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February 18th, 2012
SHELLEY â€” Joy. Sadness. Elation. Agony. Take your pick as to which adjective best describes the loser out contest at Shelley High School between the Blackfoot Broncos and the Shelley Russets on Saturday night because depending upon where you were sitting in the raucous gym, any one of those could describe what was going on by the end of Shelley's 63-59 High Country Conference tournament win over Blackfoot.
RIGBY â€” So what can be sweeter than thirteen straight conference wrestling titles? How about fourteen straight blue trophies? That is exactly what the Blackfoot Broncos accomplished on Friday as they outdistanced second place Bonneville 409.5 to 351 in the 4A High Country Conference tournament which was held at Rigby High School.
"The team title is something that we have been looking forward to since our loss to Bonneville at the Bonneville duels at the start of the season," senior captain Jon Horak said. "I just love everyone of my brothers. All of them have worked so hard all year and today they showed a ton of heart and showed everyone what B.A.B. means."
All told Blackfoot qualified 14 wrestlers into next weekends state wrestling tournament while capturing four individual district titles.
With seven wrestlers heading into the finals the Blackfoot faithful were in full throat as they brought the men in black down the stretch.
Chace Wasia was the first of the Broncos to take to the mats in the finals and after six grueling minutes on the mat with Hillcrest's Cade Christensen, Wasia stood victorious with a 3-2 decision.
Next up was Jeremy Robbins at 126 and he too fought it out with a tough Hillcrest wrestler. Robbins was ahead by two points late in the third period when he finished off Zack Packer with a third period pin.
Tate Hansen then battled Shelley's Chase Call in the 132 final in what turned out to be one of the finest three period battles that one could hope to see.
Call eventually got the district title with a late takedown which propelled the defending state champion to a 6-5 decision over Hansen.
"Both of those matches, Jeremy and Tate were just wars," Blackfoot head coach Thain Cashmore said. "Tate's match was epic. He came out and took it to Call and you have to tip your hat to Call, he is a fine wrestler but I think that Tate has made incredible improvement through the season and he really held his own out there today."
"Jeremy had a great technical match," Coach Cashmore continued. "He looked like a surgeon out there. He came in with a plan and he executed it to perfection."
Blackfoot got back on top of the medal stand with Ruben Pulido's first period pin at 138 and at 152, Jon Horak turned in a masterful performance with a 5-2 win over Bonneville's Jeremy Hansen.
"I honestly came into the match with some nerves," Horak said. "I just had to tell myself to do what Jon-Jon does best and it all worked out for me."
Austin Mathis and Chance Jensen each had shots at district titles at 182 and 220 but each fell to their opponent. Jensen's loss was to Bingham County foe Vince Landon from Shelley. Landon's win was his 100th as a prep wrestler.
Rounding out the state qualifiers for the Broncos were 6 third place finishers with Jared Evans, Kohl Bingham, Layton Wasia, Ryan Climer, Connor Henderson, Bryant Sargent and Jonathan Littlejohn.
The third place finishes were especially important to the team total as most of those third place matches were head-to-head with Bonneville wrestlers.
"It was in the consolation matches where we won the tournament," Coach Cashmore said. "Everyone of those kids met the challenge and rose to the occasion when we needed them."
Blackfoot will hit the mats at the state tournament beginning next Friday at Idaho State's Holt Arena where they will look to place several wrestlers into Saturday's thrilling finals.
"State is the final match and we are heading into it with high hopes," Coach Cashmore said. "Hopefully we can garner some points, wrestle well and let everything work itself out in the wash."
3A state semi-final
Snake River Panthers vs Timberlake Tigers
Winner will face winner of Marsh Valley and Priest River.
The score is tied 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Snake River takes its first lead of the game at 10-8 in the second quarter.
It was a defensive battle in the first half and the teams head to the locker room tied at 13-13. Shayla Christensen has six points and Jocelyn Harper has seven for the Panthers.
Snake River has taken an early 18-15 lead in the third quarter.
REXBURG- The top seeded Madison Bobcats built a double digit lead and then held off a hard charging Shelley Russet squad 70-64 during semi-final action at Madison High School on Thursday evening.
Early on it looked as if the entire game was going to be a nip-tuck affair as the squads traded blows during a highly entertaining first quarter.
AMERICAN FALLS â€” The defending 3A state champions took to the mats on Thursday morning, looking to add a Southeastern Idaho Conference title to their already impressive resume.
At the end of a hard day of wrestling, Snake River did just that as they qualified 14 wrestlers into next weekends state tournament. Crowned seven individual champions en route to their first district title in a few years.
ST. ANTHONY- The Firth Cougars boys basketball faced off against the Butte Pirates Thursday night, in an intense game between the conferences top two squads. In the end, Firth dominated the night with a 59-42 win over the Pirates sending them into next weeks 2A Nuclear Conference championship game.
Firth was able to keep their lead through the whole game as they built a sizable lead that was never threatened for the better part of three quarters of play.
Snake River's game against Weiser in the first round of the 3A state tournament is underway. The winner will take on Timberlake tomorrow at 6:15 p.m. at Middleton High School.
The Lady Panthers have taken an early 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, the Panthers lead 11-3.
Snake River's lead cut to 17-14 at halftime. Shayla Christensen leads Snake River with 10 points and McKenna Shelley has 5.
Weiser takes its first lead at 18-17. Snake River answers with back-to-back 3's and lead 23-18 midway through the third.
AMMON â€” All season long the Blackfoot Broncos have shown the ability to pull themselves up by the boot straps for thrilling come from behind finishes.
Tuesday nights opening round district tournament game was not one of those instances however as the Broncos fell behind early, and never threatened as the home standing Hillcrest Knights sent Blackfoot to the left side of the tournament bracket with a 79-58 victory.
SHELLEY- The Shelley Russets opened district tournament play on Tuesday night as they hosted the Bonneville Bees. Shelley took control early and then cruised home with a 24-point victory as they opened their sixth district tournament play with a 63-39 opening round win.
The Firth Cougars shook off a low-scoring first half with a pair of big runs in the second half as they took care of business on the first game of the 2A Nuclear Conference Tournament with a 55-34 victory over North Fremont.
"Give North Fremont credit, they've played us tough all three times that they have played us this year," Firth head coach Scott Adams said. "We have a lot of inexperienced kids playing in their first district tournament game and we probably came out a little nervous."