The Shelby Coyotes placed 5th on their home turf Saturday while playing host to the Northern B/C Divisional Tournament.
Five Shelby wrestlers placed 4th or higher earning them a ticket to the "Big Show," the state tournament in Billings. The state tournament will be held at the Metra on this coming Friday and Saturday.
Alex Stratton, a freshman, placed 2nd at the tournament at 103lbs. Stratton pinned his way to the finals defeating Zach Jackson of Harlem by fall in :21. Stratton met up with Matt Connelly of Valier in the 103lb championship match. Alex lost the bout by fall in :29.
Scott Whitson, the 120lb junior Yote, placed 6th at the divisional tournament despite losses to Conner Schnabel of Fort Benton/Big Sandy by fall in 1:14, Darwyn Johnson of Fairfield/Simms by fall in :28 and Kyle Richter of Conrad by fall in 1:16. This was Scott's first year wrestling. He showed a lot of improvement throughout the season. Whitson is a great addition to the Coyote squad and will work hard in the off-season.
Sophomore Wyatt Brusven was the number one seed at 132lbs and a defending champion. Brusven pinned his way to the finals by defeating Jesse Entz of Fairfield/Simms in 3:13. Brusven would face the number two seed Kaden Moore of Malta/Whitewater in the 132lb championship. Wyatt lost a heart-breaker in the 3rd period by fall in 5:07. Brusven placed 2nd at the tournament and a place in the state championship bracket.
The 138lb weight class would prove to be a loaded weight class which contained two Coyotes in senior Brodey White and freshman Tyler Larson. White started off with a bang defeating Ross Reed of Chinook by major decision 12-0. The afternoon would start to tighten up as White worked his way through the championship bracket. He faced-off with Cole Giles of Fairfield/Simms. Brodey lost by decision 7-0. Undeterred by the loss, White met up with Kobe Tran of CJI and won by fall in 3:45 placing him in the consolation championship and punching his card to the state tournament. In the consolation championship, White squared-off with Wacey Running Crane of Valier. White would lose the contest by decision 10-4 earning him 4th place for the tournament. White is a four time state qualifier.
Tyler Larson ended up being Shelby's workhorse wrestler. He wrestled a total of six matches during the tournament. He first wrestled Watson Snyder of Choteau and won by fall in 2:23 only to pair up with Cole Giles of Fairfield/Simms. Larson lost by fall in 4:37. In his first match in the consolation bracket, Larson was matched up with Brock Doty of Conrad. Larson won the contest by fall in 1:52. Tyler didn't stop there, he went on to defeat Ross Reed of Chinook by decision 6-2. Larson was paired with Wacey Running Crane of Valier and would lose the match by fall in 2:07. This placed Larson in the 5th place consolation final against Kobe Tran of CJI. Tyler lost the contest by a 10-3 decision giving him 6th place for the tournament.
Two Coyotes populated the 145lb bracket this year. Both junior Barrett Hansen and junior Payson Asper had their eyes on the gold. Hansen got things started right by defeating Calvin Maples of Choteau by fall in 4:45. Barrett would hit a small bump in the road in Ceaton Mears of Malta/Whitewater losing by fall in the final seconds by fall in 5:48. Bouncing back, Hansen would defeat Cole Staigmiller of Fairfield/Simms by fall in 4:06. Nursing a shoulder injury and showing heart, Hansen squared-off with Landon Taylor of Fort Benton/Big Sandy in the consolation championship. Barrett would lose the contest by decision 4-3 but punched his ticket to the state tournament by placing 4th.
Payson Asper, a junior and first year wrestler, would have a short afternoon losing to Garrett Lowham of Chinook by fall in 1:06 and losing to Cody Decker of Fairfield/Simms by fall in :48. Asper continues to show improvement and hopes to develop his knowledge and skill in the off-season.
Dillon Luly, the sophomore 152 pounder, split his afternoon going 2-2. Luly started off with a big win against Moses Smith of Harlem by fall in 1:02. The win advanced him to face-off with the number two seed David Finley of Choteau. Finely caught Luly in a head and arm head chancery early in the period and defeated Luly by fall in :27. Looking to bounce back, Dillon defeated Kurtis Hamilton of Chinook by decision 9-3. In a valiant effort, Luly lost to Isaiah Runs Above of Hays/Lodgepole by decision 9-3.
The heaviest Coyote and senior, Austin Taylor at 182lbs, placed 3rd in convincing fashion. Despite a loss by decision 6-2 to Travis Epperson of Malta/Whitewater, the eventual tournament champion at 182lbs, Austin would win two matches by fall. The first win came against Jacob McCrea of Fairfield/Simms by fall in 1:42. This placed him in the consolation final against Brett Monroe of Valier. Taylor defeated Monroe two weeks prior in Conrad for the 182lb championship by decision. This time it was all Taylor, defeating Monroe by fall in :33 earning him 3rd place.
The Coyotes will travel to Billings on Thursday after a send-off in the morning.