BOZEMAN — Butte High wrestling coach Cory Johnston said his Bulldogs will be in the fight next week as they head to the state tournament in Billings.
That came after the Bulldogs saw 16 wrestlers punch their ticket to the tournament at MetraPark Arena in Billings.
“I like our 16,” Johnston said. “We’ve got a puncher’s chance next week. I like it.”
The Bulldogs will have three No. 1 seeds as they begin their quest for their first state title since 2003.
Sophomore Keagan Gransbery, senior Carl Anderson and junior Kameron Moreno each claimed a top spot Saturday.
Gransbery won the 103-pound division, downing Wyatt Van Pelt of Billings West 11-5 in the championship match.
Moreno claimed the 205-pound crown, beating Chance Buday of Great Falls Russell by a 16-6 major decision in the chipper.
Johnston pointed out that Gransbery and Moreno beat opponents that they barely topped in early matches this season.
Anderson pulled off a bit of an upset, topping Bozeman’s Coy Cohenour 10-8 in the championship match at 160 pounds. Cohenour, who has been ranked No. 1 or 2 in the weight class all season, was a state finalist at 160 a year ago.
“That was massive,” Johnston said of Anderson’s win. “We put ourselves in a lot better spot at No. 1 as opposed to No. 2.”
Johnston’s voice was nearly gone from yelling on his athletes during the tournament. A good portion of that screaming was for junior Scout Allen, who placed third at 126 pounds.
“Our biggest surprise was Scout Allen,” Johnston said. “He was awesome.”
Allen just returned from a broken leg suffered at the CMR Holiday Classic before Christmas.
“He got stronger and stronger as the day went on,” Johnston said. “He gained momentum as he went. He gained confidence. He as back to himself.
“He showed a lot of guts coming back like that,” the coach continued. “He put himself in position to place at state.”
Quinn Sullivan (at 170) and Kole McGrath (180) will take a No. 4 seed to Billings. Christian Sherman (103), Wil Queer (113) and Kyle Harding (285) secured No. 5 seeds Anthony Liva (132) and Austin Endy (205) will go at No. 6, Dominik Scown (170) and Ty Raiha (285) qualified as seven seeds, and Dale Kent (138), Christian Vetter (160) and Myles McClernan (182) made it as No. 8 seeds.
“Overall,” Johnston said, “it was a good day.”
The state tournament begins Friday morning.