With the regular season winding down, the wrestling teams from Manhattan and Three Forks faced stiff competition over the weekend at the Class B/C Duals in Great Falls.
Manhattan reached the championship bracket after going 2-1 in its pool Friday, while the Wolves lost all six of their matches during the tournament.
“We have some injuries on the team right now,” noted Three Forks coach Nye Howey. “Hopefully everyone will be healed up by next week for the divisional tournament.”
The divisional tournament is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Townsend.
The Wolves lost duals to Cascade, Huntley Project, and Whitehall in their pool, then lost to Cascade, Conrad and Great Falls Central in the consolation bracket.
Manhattan lost its first pool play dual against Lincoln County 42-12. Due to injuries, the Tigers are competing with just six wrestlers and gave up 18 points on forfeits.
“Carson Butts opened with a first period pin (at 160) to get us on the board and then it got rough,” Manhattan coach Raymond Debruycker said. “We wrestled like we were asleep the rest of the way against them with our other six points coming off an open weight.”
But the second-year coach noted his team came out with more energy and urgency against Fairfield. Despite giving up 18 points again, the Tigers won the dual 26-24.
Manhattan also won its final pool dual against Anaconda, 30-18, after giving up 12 points on forfeits. That allowed the team to place second in its pool and advance to the championship bracket.
“Saturday was not good to us as a team because the other seven teams in the championship bracket had full or nearly full lineups while we had seven open weights,” said Debruycker. “Going in we didn’t have a chance to win a dual so we focused on individual matches and getting better.”
Manhattan drew Lincoln County in its first dual and put together a better performance in a 37-12 loss. Then the team lost to Broadwater County 73-6 before losing to Jefferson County 48-27.
“Overall we had a pretty uneven weekend but were able to get in a lot of matches for everyone,” said Debruycker. “Carson Butts at 160 had a strong individual weekend going 5-1 with five pins. Carson is our lone senior and has really turned it on since the Christmas break and is starting to put everything together.”
Forrest Fairbanks finished with a 4-2 record, while Porter Blanchard (126) was 4-3, Cyrus Richardson (152) 5-4, Jackson Bloomgren (170) 2-4, and Garrit Weeda (170) 1-4.
“It was a tough weekend but a necessary growing pain for us to see what we need to get fixed after having two strong weeks before,” said Debruycker.