Bayard, Scottsbluff wrestlers finish year at first state dual tourney
     2013-02-28      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Bayard junior Tanner Willey earned a 3-0 record at the Nebraska State Duals Tournament last weekend in Kearney. 
Bayard and Scottsbluff's wrestling programs got to top off great finishes to their district-winning seasons by participating in a little bit of Nebraska sports history.

The Tigers and Bearcats each went 1-2 in their class' eight-team state dual tournament bracket on Saturday at the University of Nebraska Kearney Health and Sports Center, the first State Dual Championships in the Cornhusker State.

Bayard won its first-round dual but then took two losses to finish fourth in Class D. Scottsbluff lost its first two duals, both by 34-33 scores, before the Bearcats finally beat district rival Alliance in the teams' third dual meeting, 45-33, for seventh place in Class B.

Scottsbluff paid for forfeiting too many weights in losing to Lexington in the first round and then to York in the consolation semifinals, both by 34-33 counts.

The Bearcats then avenged two tight dual losses this season to Alliance, downing the Bulldogs 45-33 in the seventh-place match.
"It was great for us to go as a team and to see some quality teams," said Scottsbluff coach James Miller, whose team had six wrestlers go 3-0 on the day after having two champions and finishing as the team runner-up at the Class B State Championships the previous week in Omaha.

"It was kind of nice for us to get to go there and match up well against the teams we wrestled. I'm a little disappointed in the way some of the duals turned out, like losing two duals in a row by one point each was a little tough to swallow. The fact that we were giving up two or three weight classes in every dual, it's hard to do that and beat some of the best teams in the state.

"But for the most part, the guys wrestled well. We had six guys who went undefeated, and then we had some great team efforts by some kids that we plugged in, Court Muir, Keenan Schmidt and Efren Alaniz made the trip. Efren is our only senior and so it was nice for him to get some extra matches."

Bearcat wrestlers who went 3-0 included state champions Colton Adams and Keegan Hessler, state runner-up Cruz Delacruz, third-place finisher Tristan Donelson and fifth-place medalist Andrew Aratani. Tristan Donelson overcame his non-medalist state performance to go 3-0 in the state dual event.

Adams' three-match sweep gave him a final total of 56 wins against just one loss, which came in the Walsh Ironman National Tournament in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in December. He also recorded a Class B record of 41 pins.

For Bayard, which had no finalists at the Class D open state tournament, the dual event was a nice way to end a 5-4-1 dual record season for 14th-year coach Randy McKibbin.

"It was a great time. We wrestled relatively well and came away with some success," McKibbin said. "Having it be the inaugural event and to be in on that was a special thing for this team."
The Tigers started out by outpointing High Plains Community School of Polk, near Center City,36-32. McKibbin said the Storm's coach, a long-time friend, worked on some match-up strategy -- something coaches can control in a dual tournament but not in the traditional state tourney bracket.

"He knew who he wanted to wrestle and who he didn't want to wrestle," said McKibbin, whose team won thanks to three High Plains forfeits to Bayard's one. "When you get to the state competition level, they know which match-ups are the more favorable, and they are going to move their lineup so that happens."

Bayard had two wrestlers, juniors Rocky Trevino and Tanner Willey, who traded between the 195- and 220-pound weights through the three duals and both came away with 3-0 records. But one achieved the mark without ever hearing a whistle, just having his arm raised on three forfeits.

"From the wrestler's perspective, it's extremely frustrating, but from the coach's perspective you know he really respects you because he knows his wrestler is going to lose, and then they go to somebody else," McKibbin said. "That actually gives you a bit of stock in how people view your team. But he came away with 18 points from it for the team."

After taking the win over High Plains, Bayard found itself matched against Pender, which was the state tourney runner-up to Amherst by a 185-172 margin. Those two teams met in Saturday's Bayard, Scottsbluff wrestlers finish year at first state dual tourneyClass D championship dual, won handily by Amherst 52-21.

But individual tournaments can be different from dual tourneys. While Bayard had 40.5 points for 11th at state, the Tigers gave Pender all it could handle before Bayard fell in a 42-30 semifinal dual.

"I think our boys knew we had a good team, but I don't think they really knew how good they were, because when I told them that we really did have a good chance of competing with and possibly beating Pender, which was our second dual, I don't think they really believed it.," McKibbin said.

