Panther wrestlers hit the road for two competitions last week, traveling to Three Forks for a mixer Jan. 9, then to Cut Bank for a two-day weekend tourney.
In Thursday’s mixer with Three Forks, Deer Lodge, Whitehall and White Sulphur Springs, the Panthers dominated the competition with a collective 18-7 record. In the first round, Leo Anderson, Dominick Davis, Jace Oxarart, John Armstrong, Eli Reed, Miles Dodge, and Matt Riehl all secured victory, with all but Riehl doing so by pin. The second round found Anderson, Briana Garcia, Christian and Dominick Davis, Clara Lufkin, Armstrong, Reed, Braeden Jones, Talon DeMers, Jeyden Sullivan, Dakota Dorn and Riehl all winning by pin. Gracie Olds and Joe Riehl also suited up.
Next up: The Cut Bank Booster Club Invitational, with 29 teams including several Class A schools. Anderson, Garcia, Christian and Dominick Davis, Oxarart, Armstrong, Reed, Jones, DeMers, Dorn, and Matt Riehl all advanced out of the first round. And Anderson, the Davis brothers, DeMers, Dorn, and Riehl made it out of the second.
In the third round, the Davis twins were paired up against each other, with Christian winning to advance. Anderson and Dorn also won, putting three Panthers into the semifinals.
In the consolation bracket, Oxarart and Jones won by pin in the first round. And Garcia and Oxarart advanced by pin in the second consolation round to qualify for the second day of competition. As a team, Jefferson qualified eight wrestlers for the second day and scored 67 points, putting them in ninth place.
In Saturday’s first consolation round, Garcia, Oxarart and DeMers lost and were eliminated. Dominick Davis and Riehl advanced by pin to put themselves into the final eight. There, Riehl won by a 15-2 major decision to earn a spot on the awards podium, while Davis was eliminated.
Next up: The semifinals. Leo Anderson and Dakota Dorn both won by pin to earn a spot in the finals, while Christian Davis was defeated and sent into the consolation bracket. In the placing matches, Christian Davis was 6th at 113 pounds and Matt Riehl was 5th at 205 pounds.
In the finals, Anderson overwhelmed his opponent and notched a pin to earn the 103-pound championship. Dorn was not so fortunate and settled for runner-up at 182 pounds. Jefferson improved on its first-day standing, finishing in 7th place out of 29 teams with 112 points. This was their second highest placing ever at this tournament.
During the varsity tournament on Saturday, the athletes eliminated from Friday’s competition were entered into a mixer. Armstrong and Jones each collected three wins and Reed had two, while Oxarart, Lufkin and DeMers added one win apiece.
Anderson, who pinned his way through his bracket to become Jefferson’s first champion at Cut Bank, was selected as JHS Panther wrestler of the week. Clara Lufkin was selected as JHS Panther JV wrestler of the week. She collected two pins on the week for her first victories of the season. And Jones had the JHS Panther quick pin of the week, dispatching his opponent in nine seconds at Cut Bank.
JHS travels to Deer Lodge for a mixer 6 p.m. Jan. 15. Then comes another tough test: The Choteau Classic Tournament on Jan. 17 and 18, featuring over 30 Class B and C schools.