BUTTE — Eighth place isn’t first, but the Bulldogs are right in the mix early in the wrestling season.
Butte finished eighth at the C.M. Russell Holiday Classic Saturday, ending with 157 points as Missoula Big Sky took the team title with a total of 204.5 points.
The Bulldogs saw three different wrestlers make the championship pool semifinals or better: Scout Allen (138), Kobe Moreno (205) and Kameron Moreno (285).
Allen rattled off five straight victories, including decision victories (8-6 and 9-5) in the quarterfinals and semifinals, en route to a final matchup with Bozeman senior Leif Schroeder.
However, the senior was unable to best the three-time state champion and Iowa commit, as the Hawk secured the victory with a fall after three minutes.
For Kobe Moreno, the senior reached the 205-pound semifinals against Great Falls’ Elijah Davis after pinning two of his first three opponents, including Belgrade’s Xaden Cunningham in the quarterfinals.
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However, the standout for the Bison won a tight 7-4 match over Moreno, as Davis progressed to the final, where he was defeated by Billings Skyview’s Brenner Bushfield.
Moreno won his first consolation clash to reach the third-place match, but was defeated in a 8-2 decision by Helena Capital’s Zane McCormick.
At the heavyweight slot, Kameron Moreno picked up after an impressive first day in a higher weight class by adding two more victories to reach the final, including a win over Bozeman’s Tom Walkup, who made the 2018 state final against Great Falls’ Ethan Deroche.
While Kameron Moreno was able to take the 2018 champion to overtime, Deroche earned another tournament victory with a sudden victory, securing second place for Great Falls.
The Bulldogs have wrestled their last matches of 2019, next heading to Bozeman for the Hawks’ invitational tournament on Jan. 3 and 4.