"And we started out with guns a -blazing, and their eyes opened up, and you could tell on their faces, they were saying, 'Hey, Coach is right, this could really happen.' But then we had a kid who was ahead 11-2 and then he ends up getting pinned. And then we would have ended up tied."

After that loss, Bayard lost some momentum entering its third-place match against Plainview, which was the third-place team at state with 90 points.

The Tigers only had one on-mat win in the 50-28 loss to the Pirates of northeast Nebraska, a major decision by junior Tristan Hunter; Bayard's other four wins were by forfeit.

"Once that dual got away from us, I think the team was disappointed, and we didn't wrestle our best against Plainview," McKibbin said. "But to Plainview's credit, we didn't match up with Plainview. Our better kids were kind of by themselves, and their better kids were against our not-as-strong kids."

"You know they laid it on the line, because we had a few kids get injured and that's wrestling," McKibbin said. "So I was really proud of them to come through and be the fourth-best dual team in the state, I'm really proud of them. And the longer the season went, the more successful we were."

Bayard will return seven of its 10 state qualifiers for next season and McKibbin sees the Tigers being solid for several upcoming years. In the end, it could be a dual effort of winning state championship team trophies and medals for individual and team successes.

Nebraska State Duals Tournament
Saturday in Kearney

Class B
First Round
Omaha Skutt 60, Alliance 12; Syracuse 37, Plattsmouth 29; Lexington 34, Scottsbluff 33; Nebraska City 31, York 25

Semifinals
Championship -- Omaha Skutt 42, Syracuse 24; Nebraska City 42, Lexington 24.
Consolation -- Plattsmouth 47, Alliance 21; York 34, Scottsbluff 33

Finals
First place -- Omaha Skutt 33, Nebraska City 27
Third place -- Syracuse 46, Lexington 17
Fifth place -- York 36, Plattsmouth 30
Seventh place --Scottsbluff 45, Alliance 33

Scottsbluff individual results
106/113 -- Cruz Delacruz, 3-0 (2 pins); 113/120 -- Keegan Hessler, 3-0 (1 tech. fall); 120 -- Court Muhr, 1-0; 126 -- Walker Johnson, 1-0 (1 forfeit); 132/138 -- Colton Adams, 3-0 (3 pins); Keenan Schmidt, 0-3; 145 -- Sabian Harsh, 3-0 (2 pins, 1 maj. dec.); 152 -- Tristan Donelson, 3-0 (2 pins, 1 forfeit); 160 -- Cody Rossman, 0-3; 170 -- Efren Alaniz, 0-3; 182 -- Cameron Presher, 2-1 (2 pins); 195 -- Open; 220 -- Mario Soriano, 1-2 (1 pin); 285/Hwt. -- Andrew Aratani, 3-0 (1 forfeit, 1 maj. dec.).

Class D
First Round
Amherst 60, Maxwell 18; Plainview 48, East Butler 19; Bayard 36, High Plains Community 32; Pender 44, Neligh-Oakdale 34

Semifinals
Championship -- Amherst 58, Plainview 21; Pender 42, Bayard 30
Consolation -- Maxwell 46, East Butler 33; Neligh-Oakdale 39, High Plains Community 31

Finals
First place -- Amherst 52, Pender 21
Third place -- Plainview 50, Bayard 28
Fifth place -- Neligh-Oakdale 42, Maxwell 39
Seventh place -- East Butler 42, High Plains Community 39

Bayard individual results
106 -- Open; 113 -- Madahi Garcia, 0-3; 120/126 -- Sammi Niezwaag, 0-3; Robert Niezwaag, 1-2; 132 -- Brandon Bowers, 0-3; 138 -- Kyler Sides, 0-3; 145 -- Lane Kizzire, 0-2; Conrad Kildow, 0-1; 152 -- Trenton Applegate, 2-1 (1 pin, 1 forfeit); 160 -- Allen Denton, 2-1 (1 inj. forfeit); 170 -- Tristan Hunter, 2-1 (1 pin, 1 maj. dec.); 182 -- Austin Willey, 1-1 (1 forfeit); Alex Wamboldt, 1-0 (1 forfeit); 195/220 -- Tanner Willey, 3-0 (3 forfeits); Rocky Trevino, 3-0 (2 pins, 1 forfeit); 275/Hwt. -- Chris Wurm, 2-1 (1 pin, 1 forfeit).

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