The Havre High Blue Ponies faced one of the most difficult and intense dual meets of their season against Conrad Saturday night at the Blue Pony Corral.
The Ponies had a lead of 18-6 at one point in the dual meet, but with only one Pony victory in the next six matches, Conrad took a 30-21 lead. Behind wins from Drew Harlow and Chad Hedges, Havre tied the meet at 30 with just one match remaining.
Havre's Kyle Lammerding matched up with Conrad's Zach Lockyer at 135 pounds for the decisive meeting of the night. Lockyer made short work of Lammerding, pinning him in 45 seconds to give the Cowboys a 36-30 win.
"We won seven and they won seven," Havre coach Scott Filius said. "They just got a few more pins than we did."
Lammerding wrestled in place of Greg Leyba, who was out with an injury, Filius said.
The night started at 140 pounds with a victory for Havre's Jacob Szudera, who got the crowd pumped with a pin in 3:14 over Conrad's Brian Preuss. But Mark McKeone returned the favor next, pinning Havre's Adam Jensen in three minutes.
Then Havre surged ahead.
Chad Zuelke pinned Conrad's R. Gunderson in 1:46, K.P. Fisher won by decision 3-2 over David Ahmed, and Garrett Hanson won 4-2 in an overtime decision over Aaron Jones. Hanson had lost two previous matches to Jones earlier in the season.
"Garrett finally found a way to get that guy," Filius said. "Both are just quality kids. You are just happy when you finally find a way to beat the kid."
Dan Jones stopped the Pony winning streak with a pin in 2:39 over Havre's Nick Johnson at 189 pounds. Mike Schnittgen followed with a 4-3 loss in double overtime to Conrad's Jordan Hepp. Hepp escaped a hold with six seconds remaining in the second overtime period to get the win.
But Havre wasn't done yet.
Kevin Velk came up at 98 pounds and squeaked by the Cowboys' Justin Jones 10-8 in overtime. Velk had been pinned by Jones in a previous meeting at the CMR Holiday Classic Dec. 14-15 in Great Falls. Velk's match was the third overtime match of the night.
Wrestling down one weight class from 112 to 105 pounds, Caleb Lockyer defeated Havre's Jeff Hedges 6-4, pulling the Cowboys to within three points of Havre.
"We knew he was a big kid," Filius said of Lockyer. "We hoped to beat him on our feet and we didn't do that. Jeffy certainly lost to a quality kid."
Ross Johnson gave Conrad its first lead of the night with a pin in 1:01 over Scott Sheppard. The Cowboys took a nine-point lead after the next match as Danny Murr pinned Mike Sutherland in 4:50.
Drew Harlow brought Havre back to within six points of the lead with a 12-6 decision over Clayton Gernaat. Following Harlow, Chad Hedges got a quick pin in 54 seconds over Paul Carroll to tie the dual at 30, placing all the pressure on the 135-pound weight class.
But the Ponies simply ran out of steam as Lammerding lost in 49 seconds to Lockyer.
"Conrad's just a quality program," Filius said. "I like their style. They don't come out to lose. They come out to win. I am real pleased with the dual even though we lost."
It was also senior night at the Blue Pony Corral. Seven seniors and one special guest were honored before the meet started. Harlow, Chad Hedges, Lammerding, Szudera, Fisher, Hanson and Schnittgen were all introduced along with their parents.
The special guest was the one who received the most attention.
Ryan Chagnon, who was injured in a car accident last year and has not wrestled since, received a standing ovation from the crowd as the first senior introduced.
The last home dual meet for the Ponies also marked the last meet of the regular season. Havre takes to the mats at the divisional meet Saturday in Livingston.
The following are the results from Havre's dual meet with Conrad. Results from both the Great Falls High and CMR match Friday were not available.
98 Kevin Velk won by decision 10-8 in overtime over Justin Jones
105 Jeff Hedges lost by decision 6-4 to Caleb Lockyer
112 Scott Sheppard lost by pin in 1:01 to Ross Johnson
119 Mike Sutherland lost by pin in 4:50 to Danny Murr
125 Drew Harlow won by decision 12-6 over Clayton Gernaat
130 Chad Hedges won by pin in 54 seconds over Paul Carroll
135 Kyle Lammerding lost by pin in 49 seconds to Zach Lockyer
140 Jacob Szudera won by pin in 3:14 over Bryan Preuss
145 Adam Jensen lost by pin in 3:00 to Mark McKeone
152 Chad Zuelke won by pin in 1:46 over R. Gunderson
160 K.P Fisher won by decision 3-2 over David Ahmed
171 Garrett Hanson won by decision 4-2 in overtime over Aaron Jones
189 Nick Johnson lost by pin in 2:39 to Danny Jones
HWT Mike Schnittgen lost by decision 4-3 in double overtime to Jordan Hepp.