Seniors send Lights out of the Armory in style

MSU-N grapplers crush Northwest College in final home dual


Last updated 2/10/2020 at 8:13am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Rob Pair looks for a shot during his 125-pound match against Northwest College Friday night in the Armory Gymnasium. Pair and the Lights beat the Trappers 34-11.

The final home dual was a full one for the Montana State University-Northern Lights. And it was one that the upper weights set the tone for, and the seniors finished.

Saturday night in the Armory Gymnasium, the No. 20 Lights closed out the home portion of their schedule with a commanding 34-11 win over the Northwest College Trappers, who came in ranked eighth in the NJCAA.

And, it was fitting that a dominant run by the Lights was capped by bonus point wins from Rob Pair at 125 and Landon Bailey at 133, who were two of three MSU-N grapplers honored on senior night. Brennon Veis was also honored, and he had a great match at 141, coming up just short.

"The seniors went out there and they put on a show tonight," Northern head coach Tyson Thivierge said. "I couldn't be more proud of them. Brennon went out there and wrestled an absolute hammer, and it was a really good match. I was really proud of the way he wrestled. So I was super pumped for all of those guys, and nothing feels better than going out with a big win."

There were plenty of big wins for Northern, especially at the onset. After Thursday night's strange ending against Embry-Riddle, in which freshman Nakoda Siegel was the final match, Sigel then kicked off Friday night's dual with a hard-fought 6-3 decison. Then, the four grapplers who didn't get their matches the night before, took control.

Chase Short started things off with a major decision at 174 pounds, and it was book-ended by a first-period pin from Rylan Moldenhauer at heavyweight. But just before that match, Isaac Bartel had a showdown with NWC's Majid Muratoc at 197. Bartel came in ranked second in the NAIA, while Muratov is the top-ranked junior college 197-pounder in the country. And it was easy to see why both are ranked so highly, as they went to battle, but it was Bartel who controlled the match in an 8-0 major.

"There was a great effort tonight," Thivierge said. "Really no complaints. Those first four guys went out and did a good job, wrestled well, did what they're supposed to do for the most part and, yeah, they got us off to a good start."

Indeed. Then Pair and Bailey finished it. Pair had chances to pin Dawson Barfuss throughout the first period, and when he picked up another four-point nearfall in the second, the match was over with an 18-0 technical fall, for the highly decorated senior and team captain, who was also honored with a Northern Student Volunteer Service Award before his match.

Meanwhile, Bailey, who has fought off injuries all season long, was just as good. He needed less than two minutes to pin William Fish, which put the Lights ahead 28-3 with just two matches left. The dual would end with Caden Hilliard picking up a forfeit win at 157 pounds, and, the night was a good way to send the Lights to Billings next week, where they'll take on arch rival Providence in a highly anticipated dual on the eve of the All-Class State Wrestling Tournament.

"I was proud of tonight's effort," Thivierge said. "It was a good performance. And now it's just on to Providence."

The Lights and Argos will meet in their rematch dual Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Billings Senior. Northern will then get set to head to Menlo, California, later this month for the Cascade Conference Championships.

Lights 34, Northwest College 11

165 - Nakoda Siegel, MSU-N dec. Jate Frost, NWC, 6-3; 174 - Chase Short, MSU-N maj. dec. Porter Fox, NWC, 13-4; 184 - Tyson Carter, NWC, dec. Carl Hansen, MSU-N, 12-5; 197 - Isaac Bartel, MSU-N maj. dec. Majid Muratov, NWC, 8-0; 285 - Rylan Moldenhauer, MSU-N pinned T.J.. Frazier, NWC, 1:24; 125 - Rob Pair, MSU-N tech. fall Dawson Barfuss, NWC, 18-0; 133 - Landon Bailey, MSU-N pinned William Fish, NWC, 1:14; 133 - Van Bray, NWC dec. Brennon Veis, MSU-N, 5-2; 149 - Brady Lowry, NWC pinned Lane Paulson, MSU-N, 1:15; 157 - Caden Hilliard, MSU-N won by FFT.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Brennon Veis, left, wrestles his final home match during Friday night's dual against Northwest College in the Armory.


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