By Rob Everingham
The defending state champion Havre Blue Pony wrestling team finished second at the state tournament, just two points shy of the Sidney Eagles, who won the meet.
BILLINGS It came down to one match and just two points, but the chips just did not fall for the Havre Blue Ponies.
Sidney's Ryan Hagen downed Belgrade's Blake Stulc for the 152 pound individual crown to push the Eagles to a 165-163 win over Havre at the All-Class State Wrestling Tournament held at MetraPark in Billings.
The Blue Ponies placed just one wrestler in the finals. Nick Newell at 105 pounds fell 16-0 in a technical fall to Justin Davis of Corvallis. Davis came in ranked second in the state, while Newell sat fourth.
Havre finished with one third place finish as Nick Holt won a 14-2 decision over Kris Lookhart of Livingston at 130 pounds. Holt came into the state tournament ranked second.
At 119 pounds, Havre's Chad Hedges fell to Jamie Muir of Ronan 4-0 to finished fourth. Coming into state, Hedges was ranked sixth and Muir sat in the second spot.
Also placing fourth for the Blue Ponies was Chad Maney at 125 pounds, who was pinned at the 1:29 mark by Gordan Harrison of Hardin. Maney was No. 6 coming into state while Harrison was third.
ake Szudera was pinned at the 4:42 mark in his match against Chase Fisher of Hardin at 135 pounds. Szudera came into the state meet ranked No. 2.
At 145 pounds, Aaron Jensen fell in a 3-1 decision to Matt Eggum of Sidney. Eggum came in the top ranked wrestler, and Jensen sat fifth.
Havre's final fourth-place finisher was K.P. Fisher who fell to Tanner Baumgartner of Columbia Falls at 160 pounds in a 3-1 decision. Coming into state Fisher was ranked third.
The Blue Ponies also had three fifth-place finishers.
At 98 pounds, Ryan Chagnon downed Matt Dettori of Livingston in a 4-2 decision. Dettori was ranked fifth coming into the tournament.
Cody Hanson won at 140 pounds by a 4-3 decision over Paul White of Browning. Hanson was ranked No. 3 coming into the state tournament.
Willie Hulett finished fifth at 171 pounds as he downed Chris Brawley of Corvallis, 7-4. Hulett was coming into the meet off a re-occurring shoulder injury. He had to withdraw from last weekend's Central A divisional championship match.
The Blue Ponies had 10 wrestlers in matches on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.
Even though Havre did not win this year, they have a great shot of returning to the top next season as they lose just two seniors in Hulett and Newell.
Havre head coach Scott Filius said they wrestled as well as possible on Friday, but in the semi-finals on Saturday morning things just got away from them.
"Things just started to snowball on us," Filius said.
The Blue Ponies did great in wrestlebacks, Filius said.
As far as second place goes, Filius said, hats off to Sidney, who won some matches they hadn't won all season. They just got the job done, Filius said.
Ten wrestlers placed for Havre, which, Filius said, is the most they have ever placed. He was pleased with everyone's effort and felt that Garrett Hanson had a shot, but it came down to a referee's call.
"We were just a smidgen away from placing 11," Filius said.
Overall, the year for the Blue Ponies has been great. Filius said his team placed as well, if not better, at every tournament this year except for state.
"We were just two points away," Filius said, "but we had a great year."
The Blue Ponies will lose both Newell and Hulett to graduation. Filius said they are good wrestlers and you always hate to see them go.
On the brighter side, the Blue Ponies are returning everyone else. Again next season Havre will be in the hunt for the state's top spot.
"I think we could scare them again next year," Filius said.
Filius said his wrestlers were a little disappointed with the second place finish. They knew they had a real shot if they did things right, but they felt good about the way they wrestled, Filius said.
"They wrestled hard and have nothing to feel bad about," Filius said.
