Basalt wrestlers pin down fourth at tourney |

Basalt wrestlers pin down fourth at tourney

Aspen Times Staff Report

For the fourth straight year, the Basalt High School wrestling team just missed taking home a trophy from a team-format tournament in Gunnison.

“They give trophies to the top three teams,” coach Rob Grumley said yesterday. “But we did well wrestling against some hefty competition.”

Unlike most wrestling tournaments, where teams accrue points based on the performances of individual wrestlers within particular weight classes, the Gunnison tournament pits teams against each other in a bracket.

In Basalt’s first “duel” Saturday at Western State College, the team beat Cedaredge 60-17. In the Longhorns’ second match, against Cheyenne East of Wyoming, Basalt lost by a similar margin of 56-17.

“Cheyenne East pretty much dominated the tournament,” Grumley said of the eventual tournament victors. “They’re one of the top big schools in Wyoming; they were impressive.”

In Basalt’s first consolation-round duel, the Longhorns beat Grand County (Moab), Utah, 48-31 to advance to the consolation finals against Mancos, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 2A in Colorado.

The Mancos grapplers beat Basalt 41-27.

“They were tough,” Grumley said. “We wrestled well all day, and against Mancos we needed to have a couple upsets and it didn’t happen.”

Gunnison took second out of the eight competing teams, followed by Mancos and then Basalt.

Basalt’s Nick McGrath, at 119 pounds, remained unbeaten through Saturday with four wins to improve to 12-0 on the season.

“He’s wrestling great,” Grumley said. “I can’t say enough. He’s going out there and taking care of business.”

Senior Mica Kentz went 3-1 Saturday at 130 pounds, losing to a tough grappler from Cheyenne East.

Davin Crowley of Basalt, wrestling in the 189-pound class, had a solid day, going 3-1. Freshman Garrett Jammaron also recorded three wins and one loss in the 160-pound division.

Heavyweight Jeremy Everding of Basalt, undefeated going into the Gunnison tournament, dropped his first match of the season (11-1) to a 250-pounder from Cheyenne East.

Everding “made a crucial error early and his opponent was good enough to hold him off,” Grumley said. “The kid got [Everding] out of his style of wrestling and he just couldn’t recover.”

Several Basalt grapplers split their matches Saturday, going 2-2.

“It was a great tournament for our younger kids because they got a chance to wrestle four matches,” Grumley said. “They’re not able to win individual titles, but they get the experience, and that’s the trade-off.”

The Basalt wrestlers return to the mat Jan. 6 at an Eagle Valley tournament.

“We’ve been working hard and we’ve had a lot of long road trips,” Grumley said. “So it’ll be good to have a break and then hopefully we’ll come back refreshed for the second half of the season that really counts.”

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