THOMAS — A pair of highly touted 3Å wrestling programs squared off on the mats Thursday evening as the Snake River Panthers hosted the Teton Redskins for a non-conference duel at Snake River High School.
At the end of a hotly contested match, the Panthers emerged victorious with a 45-30 team score as the Panthers won 8 of the 14 matches, 4 of those by pin.
"The kids that weren't developed or ready to step into that varsity roll last year are really stepping up for us," Snake River head coach Jeff Gardner said. "I'm proud of them. They are doing the things that we are showing them in practice and are developing. We are getting some pretty big performances from kids that are kind of new on the varsity team."
The evening started at 189 with Jared Smith and Jesse Dewey squaring off on the mat. After three hard fought periods the match came down to the final seconds tied at 4-4. Dewey was able to get a critical take down with :20 remaining to put the Redskins on the board 3-0. Mike Duff got a forfeit at 215 for a 6-3 Panther lead but Teton regained the lead with a pin at the heavyweight spot.
Another forfeit at 103 gave the Panthers the lead for good on the night and they extended that to 24-9 with pins by Skylerr Valentine and Justin Starnes at 112 and 119.
Teton responded with pins at 125 and 130 to close the gap to 24-21 on the scoreboard but the middle of the Panther lineup stepped up when needed, winning the next three matches as Cash Cardona pinned his opponent at 135. Braden Beard then out pointed his man 18-6 at 140. Jesse Vogler followed with a big 19-4 win at 145, putting the Panthers up 39-21.
Colter Carter closed out the night with a very impressive first period pin at 171 for the final tally.
"I think that both teams had some problems with their true line ups, I know that Teton had some problems with a couple kids making weight so they are probably a little better team than they showed tonight," coach Gardner said. "We juggled our lineup a little bit, kids stepped up and did their jobs. We had a couple matches get away from us but I'm proud of the kids and we will get back to the drawing board."
Snake River will head to Buhl today and Saturday for the always tough Buhl Invitational tournament.
103 (SR) Kaden Bench forfeit
112 (SR) Skylerr Valentine pin
119 (SR) Justin Starnes pin
125 (T) Kody Hill pin
130 (T) Nick Wells pin
135 (SR) Cash Cardona pin
140 (SR) Braden Beard 18-6
145 (SR) Jesse Vogler 19-4
152 (T) Shane Evans pin
160 (T) Wyatt Christensen 8-3
171 (SR) Colter Carter pin
189 (T) Jesse Dewey 6-4
215 (SR) Mike Duff forfeit
285 (T) Paul Wagner pin