Bulldogs sweep boys’, girls’ mat duals vs. Belgrade

(Will Stepan positions Belgrade 152-pounder Evan Rodgers for a pin in this Butte Sports photo.)


By Bruce Sayler

The Butte High wrestling teams wore victory pretty well Tuesday night. So did their large crowd, The Bulldogs beat Belgrade in both dual meets, the Butte High girls romping 69-6 and the boys rolling to a 57-15 win.

Both meets were held in the old Butte High gym in front of a loud, appreciative crowd.
“We’re gonna battle, gonna battle,” Geno Liva, head coach of the Bulldog girls, said. “They’re working hard and doing some things right. We have good senior leadership and some young ones are coming along. If I can teach them soon enough, they’ll be all right.”

Nine forfeits going Butte High’s way certainly fluffed the cushion, but the on-mat wins were impressive. Jessie LaPier scored a 9-4 decision, building on a 7-0 start off a takedown and two near-falls. Aydin Gonzales came up with the quick pin, flexing strength in a 1-minute, 38-second pin.

Sophie Grunhuvd, coming off a second-place finish at the Flathead Invitational in Kalispell over the weekend, persevered for a pin in 4:36 against strong opponent Ally Murphy. Her sister, Nevaeh, a champion in Kalispell Saturday, was a forfeit winner Tuesday night when the Panthers were unable to fill the weight class.

Sophie Grunhuvd, right, locks up with Ally Murphy of Belgrade.(Butte Sports file photo.)

Belgrade’s only win in the girls’ meet was by a forfeit at heavyweight.

“We had a couple wins that really impressed me,” Liva said, “but we’re a long ways from being among the top teams in the state. But, the girls are working really hard and I think can make up some ground.”

Bella Real earned the biggest applause. The 114-pounder didn’t have a match in the varsity action, so wrestled an exhibition to make up for the disappointment of having to settle for a forfeit.

She got a pin. Said by coaches to be an inexhaustible worker in practice and in offseason dedication, Real’s pin practically blew the roof off the place in the emotional release by teammates, coaches and fans.

Jessie LaPier controls Nikole Richards of Belgrade.(Butte Sports file photo.)

Her work had been rewarded.
“That was pretty exciting for her,” Liva said.
Butte High head boys’ wrestling coach Cory Johnston penciled some second-stringers in for usuals in a few weight classes after the wear and rigors of placing fourth in the Jim Street Classic Mining City Duals tournament held over the weekend in the Butte Civic Center.

The Bulldogs wrestled seven dual meets in two days. Their second unit, dubbed Butte High Team Two, also competed the tourney and one of the squad’s losses was to Belgrade in pool competition.

“We don’t call them our jayvees,” Johnston said. “They’re a second varsity. They have to be able to step in.”
The 57-15 rout resulted.

Heavyweight Kade Schleeman ran his season record to 10-0 with a 43-second pin in the night’s last bout. Pins were also posted by Keegan Hunt at 103 pounds, Bode Hazlett at 138, Will Stepan at 152, Maverick McEwen at 170 and Aiden Cuchine at 182.

Kade Schleeman takes down Belgrade heavyweight Timothy Dooley. (Butte Sports file photo.)

“We’ve already seen some things we worked on (Monday) from last weekend that’s worked better for us in some of the most common positions,” Johnston said.

The showstopper was Aden Kleinheinz, one of the entrants moved up from second varsity. Wrestling at 126 pounds, the senior gave Grady Winston a night off, but not Belgrade’s Coehn Green. Kleinhans overcame a 6-2 deficit in the first period to pull out a 16-14 win in overtime.

“Kleinhans stepped in and just didn’t give up,” Johnston said. “He got into some weird places, but proved if you keep moving you might win. His gas tank is his best asset. With him, the deeper the water, the better we feel.”

Johnston said Kleinhans missed last year with a broken hand suffered just prior to the season start.
The Green-Kleinhans match saw the Belgrade wrestler gain a 6-3 lead by the end of the first period. He expanded to 10-5 in the second period before Kleinhans began his spirited comeback. A reversal and three-point near-fall in the frame’s waning seconds tied the score 10-all going into the last period. Kleinhans worked a 14-12 edge, but Green tallied a takedown with four seconds left in regulation, tying the score at 14-all. Kleinhans then spun a takedown in the sudden-death overtime, registering the win.
The crowd was bonkers.
The Butte High boys’ first team will be in Gillette, Wyoming, this weekend, competing in the Pat Weede Invitational tournament. The Friday-Saturday meet features teams from five states, Johnston said. The Bulldog girls’ team and the boys’ second unit will be in Great Falls, seeing action in the CMR Holiday Classic tourney.

Girls
Butte High 69, Belgrade 6
100 – Payton Liva, Butte, won by forfeit. 107 – Jessie LaPier, Butte, dec. Nikole Richards 9-4. 114 – Bella Real, Butte, won by forfeit. 120 – Aydin Gonzales, Butte, pinned Destiny Taylor 1:38. 126 – Sophie Gruhuvd, Butte, pinned Ally Murphy 4:36. 132 – Neveah Grunvold, Butte, won by forfeit. 138 – Hope Steward, Butte, won by forfeit. 145 – Kierra Case, Butte, won by forfeit. 152 – Nova Kovnesky, Butte, won by forfeit. 165 – Jaclyn Hocking, Butte, won by forfeit. 185 – Isabelle Rengel, Butte, won by forfeit. 235 – McKenna LeCoure, Belgrade, won by forfeit.
Boys
Butte High 57, Belgrade 15
103 – Keegan Hunt, Butte, pinned Carson Warthen 1:24. 113 – Nolan Brown, Belgrade, pinned Reveles McEwen 1:02. 120 – Bridger Garrison, Butte, won by forfeit. 126 – Aden Kleinhans, Butte, dec. Coehn Green 16-14 (OT). 132 – Mason Gutenberger, Belgrade, pinned Ryder McEwen :47. 138 – Bode Hazlett, Butte, pinned Sam Nevin :32. 145 – Jacob Hahner, Belgrade, dec. Jake Bailey 7-1. 152 – Will Stepan, Butte, pinned Evan Rodgers :55. 160 – Trey Hansen, Butte, won by forfeit. 170 – Maverick McEwen, Butte, pinned Kayd Marble :50. 182 – Aiden Cuchine, Butte, pinned Nash Gentry 1:38. 205 – Garrett Henson, Butte, won by forfeit. 285 – Kade Schleeman, Butte, pinned Timothy Dooley :43.

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