Bitterroot Star Masthead
The Bitterroot Valley's only locally owned newspaper

Volume XX, Number 28


Wednesday, February 9, 2005

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All stories by Jean Schurman

Southwestern A wrestling tourney a success

Pirates roll this weekend

Tournament time is near

Southwestern A wrestling tourney a success

Anaconda came from behind to claim the Southwestern A Divisional championship on Saturday in Corvallis. Corvallis had the lead going into the championship round but six championships gave the crown to the Copperheads.

The only Blue Devil who took a championship was Caleb Cousins at 160 pounds. He defeated Travis Neff of Hamilton. Cousins had a very successful last year but couldn't compete at the state tournament after being misdiagnosed with a skin condition. This year, the Blue Devil senior is looking forward to a very successful state tournament.

"Caleb is probably our best shot at a championship," said Corvallis coach Jeff Nagel. "He was ranked No. 1 earlier this season and has been ranked ranked No. 3 or 4 all year."

Corvallis will be taking 13 wrestlers to the Metra this weekend for the state championship. The top four wrestlers in each weight division advance to Billings for the All Class Meet. The Blue Devils had five second place finishers.

"We thought going in that we'd put 8 or 10 kids in at state," said Nagel. "Getting 13 was really well. A couple of kids really came through. Chase Jessop was kind of a bubble kid and he did really well. And Kevin Jessop at 145 pounds did really well."

It was a complete team effort by Corvallis, according to Nagel. "The kids that didn't make it all won matches, which was great. We went through the whole day and everybody contributed. There were a couple that didn't make it but they were awful close. Bo Davenport wrestled really well, it was a heartbreaker."

Davenport was awarded two points as the buzzer blew at the end of the match. However, the referee then ruled that time had expired and the points didn't count. "Someone has to make a judgment call and it didn't go our way and that's the way it goes," said Nagel.

With the realignment this year, Nagel said more wrestlers have an opportunity to compete at the state tournament and there are fewer byes at that level. If the competition at the divisional level is any indication, the competition will be fierce in Billings. He said one division had five state qualifiers from last year in it, and with only four able to make the trip, one former qualifier didn't make it. That wrestler was from Anaconda.

Corvallis, who has a strong tradition of wrestling excellence, has a lot to be proud of this year. As hosts to the divisional tournament, their experience in putting on tournaments such as the Glyn Brawley Christmas Classic and Little Guy wrestling came to the forefront.

"With the parents we had running the tables, the athletic director Phil Leonardi who did an outstanding job getting everything together, and assistant coach Russ Hendrickson at the scorers' table, everything went without a glitch. We've done this 12 or 13 years. Not only are we proud of the kids, we're awfully proud of the tournament and those who helped," said Nagel.

Eight wrestlers from Hamilton will make the trip to Billings. Mike Lewis took the long championship for the Broncs, pinning Logan Starkey of Frenchtown in the last few seconds of the match. Lewis trailed in points for most of the match before gaining position and making the pin with the clock ticking down.

Florence finished in third place in the Western B-C tournament in Plains. Paden Jenkins, in the heavyweight division, continued his unbeaten season, taking an 11-4 decision over Thompson Falls' A.J. Sanders. It was the first time this season that Jenkins did not get the pin. Falcon Brent Person took the 145 championship with a pin at the 2:55 mark over Thompson Falls' Paul Spears. Eleven Falcons will compete at the state meet.

Darby will be taking six wrestlers to the Metra. Although they didn't claim any championships, they did claim four third place finishes.

Southwestern A Divisional
Team Scores: Anaconda 197-1/2, Frenchtown 179-1/2, Corvallis 165, Hamilton 115-1/2
105 -- Championship: Beau Nordahl, Ftn def. Landon DellaSilva, Cor.
112 -- Third/fourth : Ross Wolfe, Dil def. Danny Powers, Cor.
119 --Third/fourth : Greg Smith, Ana def Jaris Bierer, Cor
125 -- Third/fourth : Taylor Nagel, Cor def Joel Schlinder, Dil
130 -- Championship: Derek Solan, Ana def Ryle Evanoff, Cor. Third/fourth: David Love, Ham def Sol DuBose, Cor
135 -- Championship: Tucker Vezina, Dil def Alex Martin, ham. Third/Fourth : Chase Jessop, Cor def Cody Way, Ftn.
140 -- Championship: Mike Lewis, Ham def Logan Starkey, Ftn.
145 -- Championship: Jackson Berkman, Dil, def Brock Anderson, ham. Third/fourth: Chris Forsman, Ana def Kevin Jessop, Cor.
160 -- Championship: Caleb Cousins, Cor def Travis Neff, Ham.
171 -- Jake Peterson, Dil def Gordy Jessop, Cor. Third/fourth: Nick Weller, Ftn def Orrin Stephens, Ham.
189 -- Championship: Matt Bellon, Ana def Jarrett Weigle, Ham. Third/fourth: Josh Wood, Def Joey Lopez, Ftn.
215 -- Ryan Eamon, Ana def Mike Weidow, Cor. Third/fourth: Garrett Koppes, Ham def Donal Smith Dil Heavyweight -- Championship: Chris Latray, Ana def Blake Cranmore, Cor.

