HELENA — Butte High wrestling coach Cory Johnston called Friday a “great day.”
That’s because his No. 5-ranked Bulldogs went to the Capital City to pick up a pair of dual wins. The Bulldogs beat Helena Capital 45-18 before pummeling Helena High 66-6. The wins ran Butte’s record to 3-0 on the season, and none of the three wins were close.
“Tons of energy and tons of fight,” Johnston said of his Bulldogs. “Even the matches we lost, we lost doing the right things. We lost being offensive.”
Kyler Raiha at 120 pounds, Kip Pumnea at 132 and Gavin Vetter at 145 each picked up a pair of pins to lead the Bulldogs, who registered 12 pins in the two duals.
“Kyler Raiha had a great night beating two ranked wrestlers by pin,” Johnston said. “Mason Christian had two great wins as well with wins over the sixth-ranked kid, a very tough kid from Helena High. Anthony Liva avenged a couple of his losses from last year with his win over (Capital’s Wyatt) Schneider.
“Overall, it was a great night,” Johnston said. “We just have to stay hungry and keep getting better.”
Pins by Raiha, Pumnea, Vetter, Keagan Gransbery (126) and freshman Maverick McEwen (113) led Butte High past the Bruins. McEwen’s win is the first of what is expected to be many in a Bulldog singlet. He joins the team as a two-time middle school state champion.
Liva’s big win over Schneider was of the white-knuckle variety as the Butte senior won 4-3. Mason Christian (182) and Zach Tierney (heavyweight) also won by decision. Trey Whitlock won by forfeit at 103.
Christian, Tierney, Whitlock, Raiha, Pumnea, Gavin Vetter and Christian Vetter all won by pin as the Bulldogs dominated the Bengals. Tanner Huff (205) and Connor Konda (138) won by decision, while Liva, McEwen and Gransbery won by forfeit.
Johnston said the Bulldogs also had a big night away from the varsity mat.
“Also, huge shout out to our JV, which competed tonight and went 11-5 in JV matches here in Helena,” the coach said. “We also sent a JV team to Dillon for two duals and picked up two huge wins.”
In the Dillon duals, Butte beat Thompson Falls 36-27 and Dillon 36-34.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a couple of tough home tests when Kalispell Flathead and Kalispell Glacier come to town to take on Butte High Jan. 16 at the Civic Center.
Butte High 45, Helena Capital 18
120 — Kyler Raiha, Butte, p. Hunter Rahn, 1:54
126 — Keagan Gransbery, Butte, p. Brandon Soule, 3:06
132 — Kip Pumnea, Butte, p. Ayden Smelko, 3:23
138 — Carson DesRosier, Capital, def. Connor Konda, 6-1
145 — Gavin Vetter, Butte, p. Nick Flies, 4:24
152 — Anthony Liva, Butte, d. Wyatt Schneider 4-3
160 — Conner Kovick, Capital, p. Christian Vetter, 4:17
170 — Dylan Graham, Capital, d. Dominik Scown, 7-6
182 — Mason Christian, Butte, d. Ian Isaacson, 7-7
205 — Noah Kovick, Capital, p. Tanner Huff, :32
285 — Zach Tierney, Butte, d. Talon Marsh, 3-1
103 — Trey Whitlock, Butte, won by forfeit
113 — Maverick McEwen, Butte, p. Seth Parriman, 1:58
126 — Addison Endy, Butte, d. Lily Bennum, 8-3
138 — Mason Armstrong, Butte, d. Mitchell Renk, 15-7
145 — Morgan McClernan, Butte, d. Mason Greene, 8-6
152 — Truett Ames, Capital, d. Caleb Yeoman, 6-1
152 — Sam Peterson, Capital, p. Kale Schonsberg, 5:15
170 — Riley Downey, Butte, P. Joey Lauerman, 2:55
138 — Cayden McNiel, Butte, p. Mitchell Renk, :35
145 — Spur Owens, Capital, p. Morgan McClernan, 3:25
Butte High 66, Helena High 6
182 — Mason Christian, Butte, p. Justice Seamons, 5:17
205 — Tanner Huff, Butte, d. Sean O’Connell, 6-2
285 — Zach Tierney, Butte, p. Ruger Young, 1:17
103 — Trey Whitlock, Butte, p. Caleb O’Shea, 1:28
113 — Maverick McEwen, Butte, won by forfeit
120 — Kyler Raiha, Butte, p. Nathan Elmose, 5:19
126 — Keagan Gransbery, Butte, won by forfeit
132 — Kip Pumnea, Butte, p. Ian Mehrens, 5:26
138 — Connor Konda, Butte, d. Cameron Wyant, 8-2
145 — Gavin Vetter, Butte, p. David Kemp, 1:15
152 — Anthony Liva, Butte, won by forfeit
160 — Christian Vetter, Butte, p. Kaleb Kirklin, 1:34
170 — Kaleb McKay, p. Dominik Scown, 3:10