Bulldog wrestlers go 1-2 at Duals

The 26th annual Mining City Duals hit the mats Friday at Butte High, as the host Bulldogs posted a 1-2 record on the day.

Butte High ran into a tough test from Missoula Sentinel in the opener, falling 54-24, and then lost a close matchup against Class A Columbia Falls, 42-36. The Bulldogs salvaged their day with a 54-26 win over Anaconda.

“Well, that’s how we get better,” second-year Bulldog head coach Jim Bob Humphrey said Friday, explaining that tough matches against tough wrestlers will help his team improve. “We just need to keep going to work every day to get better. There isn’t a lot of instant gratification in wrestling, so we’ve got to keep working.”

While Butte High finished third in Pool 5 competition, first-day pool victors included defending team champion Havre, 2012 runner-up Sidney, Great Falls, Missoula Sentinel and Billings West.

The Bulldogs saw a pair of wrestlers go 3-0 on the day, as 160-pound Senior Andy Anderson continued his excellent showing this season with three pins Friday. Junior Lee Cannon also ran the table at 195 pounds, scoring a decision and a pair of pins. Senior Wyatt Merkel won his only match of the day at 182 pounds, where he also collected a pair of forfeit wins.

Levi Renz (145) and Ax Henningsen (132) both notched two wins against a single loss Friday, while freshman 98-pounder Tyler Casey had a loss, a win and got six points via forfeit.

“Andy wrestled really aggressive today,” Humphrey said. “He’s getting after it and he’s done everything we’ve asked of him. Andy is a prime example of what hard work can do.”

Cannon also drew praise from his coach.

“Lee opened up like we asked him to,” Humphrey said. “It’s exciting to see. The more he opens up the better he’ll do, and he’s awfully good.”

Butte High, which had a number of wrestlers competing at heavier weight classes than expected, didn’t match up well with Sentinel in the opener. The Spartans took a 12-0 team lead before freshman Bryson Henningsen got the ’Dogs on the board with a first-period pin of Austin Heaton.

That was Butte’s lone win all the way up to the 145-pound class, where Renz survived four stalling points to post a 14-10 win over Chandler Paulson. Anderson had to fight off his back at one point, but rolled to the 160-pound win over Gabe Peppenger with a pin in the second period.

While Merkel got six forfeit points, Cannon picked up Butte’s only other win in the dual with a hard-fought 8-4 win against Jake Rebish. Cannon was superior on his feet, collecting all eight points via takedowns.

Another slow start against Columbia Falls doomed the Bulldogs, though they made things interesting down the stretch. Ax Henningsen gave Butte its first team points with a pin after the Bulldogs lost their first three by fall.

Renz used a sharp double-leg shot to earn a 7-3 win over Zayne Brunze, and Anderson followed minutes later with a first-period pin of Cody Walters. Nick Challeen came from behind at 170, running an arm bar to pin the Wildcats’ Jason Williams in the second period.

Merkel ran up an 8-3 lead in the first two periods of his match against Ike Schwiekert, which was key as he had to fight hard off his back in the third period in hanging on for a 9-6 win that tied the team score 24-all.

Cannon gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the dual when he ran a bar to pin Jacob Burgess in the second period, but the Wildcats got a pin and a forfeit to surge ahead.

Casey, who checks in on the scales at about 86 pounds, fell behind in the first two periods of his match with Manny Guzman and had to fight off his back in the second.  With the clock ticking in the third, Casey and Guzman were pushing for advantage on a takedown-counter move when Casey dug deep and turned his opponent to his back, collecting the dramatic pin win 50 seconds into the period.

“He is tough,” Humphrey noted of Casey. “It’s rough giving up that much weight. He comes in knowing the other guy is going to be bigger. He’s good, but he’s going to have to go from good to great in a hurry to fight that size difference.”

Kaleb Ferriter got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs in the nightcap against Anaconda, scoring a lightning quick 26-second pin of Brady Sturm at 138.

The Coppherheads got back three team points when former teammates Renz and Bryan Armstrong locked horns at 145. Armstrong scored the first takedown and fended off Renz for a 5-1 victory.

Butte notched a technical fall win by freshman Kadin Schonsberg at 152 before Anderson posted his third pin of the day at 160 and Cannon got a first-period pin at 195. Kelly Merrick (120), Tyler Ossello (126) and Ax Henningsen (132) all won to close out the team victory.

Butte’s work ethic will help it move forward, Humphrey said.

“That’s one thing I like about this team,” he said. “We’re not winning duals like we should, but the guys in the (wrestling) room are working to get better every day.”

Butte’s next opportunity in competition comes at 10:30 Saturday morning when the Bulldogs get a rematch with Kalispell Flathead, which won a 46-34 dual in the season opener for both teams.

Missoula Sentinel 54, Butte 24

98 – Isaac Renfro, MS, p. Tyler Casey :25. 106 – Jake Hegel, MS, p. Tyler Vetter 4:33. 113 – Bryson Henningsen, Butte, p. Austin Heaton 1:20. 120 – Jace Kovalicky, MS, d. Kelly Merrick 11-9 OT. 126 – Ryan Ramos, MS, p. Tyler Ossello :45. 132 – Dylan Schulte, MS, p. Braxton Henningsen 1:48. 138 – Jake Marr, MS, p. Kaleb Ferriter 3:53. 145 – Levi Renz, Butte, d. Chandler Paulson 14-10. 152 – Chance Stack, MS, p. Kadin Schonsberg :48. 160 – Andy Anderson, Butte, p. Gabe Peppenger 3:30. 170 – Justin Harbison, MS, d. Nick Challeen 7-1. 182 – Wyatt Merkel, Butte, won by forfeit. 195 – Lee Cannon, Butte, d. Jake Rebish 8-4. 220 – Colton Hammock, MS, won by forfeit. 285 – Jaydn Wilson, MS, p. Connor Lee 1:21.


