Kentz pins 130-pound title at Eagle tourney |

Kentz pins 130-pound title at Eagle tourney

Aspen Times Staff Report

Mica Kentz of the Basalt High School wrestling team started off the second (and most important) half of the season by pinning down the 130-pound championship at the Eagle Valley Tournament Saturday.

Kentz beat West Grand’s Buck Shunneson 10-2 in the finals Saturday to improve to 4-0 on the day and 12-4 on the season, leading the Longhorns to a seventh-place team finish.

Kentz “had a good day. He’s starting to get focused and looking like he’s on the right track,” said BHS coach Rob Grumley.

Basalt, now somewhat depleted by injuries, only brought eight grapplers to the 12-team tourney, though five of the wrestlers battled through 16-man brackets to place.

Senior Chris Cottle took second in the 140-pound class, losing only to two-time (and defending) state champion Ben Cherrington of Middle Park.

“Chris wrestled [Cherrington] well,” Grumley said, “and he’s probably one of the best wrestlers ever to come out of Colorado.”

Basalt heavyweight Jeremy Everding also advanced to the finals at Eagle Valley. Everding, 13-2 on the year with 11 pins, lost in the finals 7-2 to Seth Kissinger of Battle Mountain, who took third in the state tournament last year.

In the 145-pound class, Jed Goodwin of Basalt took third with a 16-7 win over West Grand’s Dustin Harmon in the consolation finals.

Nick McGrath, Basalt’s 119-pounder, entered the Eagle Valley tourney undefeated but lost twice to Kenny Anderson of West Grand and settled for fourth. McGrath, 3-2 on the day, dropped to 15-2 on the season.

“We didn’t do as well as a team as I would have liked,” Grumley said, “but we wrestled well with the kids we had.”

Paonia won the team scoring at Eagle Valley, followed by Gunnison and Middle Park. On Saturday, Basalt travels to an eight-team tournament in Paonia to continue tuning up for the Feb. 9-10 Western Slope Regional Tournament in Montrose, where only the top wrestlers advance to the Feb. 15-17 state tournament.

“We’re trying to zero in on the regional tournament,” Grumley said. “And we’re gearing toward getting as many kids to states as possible.

“The kids’ attitudes are great in the wrestling room, and we’re just trying to improve on a weekly basis,” Grumley continued.

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