Wrestling is well into its second month of the season and area teams are putting together some impressive finishes. This past weekend, many were involved in tournaments that saw very intense competition.
Lamar took home the team crown from its own invitational, outdistancing second place Yuma by 99 points. Crowley County, County Line, and Fowler rounded out the top five in the team race. Lamar picked up individual titles from Caleb Rigsby (106), Zane Rankin (132), Isaiah Baber (145), Jose Serrano (160), Anthony Martinez (182), and Sy Spitz (285).
Other champions in the event were Yuma’s John Smith (113) and Braden Smith (126); Crowley County’s Adam Schulz (170) and Jaden Harris (195); Alberto Felthager (120) of Trinidad; Michael Gutierrez (138) from Burlington; Holly’s Ethan Burns (152); and JJ Horn (220) from Fowler. Lamar had a placer in every weight class, with two in multiple classes.
Rocky Ford had a strong showing at the Gary Ramstetter Classic in Alamosa, finishing second to the hosts, just 4.5 points back. The Meloneers were powered by individual championships from Michael Maldonado (120), Santino Mendoza (138), and Jadon Baldonado (160). A total of 14 Meloneers placed in the event. La Junta, who finished seventh in the team chase, had individual titles from Wyatt Hoeppner at 182 pounds, and Mitchell Peabody at 195.
Wiggins put together a second place finish at the Linn Long Lyons Invitational, trailing only Highland in the standings. The Tigers claimed three individual championships and two runners-up in the event. Pepper Rusher (170), Devon Harshman (182), and Laith Ibrihim (285) all stood atop the podium, while Lukas Carpenter (195) and Dillon Harshman (220) were second.
Rye headed west last weekend and earned a third place team finish in the Gunnison Cowboy Invitational. Michael Atencio (120) and Cole Miller (126) picked up championships to lead the cause for the Thunderbolts, and Riley Prichard added a second place finish at 113 pounds.
It wasn’t a great day overall for the Akron Rams in the Englewood Pirates Invitational as they finished 14th, but Gavin Brown was a bright spot. Brown took his first three matches by pinfall, won his semifinal by a technical fall, and then was crowned champion at 170 pounds by an injury default.
Yuma had a good day at the Northridge Girls Invitational, finishing fourth in the standings. Mia Dischner took home the top honors at 185 pounds, winning the championship match in just 67 seconds. Ashley Marshall (106) and Fatima Duran (111) each finished third, while Ximena Garcia (118) and Eva Ruiz (161) each took fourth. Brush got fourth place finishes from Emily Stratman (127) and Ambrosia Cruz (136).
The Santa Fe League Tournament will be held on Thursday, with Fowler, Crowley County, Holly, Las Animas, Rocky Ford, Rye, and Swink all participating. John Mall is the host and rounds out the field.
Florence will host its annual Mel Smith Husky Invitational on the weekend, and Lamar, La Junta, Brush and Sterling are slated to be in the field. Rye and Swink wrap up a busy week by participating in a tournament at Pueblo Centennial, while Eads, Trinidad, and Wiggins all host their own tournaments on Saturday.
There are two big tournaments for girls this weekend, one in Loveland and one at Montbello High School. Brush, Stratton, and Yuma are scheduled for the event in Loveland.
It was a good week for the basketball teams from Briggsdale, as both overpowered Peetz. The girls rolled 70-4, keeping a share of the lead in the 1A North Central with Prairie. Shelby Hoffman had 34 points in the win. The Lady Falcons will host Prairie on Jan. 24th. As for the boys, they grabbed sole possession of first in the league with a 65-53 win over the Bulldogs. Peetz began the week ranked 10th in Class 1A, but suffered a second loss on the weekend at Merino. For Merino, it was a bounce back effort after falling to Caliche by two in OT the previous night.
One of the biggest games in 1A for boys this week will take place on Saturday when Walsh hosts Cheraw. Entering the week, Walsh was 5-2 and ranked ninth in the RPI, while Cheraw checked in at 7-1 and 15th in the RPI. Cheraw took a six-game winning streak into the week, and has a game at McClave on Friday before being able to focus on the Eagles. Walsh took a 67-50 win over rival Springfield last week and was slated to be at Stanton County (KS) earlier this week.
