by nathan oster
Matt Grovenstein and Luke Zeller won their weight classes to power Greybull-Riverside to a second-place finish at last weekend’s Bobcat Invitational in Thermopolis.
Lovell, finally getting healthy and now missing only returning state champion Mark Grant, took the team title, putting seven guys in the finals and scoring 229 team points to G-R’s 172.
“Lovell wrestled really well…and we didn’t,” said Coach Mark Sanford, whose team, by comparison, had just three in the finals matches.
“We knew (Lovell getting healthy) was coming, but we just didn’t respond the way we needed to,” Sanford said. “We had more in the finals (at the Don Runner), and I felt like that was a tougher tournament.”
Sanford said it was mostly a case of his kids making mistakes. He did not fault their effort. “We gave up opportunities in some matches that we shouldn’t have,” he said. “And we lost those matches because of them.”
Grovenstein won all of his matches at 120, doing so in “dominating” form, according to Sanford. He won his first two matches by pin, then scored a 10-2 victory over Jake Hall of Colstrip in the final.
Zeller went 4-0 at 152 pounds, winning each of his first three matches by fall to earn another date with Nathan Grant of Lovell in the final. The two have gone back and forth in recent weeks. This time, Zeller came out on top, winning 5-2.
G-R’s other finalist was 160-pounder Nathan Hetzel. The senior cruised to the final, but ran into Chris Ryan of Thermopolis and fell 9-0. Sanford said 160 was the “toughest weight class” at the tournament, with “several quality opponents” going about five deep. One of Hetzel’s wins came over Brigham Hopkin of Lovell.
G-R’s other wrestlers who placed included
Gabe Villegas, third at 195; Chris Ogg, third at 126; Kyle Strasheim, fourth at 113; Trenton Kelly, fourth at 285; Spencer Redland, fifth at 170; Dylan Brenner, sixth at 182, and Zane Edeler, sixth at 220;
Sanford praised Strasheim and Ogg, in particular.
Strasheim wrestled a much tougher match against Preston Blankenship, losing only 10-5 this time, and nearly came through with a third-place finish before losing to Adrian Sisneros of Kelly Walsh. “I liked his whole demeanor…he was showing his speed and moving better,” Sanford said. “If he keeps doing that, good things will happen.”
Ogg “came out like he was slow motion” and lost his first match, but there was no stopping him after that, Sanford said. He won four straight, including a victory over the wrestler from Mountain View who had beaten him in the opening round. “He took it to that kid,” Sanford said, adding, “I was pretty pleased with the way he came back.”
Levi Kelly went 1-2 in the regular tournament and didn’t place, but came back to place second in what was known as a “second chance tournament” for kids put out on the first day.
The Buffs were missing Stephen Kerr and Jesus Burgos, who wrestle at 138 and 145, respectively, and were out due to illness. Rob Nuttall, who was entered at 170, wrestled his first match, but was injury defaulted out of the rest of the tournament.
Sanford said his team must continue to improve if it wants to challenge Lovell.
“We know they’re going to be out there,” he said. “We can’t have one of our guys not performing at his best. We need to have all of our guys firing. We should have had five or six in the finals, another one or two in third-place matches.
“We had 10 placers … but we’re going to need all 11 doing that.”
G-R opened the weekend with a dual against Powell. Coached by former G-R standout Nate Urbach, the Panthers are among the top teams in 3A, and it showed on the mat as they won 56-19. At one point, the dual was tied at 16 before Powell went on its run.
Trenton Kelly, Matt Grovenstein, Levi Kelly and Luke Zeller won matches for G-R.
Trenton Kelly’s might have been the most stirring. He was trailing on the scoreboard when he pinned Spencer Schultz with less than a minute remaining, bringing the home crowd to its feet.
Four of the top five 2A teams in the state will be at Buff Gym on Friday night when Lovell, Wright and Moorcroft join the host Buffs for dual action. Start time is 6 p.m.
The Greybull Memorial Invitatational follows on Saturday, with wrestling set to begin at 10 a.m.
Powell 56, G-R 19
HWT — Trenton Kelly (G-R) won by fall over Spencer Schultz, 5:23.
106 — Charles Wittick (P) won by forfeit.
