When the Havre High wrestling team wrestles to its ability, to say the least, it’s fun to watch. And at the Havre High gymnasium on Saturday, that’s exactly what the the top-ranked Blue Ponies did. They first captured a dominating win over their Central A rival Lewistown Golden Eagles 63-14, then followed suit with a 52- 24 win over the Glasgow Scotties. A team can never be sure how it will wrestle after a two-week break until the time comes to actually take the mat. But after seeing the Ponies handle two tough programs with outstanding individual talent, it’s safe to say that they remained on track. They wrestled well from top to bottom, and made it clear that the Class A state will still go through Havre. “We came out of the break very sharp and it was a lot of fun,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “I was pleased with the way they competed. And (state) is still the goal, and every week we are hoping to get closer to there, and I feel like we did get closer.” Opening the weekend against the Eagles, the Ponies jumped out to an almost untouchable lead. The dual started at 189 pounds where the Ponies' Josh Salapich quickly pinned Styles Moody in just 1:35. HHS took the 6-0 lead and turned it into a 30-0 lead after Jared Ruttkofsky (215), Mitch Schnittgen (285), Gilbert Bara (105) and Duell Stadel (112) all won by forfeit. But the Ponies continued to roll through the Eagle lineup with three straight wins by the way of a fall. At 119 pounds, Zack Smith pinned Dylan Kelly in 2:34, while at 125 pounds Brett Normandy pinned Tre Yaeger in 3:54. And Dillon Seely (130) gave the Ponies a 48-0 lead after pinning Jim Malone in 5:25. The Eagles did get on the board at 135 and 140 pounds to cut the lead to 48-11, but the Ponies' Eli Hinebauch got HHS back on track against Rex Martin, who has made a name for himself as one of the premier wrestlers in the state. After one period both grapplers were knotted up at 0-0. And after two periods, Hinebauch held only a 1-0 lead after scoring on an escape. The third period remained a stalemate until Martin evened the score at 1-1 on an escape of his own just before time ran out regulation in regulation. The first period of overtime ended with the score still at 1-1, and with two 30-second overtime periods left, Hinebauch finally got the separation he needed for the 5-1 decision. Hinebauch scored two points on a reversal, earned one after Martin chose to start in the neutral position, and another after Martin was cautioned and penalized. Kent Pattison (152) and Casey Schaub (171) also earned wins for the Ponies. Pattison pinned Logan Kolar in 1:52 and Schaub pinned Greg Menini in 1:05. The Eagles other win came at 160 pounds after the always tough Connor Malone earned an 8-1 decision over Kameron Pribyl. “I don’t think we lost a match we couldn’t have won,” Filius said. “And the ones we did lose I thought we wrestled very well. A couple of those matches we had lost before, but we closed the gap and that’s what we are after this time of year, to just show improvement.” Later in the afternoon the Ponies found themselves up against yet another tough program. The Scotties are deeper than the Eagles and presented more individual talent. And after the Ponies fell to the Scotties 45-36 just before the holiday break, they were driven even more to find a way to win at home. With 98 pounds open the dual got underway at 105 pounds where Bara earned another win by forfeit to put the Ponies up 6-0. And with Stadel winning after an injury default in the second period, the Ponies went up 12-0. The Scotties then showed why they are such a tough program. At 119 pounds Zeb Shawver earned a pin over Smith in 3:33, while at 125 pounds Braden Hallock earned a 4-2 decision over Normandy. Seely was in the lineup to wrestle at 130 pounds, but gave up the forfeit to wrestle at 135. And with the forfeit, the Scotties took a 15-12 lead over the Ponies. But with Seely moving up, he retook the lead at 18-15 for HHS with a pin over Simon Helland in 2:34. Gruber (140) gave the Ponies another pin in 1:12 over Ryan Bergtoll, while Hinebauch followed with a pin over Gavin Holstein in 4:55 after first taking a 12-0 lead in the match. The Ponies had moved out to a 30-15 lead and kept the pressure on with four more straight wins to stretch the lead to 52-15. Pattison (152) earned a 15-4 major decision, Pribyl (160) earned a win by forfeit, Schaub (171) earned a fall in 1:27 and Salapich (189) earned a fall in just 34 seconds. The Scotties earned wins at 215 and 285 pounds, but it was too little too late. The Ponies dominated their second match of the day and earned the 52- 24 redemption win over the defending Class B-C champion Scotties. “It was a good win,” Hinebauch said. “After we lost to Glasgow the first time, we came back and worked on a lot of different things and thought about how we could beat them. (Scott) Filius really had us thinking about strategy, and we worked our butts off in practice and came out with high intensity looking for a win. We worked hard and we are all getting better week-by-week, we are stepping it up.” It was a good weekend for the Ponies, but on Tuesday they will be tested once again by a tough CMR team in Great Falls. HHS also heads to the Cut Bank Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Ponies take down Eagles, Scotties
Published: Monday, January 4th, 2010
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