Monday, June 24, 2024

Ronan Girls named Divisional champs; Polson no. 2

by Brandon Hansen / For The Leader
| February 8, 2024 12:00 AM

Ronan had six divisional champions as the Maidens won the Western A Divisional Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3, in Hamilton.

“As we have been progressing throughout the year, our program has been bringing hardware home for quite a few different tournaments,” Head Coach Dylan Kramer said. “We try to remind the kids that this is validation that what we are doing is working and that their hard work is paying off.”

It was tight in scoring on championship Saturday, as the boys were trailing in points and the girls had a slight lead for first place.

“It kept our team engaged from start to finish,” Kramer said. “We always tell the kids to work to score individual match points and make your opponent work to score theirs and the team score will be what it will be.”

River Cote placed first at 100 pounds, moving her tournament record to 29-0. She won in three straight falls, two under a minute, and a 69-second pin over Columbia Falls Jaelynn Nace in the championship bout.

Saellah Nomee won the 114-pound championship, pinning two opponents and then picking up a 16-9 win over teammate Amanda Webster in the first-place match. Webster placed second by pinning two foes to reach the championship match.

Katie Dolence won the 126-pound bracket, notching two pins, including a 98-second pin over Corvallis’ Jocelyn Covington in the first-place bout.

Ronan’s Brynn Courville blasted through the 138-pound bracket to place first. She notched three pins, including an 86-second pin over Polson’s Brylie Reum in the championship match.

At 152 pounds, Leona Dodson Howe was a champion, pinning two on her way to the first-place match, where she defeated Columbia Falls’ Samantha Larsen 14-5.

Tirza TwoTeeth improved to 25-0 in tourney action and won the 235-pound title, pinning her opponent in 35 seconds in the semifinals. TwoTeeth felled Browning’s Kendahl Guardipee in the championship.

At 120 pounds, Giselle Barron-Valenzuela was fourth, notching two pins and picking up a decision in bracket action. Aaliyah Stewart was fifth at 126 pounds, notching a fall over Browning’s Margaret Weatherwax in the fifth-place match.

Destiny Finley was fourth at 132 pounds, picking up pins in the quarterfinals and consolation semifinals. At 145 pounds, Lol Schock placed fourth, and Jasmin Hakes was sixth.

Judasha Ellsworth was third at 235 pounds, pinning Hamilton’s Carlotta Giaquinto in the third-place match.

Polson Girls place second

Polson placed second at the Western Division Girls Tournament Feb. 2-3 in Hamilton. The Lady Pirates had three divisional champions and 15 girls' placed overall.

“Polson Head Coach Eric Huffine said both the boys and girls squads had an “outstanding” tournament. “Our effort, cardio, and toughness were at a very high level for Divisionals. We had some big wins and some very competitive matches throughout our whole team.”

Araeya Nelson won the 107-pound championship, pinning two, including a fall over Corvallis’ Kaelynn Vanderpool in the first-place match.

Nelson, a freshman, “has been jamming all season … and has been making some noise in the 107 bracket,” Huffine said. “She is ready to make a run at state.”

Polson’s Harli Kinney, a senior, was first at 145 pounds, pinning three, including Columbia Falls’ Jaici Watt in the championship match. She’s undefeated against Class A opponents and Huffine predicts she’ll be “exciting to watch at the state tournament.”

Abighail Sorrell was first at 165 pounds, notching three pins on her way to the top of the podium, including a pin over Browning’s Hayden Brugh Edwards in the championship bout. Huffine noted she’s faced some adversity this season but “has put her head down and wrestled tough.”

At 100 pounds, Ciri Nice was third after pinning two, including a fall over Bigfork’s Ava Larsen in the third-place match. Teammate Avari Stone was third at 107 pounds, pinning two on her way to the third-place match where she also fell Corvallis’ Finley Hillman in 46 seconds.

Stone broke her hand early in the season “but worked back and looked great” at Divisionals, her coach said.

Maddilyn Huffine was second at 120 pounds, notching two pins on her way to the championship bout. Also at 120 pounds, Ariella Mihara was seventh, picking up a decision and two pins.

Huffine noted that both Maddilyn and Body Bulette on the boys’ side “have been working hard throughout the season, and it was great seeing them both come out of their shells and wrestle all the way to the finals.” Both athletes “brought their A games mentally and physically and looked great.”

Polson’s Shyloh Huffine was third at 126 pounds, pinning three, including a pin in the third-place match. Teammate Skyla Nielsen was fourth in the same bracket, pinning two.

At 132 pounds, Olivia Valentine placed fifth, moving up through the consolation bracket with three pins. Jaycee Wallin was seventh at 132 pounds, pinning Hamilton’s Peyton Boggs in the seventh-place match.

Polson’s Brylie Reum was fourth at 138 pounds, pinning two, while teammate Innocent Arnold was sixth in the same bracket, notching one pin. At 152 pounds, Vanessa Wheeler was third, pinning Browning’s Keyenna DeRoche in the third-place match.

“Our girls have had a very successful season so far, and that carried over to Divisionals,” Huffine said. “We have a great group of girls and it’s fun to watch them have so much success.”

    Polson Girls took home the second place trophy from last week's Western Division Girls Tournament in Hamilton. (Courtesy photo)