Butte High wrestlers blank shorthanded Panthers

Butte High wrestlers blank shorthanded Panthers
Butte High's Carl Anderson picks up Belgrade's Colby Rockwell on his way to a pin at 160 pounds Thursday night at the Richardson Gym. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bruce Sayler

Butte High won the dual meet in short order — literally. A handful of half-nelsons and a cradle later, Class AA fourth-ranked Butte High had a 78-0 shutout  victory over Class A Belgrade Thursday in a wrestling dual meet at the Ross J. Richardson Memorial Gym.

The 78-0 margin was as big as one can get — six points per weight class, 13 of them total. Nine of the bouts were ones Belgrade forfeited to Butte High for being unable to fill those weight classes. Total elapsed time was 4 minutes, 45 seconds.

Billy Cunneen scored a 1:08 pin at 152 pounds, Carl Anderson used only 1:01 for his fall at 160, and then consecutive 56-second pins were turned in by Quinn Sullivan at 170 pounds and Kyle Harding in the 285-pound limit class.

“Belgrade took this dual meet in a pretty tight window,” Butte High head coach Cory Johnston said, referring to the dual meet being a recent addition to the teams’ schedules. “I know coach (Sean) Dellwo expected have more kids here.”

The Panthers’ contingent numbered six wrestlers, two of whom competed in junior varsity bouts. The Belgrade coaches attributed the shallow roster to injuries, illnesses, and the Panthers readying to play host to the Class A Duals tournament this weekend with regular wrestlers a little bout heavy at this point of the season. Some cutting back was decided.

Still the Panthers climbed on the bus and made the trip.

“We don’t have many chances to wrestle at home,” Johnston said. “This was an opportunity for us to showcase our kids a little bit at home.”

Their last chance to do so will come next Thursday when the Class AA Bulldogs play host to another Class A team, Dillon. All of Butte High’s other home matches came in their Mining City Duals Jim Street Classic tournament early last month. The dual with Dillon will be the last home meet of the season for Butte High.

Butte High’s forfeit wins Thursday were by Keagan Gransbery at 103 points Wil Queer at 113, Connor Konda at 120, Gavin Vetter at 126, Anthony Liva at 132, Dale Kent at 138, Dylan Averyt at 145, Myles McClernan at 182 and Kameron Moreno at 205.

Johnston said he relayed that a 78-0 score was the “best you can do” to the team members when marking positives and said he was glad, too, this early in the week to know the kids made weight. The Bulldogs head to Great Falls on Friday to vie in the Class AA Duals tourney.

Anderson is Class AA’s fourth-ranked 160-pounder and injected some juice into the program’s surge back to among the leaders with a state tournament run last year that ended in his personal third-place finish in the same weight class.

His pin over Colby Rockwell Thursday took his season record to 27-9 and kept him sharpened for this weekend’s coming competition.

“It’s been good, but I need to improve on some things,” Anderson said about his senior season. ‘I need to do better if I want to accomplish my goals.”

A state title ranks at the top.

“I’m better on my feet, at least, I think I am,” he self-analyzed his status. “My bottom position needs to be better, and I need to work on breakdowns and turns.”

At the same time, he’s been open to going up a class to help out in team matchups for more dual meet success. It adds to the fluidity of the lineup. Undersized as a football inside linebacker where he led the Bulldogs in tackles last fall, Anderson sometimes is light in the lineup, too, testing 170.

“Trying to score more team points,” he gave as reason. “It’s trying to be in the best position for the team, and what’s best for me as an individual.”

The two physical sports complement each other, Anderson said he has found.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old,” said Anderson, whose father, Brian, also played football and wrestled for Butte High. “And, I think it has helped me tremendously for football.”

Johnston said Butte High has been missing a wrestler or two at different times because of sickness and injuries.

“That’s typical of this part of the year,” he said, “but, we’ll get them back, we’ll have them back before the end of the season.”

The coach said it was good to have a dual meet, as limited as it was, with the Class AA Duals looming.

“Today was a good starting point,” he said. “We have a big weekend coming up — the Class AA Duals.”

Johnston said the bracketed format has Butte High opening Friday against Glacier of Kalispell and a win would send the Bulldogs against reigning state champion Flathead of Kalispell in what he called “the rematch of the rematch,’’ an allusion to two exciting previous duals the Bulldogs and Braves have wrestled this year. Flathead came away with wins in both.

Butte High 78, Belgrade 0
103 — Keagan Gransbery, Butte, won by forfeit. 113 — Wil Queer, Butte, won by forfeit. 120 — Connor Konda, Butte, won by forfeit. 126 — Gavin Vetter, Butte, won by forfeit. 132 — Anthony Liva, Butte, son by forfeit. 138 — Dale Kent, Butte, won by forfeit. 145 — Dylan Averyt, Butte, won by forfeit. 152 — Billy Cunneen, Butte, pinned Hunter Groff, 1:52. 160 — Carl Anderson, Butte, pinned Colby Rockwell, 1:01. 170 — Quinn Sullivan, Butte, pinned Marc McLean, :56. 182 — Myles McClernan, Butte, won by forfeit. 208 — Kameron Moreno, Butte, won by forfeit. 285 — Kyle Harding, Butte, pinned Enrique Ruiz, :56.

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