BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Mark Hirschi, Headliner Sports Writer, February 6, 2022
A region rivalry between Bear River High and Mountain Crest High’s boys’ wrestling team came to showdown on Thursday, February 3. The Bears traveled to Mountain Crest High to battle the top ranked Mustangs in both 4A and Region 11 for the region title.
The Bears gave the Mustangs all they could handle in each match until the very end.
Bear River started the night getting a fall in only 41 seconds of action by senior Kaeson Burn (190). He was followed by freshman Max Anderson (215) in a close lost to Hunter Hammer of Mountain Crest, 5-3. The Bears gained more momentum when senior Carson Pond (285) was able to secure a first-period fall. He was followed by 106-pounder Daxton Bingham, a freshman, who also was able to get the fall putting the Bears in a commanding lead 18-3.
In the match of the night, junior Max Miller, now wrestling at 113, gave up two questionable stall calls but was able to overcome the point and seal the victory, 5-2, over number one-ranked Carter Nelson in 4A. Up next was senior Kayden Ward, normally at 113, was asked to move up to 120 to take on Mountain Crest’s number-one ranked Easton Evans. Ward had a hard-fought match but ended up getting pinned.
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Ty Hawkes (126) drew 2nd ranked Luke Schroeder and wrestled tough only giving up a major decision. Bear River senior Tyson Hirschi (132) was also tasked to take on the 2nd ranked Lincoln Lofthouse who dropped to 132-pounds for the first time this season. Hirschi lost the match 9-4.
At this point the Bears still held the lead 21-16, and next up at 138 was Braegger Richards taking on 2nd ranked Wyatt Coulam. In a scramble in the first period, Richards ended up getting caught in a bad position and got pinned giving Mountain Crest their first lead on the scoreboard of the night. Senior Zach Gunderson (144) had the task of taking on yet another number-one wrestler from Mountain Crest Terrell Lee but ultimately lost 14-2 a major decision.
With all the momentum gone and the Bears seemingly on the wrong side of every close call, Dustin Douglas battled the 3rd ranked wrestler at 150, Jace McBride, and ended up losing the match 10-1. Sophomore Kyle Detwiler (157) was able to keep the Bears in striking distance as he secured the fall and another 6-points for the Bears making the score, 30-27, for the Mustangs with two matches left of the night.
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Sophomore Skyler Yeates (165) was unable to get the upper hand in his match and ended up losing by decision 7-4. This left the Bears down by 6-points and in need of a pin in the final match of the night.
It came down to senior River Smith (175) as he was tasked to wrestle Brock Guthrie, who is ranked 2nd behind Smith in 4A, after Smith beat Guthrie at the Richardson Memorial tournament earlier this season. Smith was victim to three early stall calls that set the tone for the match and allowed Guthrie to get the upper hand. Guthrie was able to prevail with a win, 9-2, ending the dual 36-27 for the Mustangs.
Watch the Bears take on Mountain Crest, thanks to Bear River Live's livestreaming coverage from February 3, on the link below.
Both the Bear River High boys’ and girls’ wrestling teams will travel to Ridgeline High Friday (boys only) and Saturday, February 10-11, for the 4A Division B tournament to determine who qualifies for a spot in the 4A state championship tournament.
The 4A state wrestling championship tournament (both boys and girls) will be held February 18-19, in Richfield at the Sevier Valley Center.
Photos by Melanie Smith and Tymer Yeates