the Rimrock Auto Arena at Metra Park, Harlem finished ninth overall with 67 points. The Wildcats and head coach Lyle Faulkinberry were hoping for more after a successful regular season, but injuries and upsets left them tied with Conrad.
The Hawks finished with 33 points, good enough for sixth in the Class C-only field, while Big Sandy scored six points.
Harlem came to Billings threatening to vie for a trophy this weekend, but an injury to 105-pound Shay Snider two weeks ago hurt the Wildcat’s chances. Snider had been ranked No. 1 in B-C all season long, but wound up losing a first-round match before defaulting in the consolation second round.
Harlem’s other big guns also suffered setbacks in Saturday morning’s semifinals.
Teague Jones, the favorite at 112 pounds, lost a tough match in the semis before rebounding to place third. At 140 pounds, Chris Schupe also lost in the semifinals, but also came back strong, winning two straight in the afternoon to place third.
Harlem also got points from Gus Taylor at 105, heavyweight Seth Adams, Brendan Johnson at 125, Deon Hammett at 130 and Denton Cornell at 160.
A pair of Hawks joined the two Harlem standouts on the medal stand this weekend.
C/J-I senior Leonard Pugsley bulldozed his way into the 145-pound semifinals before falling to Townsend’s Shay Christenson. Pugsley battled back to finish fourth, losing to Forsyth’s Chris Nile in the consolation final.
C/J-I also got points from a pair of heavyweights, including Shalon Norick who placed fourth. Norick reached the quarterfinals, then battled the consolation bracket before losing to Shelby rival Cody Nelson in the consolation final. Fellow heavyweight Jake Fritz also scored points for the Hawks.
The Pioneers got two wins on the weekend, one coming from Kasey Martin at 145 pounds and the other from Lane Martin at 189 pounds.