Columbia Falls 42, Butte 36

98 – Tyler Casey, Butte, p. Manny Guzman 4:50. 106 – Winfield West, CF, p. Tyler Vetter 3:30. 113 – Mason Fetters, CF, p. Bryson Henningsen 1:34. 120 – Kalob Gravelin, CF, p. Kelly Merrick 3:45. 126 – Shonn Roberts, CF, p. Tyler Ossello :46. 132 – Braxton Henningsen, Butte, p. Haze Bell 2:58. 138 – Chase Ramberg, CF, d. Kaleb Ferriter 8-5. 145 – Levi Renz, Butte, d. Zayne Brunze 7-3. 152 – Bryan Shaffer, CF, d. Kadin Schonsberg 7-4. 160 – Andy Anderson, Butte, p. Cody Walters 1:17. 170 – Nick Challeen, Butte, p. Jason Williams 3:14. 182 – Wyatt Merkel, Butte, d. Ike Schwiekert 9-6. 195 – Lee Cannon, Butte, p. Jacob Burgess 3:12. 220 – Mikey Denison, CF, won by forfeit. 285 – Spencer Ross, CF, p. Connor Lee :17.


Butte 54, Anaconda 26

98 – Tyler Casey, Butte, won by forfeit. 106 – Tyler Vetter, Butte, won by forfeit. 113 – Trey Smollack, Anaconda, p. Bryson Henningsen 3:48. 120 – Kelly Merrick, Butte, d. Brandon Bisell 10-3. 126 – Tyler Ossello, Butte, d. Drew Vaughan 10-7. 132 – Braxton Henningsen, Butte, p. Chance Reisenhauer 1:19. 138 – Kaleb Ferriter, Butte, p. Brady Sturm :26. 145 – Bryan Armstrong, Anaconda, d. Levi Renz 5-1. 152 – Kadin Schonsberg, Butte, tf. Jesse Cooper 18-3. 160 – Andy Anderson, Butte, p. Dylan Flack 1:27. 170 – Ethan Reich, Anaconda, tf. Nick Challeen 15-0. 182 – Wyatt Merkel, Butte, won by forfeit. 195 – Lee Cannon, Butte, p. Seamus Tweedy 1:29. 220 – Giovanni, Molina, Anaconda, won by forfeit. 285 – Bryce Wigert, Anaconda, p. Connor Lee :29.

Pool 1

Havre 48, Bozeman 27

Bozeman 72, Polson 6

Helena Capital 60, Polson 21

Havre 68, Helena Capital 10

Havre 81, Polson 0

Bozeman 61, Helena Capital 15

1. Havre, 2. Bozeman, 3. Capital, 4. Polson.

Pool 2

Sidney 51, Billings Senior 27

Missoula Big Sky 67, Huntley Project 7

Billings Senior 53, Huntley Project 25

Sidney 38, Missoula Big Sky 37

Sidney 54, Huntley Project 30

Missoula Big Sky 44, Billings Senior 31

1. Sidney, 2. Big Sky, 3, Senior, 4. Huntley Project.

Pool 3

Billings Skyview 64, Kalispell Glacier 18

Billings Skyview 88, Ronan 0

Corvallis 58, Ronan 15

Billings Skyview 71, Corvallis 6

Ronan 45, Kalispell Glacier 29

Corvallis 50, Glacier 29

1. Skyview, 2. Corvallis, 3. Ronan, 4. Glacier

Pool 4

Great Falls 57, Helena 18

Great Falls 64, Flathead 18

Flathead 42, Conrad 33

Helena 51, Conrad 30

Great Falls 70, Conrad 3

Helena 46, Flathead 42

1. Great Falls, 2. Helena, 3. Flathead, 4. Conrad

Pool 5

Missoula Sentinel 69, Anaconda 2

Missoula Sentinel 54, Butte 24

Butte 54, Anaconda 26

Missoula Sentinel 65, Columbia Falls 6

Columbia Falls 42, Butte 36

Columbia Falls 69, Anaconda 10

1. Sentinel, 2. Columbia Falls, 3. Butte, 4. Anaconda

Pool 6

Billings West 51, Belgrade 24

Billings West 43, Great Falls-CMR 39

Great Falls-CMR 66, Belgrade 15

Dillon 39, Belgrade 33

Billings West 55, Dillon 21

Great-Falls CMR 60, Dillon 19

1. West, 2. CMR, 3. Dillon, 4. Belgrade


Andy Anderson of Butte High battles Sentinel’s Gabe Peppenger Friday morning. Anderson won by pin.

Butte’s Nick Challeen and Sentinel’s Justin Harbison battle at 170 pounds. Harbison won by decision.

Kelly Merrick eyes Sentinel wrestler Jace Kovalicky in a 120-pound match. Kovalicky won in overtime.

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