BILLINGS (AP) Final team scores and results of the championship, consolation and fifth and sixth place matches held Saturday at the state Class A wrestling tournament at the Metra:
Final team standings
Sidney 165, Havre 163, Columbia Falls 149.5, Corvallis 146.5, Ronan 140.5, Hardin 115.5, Libby 103, Dillon 101.5, Laurel 100, Colstrip 82.5, Whitefish 64, Polson 60.5, Livingston 57, Browning 52, Belgrade 49, Custer 45, Billings Central 39, Anaconda 32, Lewistown 32, Butte Central 29, Glendive 12.5, Bigfork 10, Hamilton 8.
98 pounds P. Williams, Sidney, md. J.R. Rebo, Libby, 11-0.
105 Justin Davis, Corvallis, tf. Nick Newell, Havre, 16-0.
112 Nick Hambro, Sidney, d. Tony Bartoletti, Anaconda, 9-5.
119 Chance Brawley, Corvallis, d. Casey McDonald, Browning, 8-2.
125 Rocky Cote, Ronan, d. Eric Haug, Livingston, 6-0.
130 Caleb Schaeffer, Columbia Falls, d. Colt Jore, Ronan, 8-6.
135 Jason Davis, Corvallis, d. Keri Stanley, Columbia Falls, 3-0.
140 Chris Nedens, Hardin, tf. Dusty Brown, Ronan, 24-9.
145 Nate Stillwagon, Butte Central, d. Dan Martinson, Columbia Falls, 8-7.
152 Ryan Hagen, Sidney, d. Blake Stulc, Belgrade, 6-4, OT.
160 Andy Koyama, Hardin, d. John Burrell, Libby, 9-5.
171 Joe Landry, Billings Central, d. Billy Johnson, Dillon, 6-4, OT.
189 Jade Small, Colstrip, d. John Perrigo, Laurel, 9-6.
HWT Vince Henman, Laurel, p. Dave McGinley, Dillon, :56.
98 pounds Marquart, Ronan, d. Bailey, Polson, 6-0.
105 Larson, Columbus, d. Buxbaum, Sidney, 4-2.
112 Schaeffer, Columbia Falls, md. Fiscus, Libby, 14-4.
119 Muir, Ronan, d. Hedges, Havre, 4-0.
125 Harrison, Hardin, p. Maney, Havre, 1:29.
130 Holt, Havre, md. Lookhart, Livingston, 14-2.
135 Fisher, Hardin, p. Szudera, Havre, 4:42.
140 Taylor, Whitefish, d. Mogan, Laurel, 10-6.
145 Eggum, Sidney, d. Jensen, Havre, 3-1.
152 Jolley, Corvallis, p. Scotten, Lewistown, 1:34.
160 Baumgartne, Columbia Falls, d. Fisher, Havre, 3-1.
171 Harris, Sidney, p. Dighans, Belgrade, 4:32.
189 Sletvold, Columbia Falls, d. Swisher, Whitefish, 3-1.
HWT Newman, Columbus, d. Benjamin, Miles City, 3-1.
98 Chagnon, Havre, d. Dettori, Livingston, 4-2.
105 Bland, Libby, d. Urbanski, Billings Central, 16-9.
112 White, Browning, d. Rose, Ronan, 1-0.
119 Hilton, Dillon, d. Mazurek, Polson, 4-3.
125 Fledderman, Corvallis, p. Loomis, Miles City, 2:35.
130 Savage, Whitefish, d. Torgison, Polson, 3-2.
135 Prevost, Sidney, d. Harrison, Dillon, 7-2.
140 Hanson, Havre, d. White, Browning, 4-3.
145 Beruman, Laurel, d. Steuer, Corvallis, 8-2.
152 Thompson, Libby, p. Roberts, Polson, 1:54.
160 Templer, Ronan, p. Moran, Sidney, :46.
171 Hulett, Havre, d. Brawley, Corvallis, 7-4.
189 Hansen, Sidney, p. Munday, Dillon, :46.
HWT Mehling, Hardin, d. Barrows, Columbia Falls, 9-3