Friday night has two really good girls games on tap, with Prairie hosting Merino and Springfield welcoming in Kim/Branson. Those teams are a combined 25-6 entering the week. The first is a non-league contest, but with Merino joining the NCL teams for the District 4 tournament, it carries quite a bit of importance. The second match-up on that slate is a league game, and the winner very easily could wind up being the top seed in District 3.
Also in the mix for that top spot in District 3 will be the winner of Saturday’s clash between South Baca and Wiley. They enter the week a combined 11-3. South Baca enters play this week having won six straight, while the Panthers snapped a two-game skid with a tight 54-52 win at Granada last week.
One more key game on Saturday will involve two of the top contenders in the YWKC. Lone Star and Bethune are tied for the league lead, and they will square off in Bethune. Lone Star will be without the services of one of its top players, Lamya Kuntz, who suffered a knee injury in last week’s win over Idalia.
Fowler flexed its muscles in 2A boys play last weekend, picking up a 66-49 victory over Holly. The Grizzlies used a 26-13 fourth quarter to put that game to rest. Gabriel Proctor led three Grizzlies in double figures with 18 points. Fowler opens this week ranked eighth in the RPI. Holly has three games in as many days this weekend, beginning with a trip to Wiley on Thursday. The Wildcats will host Las Animas on Friday and then visit Crowley County on Saturday. Holly was 19th in the RPI as the week began, with the Chargers sitting 20th.
Sedgwick County and Yuma remain on a collision course in the LPAA, but both still have a lot of work to do before they meet on Feb. 1st. After rolling Akron 56-32 last week, Yuma will visit rival Wray on Friday, looking to avenge a 49-40 loss to the Eagles in the season-opener. That game is followed by a home contest with Burlington, who enters the week having won two straight. As for the Sedgwick County, the Cougars stayed undefeated on the season with lopsided wins over Haxtun and Fleming. Their week involves a home game on Saturday against Wiggins and a road trip to Peetz next Tuesday.
Rye’s girls were one of four unbeaten teams in Class 2A as the week started, and after stepping up to face a 4A opponent (Pueblo Centennial) on Tuesday, the Lady Bolts will have a key league contest with Swink on Thursday. Down the road, Rye still has league games with Crowley County and Rocky Ford.
Speaking of Rocky Ford, the Lady Meloneers are also in that group of remaining unbeatens after picking up a 40-23 win over Sangre de Cristo last week. The Lady T-birds had been undefeated and ranked second in 1A before that loss. Rocky Ford will be favored in both of its games this week, as the Lady Meloneers face Las Animas and Fowler, who each had one win entering the week.
Holyoke is still unbeaten, as well, after the Lady Dragons downed Burlington 63-37 last week. Kristin Vieselmeyer recorded a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Shianne Willmon added 19 points for the Lady Dragons. They will face their toughest test of the season on Saturday, when they square off with Limon at NJC.
Lamar’s girls climbed above the .500 mark on the season with wins over Bennett and CSCS last week. The Lady Savages needed a 14-7 fourth quarter on Saturday to knock off CSCS 47-42. Freshman Abby Robbins had 10 points to pace Lamar in that game. Lamar has important league games with Ellicott on Friday and Trinidad next Tuesday.
It’s rivalry time as Sterling’s girls will host Brush on Friday, while the boys will hook up in Brush. The Lady Tigers earned their first league win last Thursday by defeating Frontier Academy 56-16, and they went into Tuesday’s game with Valley looking to get to .500 on the season. Brush took a four-game winning streak into its league opener against University on Tuesday.
On the boys’ side, Sterling ran its winning streak to six with a 74-65 win over Manual last Saturday in a clash of top 10 teams. Axel Henry led the way with 28 points and Brock Shalla added 22 for the Tigers in that contest. Brush, who had been off since Dec. 21, went into Tuesday’s game with University looking to snap a three-game skid.
Both Fort Morgan squads entered the week looking for their first win of 2020. The boys dropped their first four games in January by five, five, seven, and three points. The Mustangs hosted Skyline on Tuesday, and were set to visit Mead on Thursday. A home game with Frederick will wrap up the week.
For the Lady Mustangs, it’s been an even rougher start to 2020, as the closest of their four losses was by 21 points. Their six-game skid entering the week dates back to mid-December. Their schedule for the week matches that of their boys, with the exception of Thursday. They will host Mead on that night.