Western B-C at Plains
Team Scores: Thompson Falls 173-1/2, St. Ignatius/Charlo 172, Florence 155, Darby 90, Arlee 88, Plains/Hot Springs 51-1/2, Superior 39, Eureka 36, Noxon 23.
125 -- Third/fourth: Jed Brown, Dar pinned Roy Ballenger, TF, 4:19.
130 -- Third/fourth: Kevin McChesney, Flo pinned Tate Cavill, TF :35.
135 -- Third/fourth: Jeff Grace, Flo dec. Cody Crismore, Pla, 9-2.
140 -- Championship: Tim Kujala, Pla tech fall, Dustin Stoltz, Flo, 15-0; Third/fourth: Michael Richie, Dar pinned Sam Fernandez, Flo :55.
145 -- Championship: Brent Person, Flo pinned Paul Spears, TF 2:55. Third/fourth: Colt Couture, Arl pinned Andy McConnell, Dar, 3:20.
152 -- Third/fourth: Patrick Evers, Dar pinned Brian Marler, Flo, :24
160 -- Third/fourth: Logan Person, Flo pinned Joe Fernandez, Flo 3:41.
171 -- Championship: Bryce Picard, SI pinned Fred Craun, Flo 5:23. Third/fourth: Michael Brooks, Dar pinned Spencer Garrison, TF. 1:30.
189 -- Third/fourth: Erik Randle, TF pinned Kyle Dixon, Dar 3:21.
215 -- Jon Alexander, Sup pinned Cody Sutton, Flo, 1:19.
Heavyweight -- Paden Jenkins, Flo dec. A.J. Sanders, TF, 11-4.

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Pirates roll this weekend

The Victor Pirates bounced back from a horrid weekend last week to claim two victories this weekend. The Pirates defeated Drummond in Drummond, 46-39, on Thursday night and then defeated St. Regis on Friday night, 71-55.

"The second half of the Drummond game and the first half of the St. Regis game was the best defense I've seen the team play," said Brett Morehouse, coach of the Pirates.

The Trojans and the Pirates played evenly throughout the first half at Drummond and the first half finished with the Pirates trailing by one. The tight scoring continued until the fourth quarter when Victor opened up for 15 points and the win. Victor's big man, Eric Paulsen, finished the night with 20 points even though he fouled out. Another Eric, freshman Eric Taylor, replaced the 6-7 junior and although he gave up several inches in height, the gutsy freshman had six points.

Friday night, the Pirates played host to the St. Regis Tigers. The tough Pirate defense shut down St. Regis in the first half. If it wasn't Mike Wilson stealing a pass, it was Chad Jensen running down a loose ball. Paulsen finished the first two quarters with resounding blocked shots. Victor is second in District 13C with a 5-3 conference record and 10-6 overall record.

Stevensville fell to Class AA Hellgate, 86-61. Hellgate came out strong and relied on the sharp eye of Jack McGillis to propel Hellgate over Stevensville. Tony Anderson had a season-high 18 points and Brandon Johnson added 14.

Saturday night, the Yellowjackets took on Bigfork of the Northwestern A conference. The 'Jackets came out strong and played a fast-paced game, racking up 91 points to Bigfork's 78 points. Five 'Jackets scored in double figures with Travis Browne leading the way with 23 points. Brandon Johnson added 22, Bridger Chambers added 15 and Tony Anderson and Kevin McCowen each had 10.

Florence defeated Eureka, 56-44, and Deer Lodge, 62-45. The Falcons are still at the top of the 7B conference with an 8-1 conference record and 12-2 overall record. Mike Kirby dropped in 17 points against Eureka to lead his team. Friday night he had 16 against Deer Lodge. Ryan Hansen led all scorers with 22 points in that game.

Hamilton fell to Anaconda, 71-40. James Bennett had 10 points for the Broncs.

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Tournament time is near

With only a week until district tournaments begin, the girls basketball teams are looking to improve their seeding. In the 7B conference, Seeley-Swan captured the regular season title with a win over Darby Saturday night.

Seeley, with balanced scoring and a vicious defense, capitalized on the Lady Tigers' turnovers and cruised to a 69-49 victory, a close score for the Lady Blackhawks. Jenna Blue led the Darby scoring with 15 points. Whitney Banks and Janelle Hilton each added eight points.

Thursday night, Darby defeated Superior, 56-27. This time it was Darbyıs sound defense that stymied the Bobcats. The Lady Tigers held Superior to only five points in the first quarter. Banks had the hot hand for Darby. After struggling much of the season, Banks sank six three-pointers and finished the game with 20 points. Blue had 11 points and Amy Hamilton has 12.

Florence also split their games this weekend, defeating Deer Lodge 38-32 on Friday night and then falling to Eureka, 51-35, Saturday. Erin Dean led the Lady Falcons against Deer Lodge with 14 points. She had eight on Saturday against Eureka.

Darby and Florence are tied with five wins and four losses for the regular season. They will play on Saturday in Darby. Their tournament will begin February 16 in Hamilton.

Corvallis lost a close game to Frenchtown Friday night. The Blue Devils fourth quarter rally fell short as the Broncs won, 48-44. Jenna Tintzman led the Corvallis team with 18 points.

Victor defeated St. Regis Saturday night. No further details were available.

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