113 — Colbee Craig (P) defeated Kyle Strasheim, 14-2.
120 — Matt Grovenstein (G-R) won by fall over Colton Parham, 3:20.
126 — Andrew Feller (P) won by fall over Chris Ogg.
132 — Levi Kelly (G-R) defeated Tanner Bailey, 11-2.
138 — Zach Thiel (P) won by forfeit.
145 — Waylon Bays (P) won by fall over Jesus Burgos, 3:52.
152 — Luke Zeller (G-R) defeated Clay Saldana, 12-5.
160 — RandyAndrews (P) defeated Nathan Hetzel, 10-2.
170 — Ole Olson (P) won by fall over Spencer Redland, 1:16.
186 — Mike Mundy (P) won by fall over Dylan Brenner.
195 — Zach Thompson (P) won by fall over Gabriel Villegas.
BOBCAT INVITATIONAL – Lovell 229, G-R 172, Mountain View 165, Thermopolis 154, Wheatland 122, Kelly Walsh 117, Kemmerer 99, Columbus 79, Dubois 70, Riverton 60.5, Wind River 59.
106 — 1, Vinchinzo Castle, TH. 2, Julia Long, MV. 3, Ty Anderson, MV. 4, Eli Walston, CO. 5, Joe Ladd, RI. 6, Kyle Bonner, MV.
113 — 1, Ryan Bradshaw, TH. 2, Preston Blankenship, LO. 3, Adrian Sisneros, KW. 4, Kyle Strasheim. 5, Ty Carpenter, MV.
120 — 1, Matt Grovenstein, GR. 2, Jake Hall, CO. 3, Choc Maddock, TH. 4, Choan Price, WH. 5, Jacob Mickelson, LO. 6, Jordan Martin, WR.
126 — 1, Lance Lucas, WH. 2, Garrett Julian, KE. 3, Chris Ogg, GR. 4, Taylor Tucker, MV. 5, Hunter Meier, CO. 6, Isaiah Walston, CO.
132 — 1, Jesse Bassett, LO. 2, Jhett Eike, WH. 3, Karsten Hauf, MV. 4, Colter Brown, TH. 5, Justin Westwood, KE. 6, Hyrum Hopkin, LO.
138 — 1, Marty Thoman, WR. 2, Zack Larson, TH. 3, Dimas Patina, LO. 4, Justin Meier, CO. 5, T.J. Turner, RI. 6, Austin Sullins, KW.
145 — 1, Blake Mastrud, KE. 2, Adam Beck, LO. 3, Forrest Hendry, KW. 4, Daniel Strom, LO. 5, Jed Rietz, WH. 6, Devin Peel, KW.
152 — 1, Luke Zeller, GR. 2, Nathan Grant, LO. 3, Earl Hickman, MV. 4, David Chesser, WH. 5, Alex Collver, WR. 6, John Bartlett, DU.
160 — 1, Chris Ryan, TH. 2, Nate Hetzel, GR. 3, Jacob Beck, LO. 4, Brigham Hopkin, LO. 5, Alex Snyder, MV. 6, Justin Rickert, KE.
170 — 1, Drake Menck, MV. 2, Tony Rodriguez, LO. 3, Mikes Galovich, TH. 4, Jesse Hawk, DU. 5, Spencer Redland, GR. 6, Kevin Lockman, WH.
182 — 1, Dino Collins, LO. 2, Sterling Baker, DU. 3, Ethan Archibald, KE. 4, Connor Hendry, KW. 5, Mark Magehee, KW. 6, Dylan Brenner, GR.
195 — 1, Cody Flynn, DU. 2, Eli Moody, LO. 3, Gabe Villegas, GR. 4, Jasper Gur, Riverton. 5, Riley Richert, RI. 6, Alex Pietrzak, KW.
220 — 1, Bo Aimone, MV. 2, Nate Obray, KW. 3, Casey Savage, RI. 4, Quinton Edeler, CO. 5, Logan Welch, KE. 6, Zane Edeler, GR.
285 — 1, Kaleb Clark, KW. 2, Ryder O’Brien, MV. 3, Jacob Asay, LO. 4, Trenton Kelly, GR. 5, Michael Smidt, WH. 6, Charles Oldman, WR.