The Shelby Coyotes traveled to Cut Bank on Friday, January 6, for the opening rounds of the Cut Bank Invitational Wrestling Tournament. Shelby had eight wrestlers registered for the event.
Alex Stratton, 103 lbs, who got his first varsity win at the CJI mixer the evening before, received two byes taking him to the quarter finals. He faced Quinn Reno of Havre and lost by fall in :24. The following morning in the first round of the consolation rounds, Alex faced-off with JC Larson of Browning. Alex won that contest by fall in 3:47. Alex ended his tournament losing to Cameron Pleninger of Havre.
Scott Whitson, 120lbs, had a first round bye. He then wrestled Braden Evans of Fort Benton/Big Sandy losing by fall. His next opponent was Trajen Calica of Browning. Calica pinned Whitson.
Wyatt Brusven, 132 lbs, also had a first round bye. He then squared off with Hayden Wade of CMR. Wyatt won by fall in 3:35. In the quarterfinals, Wyatt faced a familiar opponent in Dakota Flannery of Whitefish. Wyatt lost by decision 5-3 placing him in the consolation bracket. With a long road ahead, Brusven was able to pick up wins against Jack Eisenbarth (Whitefish) by fall in 3:57, Reed Christensen (Libby) by decision 3-0, and Kaden Moore (Malta) by decision 7-3 only to face Flannery in the consolation finals. Brusven was able to avenge his earlier defeat by winning by decision 6-1.
Brodey White (138lbs) had a difficult first round draw facing the AA number 1 ranked Kai Stewart of CMR. Brodey was able to fend Kai off through the first period but eventually succumbed in 2:51. White staged a dramatic comeback through the consolation bracket winning his next three matches. He won by major decision 11-2 against Ross Reed of Chinook, by fall in 2:32 against Logan Wren of Great Falls High, and by fall in 4:29 against Isaac Watts of Whitefish. Brodey ended his strong run against Jacob Travis of Jefferson in a 10-3 decision.
Payson Asper, 145 lbs, serving as an unattached wrestler for Shelby, met up with the number one seed, three time Cut Bank Invitational champion, and three time state champion, Parker Filius of Havre. With limited mat time and experience, Payson gave it his best effort but was unable to hold off Filius for more than :20 in the first period. Asper was then paired with Calvin Maples of Choteau losing by fall in 1:14.
Barrett Hansen, 145lbs, the scoring wrestler for Shelby at this weight, had a great first two rounds. Hansen pinned his opponent, Mike Brien of CMR, in :27. His continued his dominance with a technical fall (17-1) over Kyle Evans of Cascade. Hansen eventually met up with the number two seed, Trey Evans of Circle and lost by fall in 1:17. Hansen would battle back with three convincing wins in the consolation bracket. He defeated Garrett Lowham of Chinook by fall in 1:12, Landon Taylor in a 9-2 decision, and Nolan Myrstol from Belt in a 7-2 decision. Barrett found himself in the consolation championship against Trey Evan once again. Trey defeated Barrett in 1:56.
Tyler Larson (152lbs) wrestled heavy for the Coyotes up from his normal 138lbs. He started his tournament out with a bang defeating Wyatt Miller of Frazer by fall in :58. Larson lost a hearbreaker in a 3-2 decision to Nate Gorham of Shepherd placing him in the consolation bracket. He faced Mason Dionne of Havre losing by fall in :56. Tyler went on to win three matches at the JV tournament.
Austin Taylor (182lbs) rounded out the effort of the Coyotes starting off with a win by decision over Cyrus Sweedman of Libby 5-2. Austin would then face the number one seed from Lincoln County, Garrett Graves. Graves eventually went on to win the weight class. Austin kept his hopes alive by defeating Brett Kipp of Browning by fall in 1:50. Taylor finished his tournament with a loss to Colton Like of Fairfield/Simms in :47.
The Coyote will travel to Fairfield for a mixer on Thursday and to the Choteau Classic on Friday and Saturday.