Four Bulldogs reach semis at State wrestling

Four Bulldogs reach semis at State wrestling

Butte High boys third, girls fifth

BILLILNGS — Three Butte High boys and one girl reached the semifinals of their weight classes Friday at the MHSA State Wrestling Championships at the Billings Metra.

Kyler Raiha, Kipe Pumnea and Mason Christian reached the final four on the boys’ side. Hayla Hoffman advanced to the semifinals on the girls’ side.

Butte High’s boys sit in third place in the Class AA heading into the final day with 100 points. Kalispell Flathead leads with 164 points. Billings Senior is second at 151, and Billings West is third at 95.

Flathead also tops the girls’ standings with 144 points. Senior is second at 108, followed by Billings Skyview at 72.5 and Kalispell Glacier at 71. Butte High is fifth at 59. The girls’ division is not broken up by class.

The Bulldogs have 11 boys and five girls still alive heading into Saturday.

Raiha, a senior, won a pair of thrilling decisions get to the semifinals at 120 pounds. He beat Devin Grossman of Skyview 5-3 before topping Great Falls High’s Gage Clothier 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

The Western AA champion will take on Jase Van Pelt of West when action resumes. Van Pelt is the No. 2 seed from the Eastern AA.

Pumnea, a junior, cruised to the final four with two pins in the first quarter. He needed a total of 2 minutes, 21 seconds to beat Joe Fernandez of Great Falls Russell and Kyle Ard of Senior. Pumnea will take on East No. 1 Idren Peak of Senior.

Christian, a junior, pinned Dorian White of CMR in 2:57 before downing Aiden Krause of Glacier in 5:55 to reach the semis. The Western AA champ will face Chris Garcia of West. Garcia is the No. 2 seed from the East.

The Bulldogs have eight wrestlers in the consolation quarterfinals. Each lost in the quarterfinals before battling back with a win.

Still alive for the Butte boys are Reid Whitlock (103 pounds), Trey Whitlock (113), Karson Pumnea (126), Maverick McEwen (145), Connor Konda (152), Gavin Vetter (160), Riley Downey (170) and Kade Schleeman (285).

Hoffman, a junior who took second place by one point at 170 pounds last year, reached the semifinals at 205 pounds. She took a bye before pinning Norah Larson of Belgrade in a 25-second quarterfinal match.

Hoffman will take on Tira Two-Teeth in the semifinals. The Ronan grappler picked up two pins in a total of 1:25 to reach the final four.

Bulldogs still alive on the consolation side are Kaylee LaPier (103), Aydin Gonzalez (120), Rian Ferriter (285) and Makenna Bazo (285). Ferriter and Bazo will battle each other in the consolation quarterfinals.

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