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Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic

Prep wrestling: Havre snaps Bison's Rocky streak

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Great Falls High has owned the mats at Missoula Sentinel's gym in recent years. The Bison brought a three-year title streak into this year's Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic, the Spartans' home tournament.

But a new era began Saturday night.

Class A Havre took down the field, which included 11 Montana Class AA schools and several more equally sized programs from Idaho, Washington and Wyoming. The Blue Ponies needed only one champion to do it, scoring 219.5 points to best second-place Great Falls High (198.5).

"The kids wrestled to their ability, a little better even, up and down the lineup," said Havre coach Scott Filius, who had five boys in the finals and eight total placers. Like the Bison, Filius's Ponies are also two-time defending state champions.

Grayson Brenna earned gold for Havre at 132 pounds.

Two Spokane-area schools, University and Central Valley, were the next closest at 141.5 and 136, respectively, while the home-team Spartans finished fifth out of 33 teams at 132.

Ten of the 13 championship matches went the distance with only one pin -- heavyweight Tate Orndorff of University got that to clinch his second Rocky title.

Missoula Big Sky, which took ninth as a team, had one of the other matches that stopped short when 170-pounder Luke Entzel capped off his second straight Rocky title with a 15-0 technical fall victory over Walker Ferda of Great Falls.

"It's the finals, you know the last match of the weekend, so just got to go out there and give it everything you've got and it worked pretty well, I guess," said Entzel, who moved to 22-0 with his early third-round knockout.

Entzel, the Eagles' only placer higher than fifth, led 4-0 after the first two-minute period before turning it on with eight points in the second.

"I think I just kind of got a feel for how he was on bottom and how he reacted," said Entzel, a two-time State AA individual champ who has Big Ten and Pac-12 conference colleges knocking at his door. "I just countered that, used my tight waist (hold) and it did its job."

Bryce Parson of Lewiston, Idaho, also scored a title-bout technical fall, a 16-0 final at 145 pounds that helped him earn the wrestler of the tournament honors.

***

The 138 class provided the match of the day with multiple-time state titlists squaring off. Columbia Falls' Shonn Roberts, a three-time Montana State A champ, met Blake Beard, a two-time winner in Washington for Central Valley. Both boys claimed championships at last year's Rocky as well.

Neither side could score in the three regulation periods, save a single-point escape for each after starting from the down position. In the first extra period, Beard swung around behind Roberts and took him to the mat, a two-point move to finish off the match, 3-1.

"Really equal wrestlers; it's hard to score on a kid that's that defensive," said Roberts, who is 27-2 now this year. "In overtime, it's who gets the lucky draw sometimes. That little pass he did, that's how it goes sometimes in overtime.

"I was just kinda lazy in that situation, well pretty tired actually," he continued. "Though I'm sure he was, too. It was a good match, really good for the sport for matches like that."

The only other loss for Roberts this winter came to Belgrade's Jarrett Degen, the class's top ranked wrestler. Degen fell to Beard as well earlier Saturday and finished third.

Sentinel was without a finalist, but scored a trio of third placings and two fourths. Cameron Hegel (103 pounds) and Jake Hegel (120) each claimed bronzes, as did 132-pounder Jace Kovalicky.

Chandler Paulson took fourth at 145 pounds and Colin Hammock matched that finish at 205 after both also fell in the semifinals. Dylan Duffalo (138) wrapped up the Sentinel placers by taking seventh.

Demo Koures (113) and Braxten Wilcox (160) gave Big Sky a pair of fifth placers. Conner Gordon (205) and Wyatt Gordon (120) were both seventh.

Missoula Hellgate's Asa Hoerner (126) and Dylan Lewis (132) both took eighth.

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