GRAND ISLAND — The second-ranked Scottsbluff wrestling team gave a solid performance over the weekend after the Bearcats wrestled their way to a 6-1 overall finish at the Flatwater Fracas dual wrestling tournament at the Heartland Events Center on Friday and Saturday in Grand Island.
Thirty-two teams from four different states were on hand for the tournament.
The Bearcats stumbled out of the blocks with a 43-25 loss to No. 8-ranked Bennington on Friday, but bounced back to defeat Lincoln Southwest, 46-24; No. 10 Adams Central, 42-35; and Omaha Burke, 37-29, to close out Friday’s competition. In Saturday’s action, Scottsbluff finished things out by defeating Norfolk, 39-38; No. 6-ranked Nebraska City, 34-29; and Manhattan, Kansas, 49-25.
“The guys wrestled really well — we had a good day today.” Scottsbluff coach James Miller said. “We wrestled some tough teams and we knew we were going to have some tough duals, but the guys stepped up and made it happen.”
Top-ranked 145-pounder Colton Adams continued his winning ways by going 7-0, while fellow senior Andrew Aratani ran his season record to 19-0 with seven wins at 285. Adams earned his 155th win, tying Scottsbluff’s school record for career wins. In addition, the senior also posted his 102nd pin of his career.
Cruz Delacruz, who is ranked No. 1 in Class B at 106, finished the tournament going 6-1 with his only loss coming to third-ranked Tony Heng of Nebraska City, 6-2. Keegan Hessler was also near-perfect in the tournament, finishing 6-1 with his only loss coming up a weight class at 126, losing only to top-rated Brett Velasquez of Bennington on Friday.
Miller said the loss to Bennington was tough, but he was pleased with the way his kids responded down the stretch.
“It was tough to swallow because it set us back for the whole weekend,” he said. “It didn’t really give a chance to get into the pool we wanted. [Saturday] was a good run for us. We had to step up because the teams we were wrestling were the teams you want to give 12 points to and we ended up still pulling it out.”
Miller, who lauded his team’s effort in the tournament, was especially pleased with his younger wrestlers. Freshman Salem Harsh finished the tournament with a 5-2 record, while Robert Price went 4-2.
“Salem and Rob, as far as a team effort goes, both stepped up for us today,” Miller said. “They were both in situations where they needed to win in order for us to win the dual. In the first one it was Rob and in the second one it was Salem, and they both got it done. Those guys did a great job. They stepped up for the team and did what they needed to do. But, like I said, all of those duals were a team effort.”
Sabian Harsh also finished strong for Scottsbluff, finishing the weekend 5-2 showcased by a 9-0 win over the No. 2-rated wrestler in the state, Jay Sornson of Nebraska City.
Scottsbluff will next be in action when it hosts the Scottsbluff Invite on Jan. 4.
Gering wrestling place 10th in Valentine Invite
VALENTINE – The Gering wrestling team placed 10th Saturday in the Valentine Invite.
Marcelino Ramos led the Bulldogs with a third-place finish at 113 pounds. He posted a 4-1 record.
Gering’s Damian Hort also recorded a 4-1 record and ended fourth at 138. Elijah Timblin went 2-2 at 170, and Quentin Timblin went 2-2 at 160.
“I was very pleased with how our guys wrestled,” Gering coach Jj Behrens said. “It was a really tough tournament, but we handled it well.”
Behrens said his wrestlers gained valuable experience going up against such quality competition.
“We’ve strengthened our schedule quite a bit, and this is the first time we’ve been to the Valentine Tournament. It was exactly what we wanted it to be,” he said.
Gering will compete again Jan. 4 in the Scottsbluff Invite.