The Butte High wrestling team put up a tough fight in losing to 2016 Class AA state team Billings Senior, 33-29, on Day 1 of the 29th annual Mining City Duals Jim Street Classic Tournament on Friday.
It just wasn’t the result that Bulldogs coach Cory Johnston hoped for.
“Our kids came out and gave effort,” Johnston said. “I hate losing. I tell them I don’t like even losing in a game of Monopoly. But I couldn’t have been more proud of their effort. We have some things we have to fix, but it’s easier to swallow when the effort is there.”
One of the Bulldogs' newest faces on the mat was freshman Scout Allen, who pinned his first opponent against Glacier before winning his match against Conrad by forfeit.
In his 113-pound duel against Broncs’ sophomore Alejandro Madrid, Allen struck first by opening with a takedown and then quickly earned a near-fall to lead after the first period, 5-3.
Allen scored a takedown in the second period before things got scrappy in the third. Both wrestlers started in the neutral position and Madrid struck first with a takedown. But Allen, who wrestled beyond his years in his first varsity matches, wormed his way out for an escape.
Allen pounced at Madrid and took down the Broncs sophomore for his third and final takedown of the match. Madrid escaped from Allen’s clutches, but it wasn’t enough as Allen was victorious.
“It was like any other team,” Allen said. “It didn’t really faze me that much.”
Another Butte match that went all three rounds was senior Willie Anderson’s 145-pound bout. Anderson faced off with Senior’s Ryan Swanson and had control of the match early on. During the first period, Anderson scored six points with one takedown and two near-falls.
In the opening of the second period, Swanson scored a quick reversal after starting the match on top in the referees position. But Anderson flipped over Swanson and scored his own reversal. He pushed Swanson to the mat for a two-point near-fall to end the period.
In the end, Anderson came out on top with a 15-4 victory.
“We wrestled with a lot of effort and a lot of heart,” Anderson said. “Some people had to go down this week and they worked really hard and wrestled well today.”
The victory was the Broncs' second of the day. Broncs junior Charlie Klepps, the reigning state champion at 113 pounds, wrestled at 120 against Butte sophomore Gabe Tierney. Klepps and Teirney battled in the first period, but Klepps eventually pinned Tierney with four seconds left in the second period.
Broncs coach Josh Beeman said he liked his team’s progression and intensity on Friday.
“Charlie is a tough kid,” Beeman said. “He continually goes and goes and goes. … He wanted to push the pace the whole match and he did.”
There were 24 schools represented Friday at the duels. Dillon, which hosted its own mixer Thursday evening, had a tough draw on Friday with Class AA foes Great Falls High and Big Sky, and it lost both contests.
The Beavers' only win of the day came against Class B Ronan. Dillon defeated the Chiefs, 36-29.
“Some of our young kids got great experience and learned a lot,” Beavers coach T.J. Nelson said. “Some of our older kids also got really good matches today. I felt overall we got a lot that we can work on, but that’s what we came here for. Guys know what we need to work on and we got some good experience.”
Dillon did nab some wins against Big Sky in its 50-19 loss. One of the wins came from junior Brent Tezak in the 152-pound weight class.
During the open period, Eagles wrestler Jett Rebish scored the only points with a takedown. In the second period, Tezak made his move. He earned a quick reverse to start the frame and added two more points with a near-fall.
Tezak earned the final points of the match after he scored on a takedown in the closing period.
“We started out a little slow,” Tezak said of the team’s performance. “Once we got going and figured out we needed to do and what we got wrong, I think the day went pretty well. We had a good second dual, so that was good.”
Butte will wrestle its first match Saturday at 9 a.m. against Helena High. Dillon will face Conrad at 9 a.m.