BHS wrestlers brace for regional tourney
Wrestlers with the Basalt High School team are gearing up for this weekend’s Western Slope Regional Tournament, having finished out the regular season last weekend at a tri-meet at Eagle Valley Saturday.
On Saturday, a depleted Basalt dual-meet team wrestled Paonia, Gunnison and Cedaredge, losing to the two former teams and beating the latter.
“We just don’t have a strong dual-meet team right now due to injury and ineligibility,” said coach Rob Grumley, “but we wrestled well with who we had.”
At the dual meets, Basalt had to forfeit three weight classes and fielded several freshmen to fill other classes too, Grumley said.
“That’s how it goes when you’re young and inexperienced,” he said. “I’ve got my five seniors I can count on, though, and they wrestled well.”
Basalt’s five senior grapplers will lead the team at the Class 3A Western Slope Regional Tournament in Montrose Friday and Saturday. In order to advance to the 3A state tournament, wrestlers must place in the top four of their weight class, Grumley explained.
“There’s going to be some serious dogfights for those four places,” Grumley said. “My seniors know it’s going to be tough, and they’re willing to work for it. They all have a shot if they have a good day.”
At 119 pounds, BHS senior Nick McGrath should be a factor in the regional tournament. McGrath posted a 3-0 record in dual-meet action Saturday, improving his season record to 21-7 with 10 pins. “He looked really tough this weekend,” Grumley noted.
Basalt’s 125-pounder, Kelly Winn, went 2-1 on Saturday, losing a one-point match to Willie Wood of Cedaredge, Grumley said. “But I think Kelly’s got a shot at beating him next week,” he added.
Mica Kentz, at 130 pounds, and Chris Cottle, at 140, also have a good chance to advance to the state tournament, Grumley said.
Basalt heavyweight Jeremy Everding, who is 20-3 this season and unbeaten by any Class 3A opponent, is also likely to do well, the coach said.
“We’ve really been working hard,” he said. “We’ve upped the tempo and the intensity in the wrestling room, and the kids have responded. Saturday was the best we’ve wrestled in three weeks, and that’s exactly where you want to be going into regionals.
“This week we’re really working on the mental game,” Grumley continued. “I’m stressing mistake-free wrestling, and to get us to capitalize on any opportunities that might arise in a match.”
More than 150 wrestlers from 11 teams comprise the Class 3A Western Slope region, which makes the regional tournament “the toughest in the state of any class,” Grumley said. “The teams in our region are powerhouses.”
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