Evart wrestlers claim district title

Pine River is also district kings

Evart wrestlers celebrate the district title.

Evart wrestlers celebrate the district title.

Herald Review photo/John Raffel

EVART – It’s a wrestling program that is less than 10 years old. but Evart is celebrating a Division 4 district championship, the first in school history.

Evart went 2-0 at Farwell on Thursday.

“We drew Beaverton first,” Evart coach Ben Bryant said. “We got a big win from Sam Bailey that sealed the team victory for us. In the district championship we beat Farwell to win our school’s first wrestling district title.”

Point scoring wrestlers for Evart going 2-0 were: Cole Staats, Riley Ransom, Josiah Beard, Landon Babb, Cole Hopkins and Sam Bailey. Wrestlers going 1-0 were Kaden DuBreuil and Alex Burhans. Wrestlers going 1-1 were Jaxon Craven, Michael Lodholtz and Ethan Conk.

“This was kind of expected,” Bryant said. “I thought we were favored going into the district so we just had to take care of business. Sam Bailey had a nice come-from-behind win. After a slow start, he was a little under the weather. But he’s our lone senior on the team and came back and had a pin for us.

“Everybody that wrestled did a pretty good job. Cole Staats had a nice come-from-behind win in the championship match against Farwell. He’s a freshman.”

“We really expected to win this year,” Ransom said. “We have a bunch of new people but our coaching staff has put a lot of time and effort in it. Everybody had a certain job to do and we went out and did it.”

The regional on Feb. 16 will be at a site to be determined. Evart was planning to bid on it. 
"Our opponent is St. Louis," Bryant said. "They are a very well coached team with tough kids. Their full line-up and quality of wrestlers makes them a tough match up for anyone. If we are to win, we will need to get bonus points from all of our favored wrestlers and get a few upsets from our young guys. St. Louis is the favorite in our region to win. Our best individual wrestlers are Cole Hopkins who is now 47-0 and Sam Bailey who is 39-7.

Pine River takes first place

MANON – Pine River defeated Manton 71-12 and Mason County Central 52-21 for the Division 4 district title at Manton.

“I was incredibly proud of our team’s resiliency over the course of the season,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “We had numerous kids who have been out for extended periods and they came in and wrestled really well. Our other kids have been in the line up all year and were never discouraged by having teammates out. The kids just kept their heads down and kept working. It showed up on the mat tonight. The kids looked sharp and focused. It was a good night of wrestling for the Bucks.”

Going 2-0 were Bryant Wing (103), Seth Duncan (125), Ryder Holmes (140), Wyatt Underhill (145), Phil Rigling (152), Cayden Mys (160), Rogan Nelson (171) and Cam Helmboldt (215).

“We will be in Oscoda for individual districts on Saturday and team regionals should be in St Francis but I am hearing rumors that might change,” Martin said.

Boys basketball

Beal City 61  Pine River 48

LEROY – Beal City led 9-7 after the first quarter, 24-23 at halftime and 39-36 after the third quarter and outscored Pine River in the fourth 21-12 for this Thursday Highland Conference win. 

Isaiah Dennis had 17 points and eight rebounds for Pine River  while Cole Crawford had 15 points and three rebounds and Evan Esiline had seven points and four boards.

“It was a tight game until the fourth quarter when they knocked down some threes to get separation,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “From there we had to go into desperation mode to try pick off some passes, and to Beal's credit, they handled our pressure well and converted scores.

“We were up three with the basketball with two minutes left in the third, and some costly turnovers led to a 7-0 spurt for them to regain control. That was the pivotal moment in the game. Isaiah played with a ton of heart and gave it everything he had, and Cole Crawford showed that he can be the offensive threat we knew he could be.  There are some good positives there moving forward.”

Pine River overall is 7-8 and in the conference 4-7.

The next game is Wednesday at McBain NMC.