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Greenchain trumps Pirates, falls to Wildcats

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | January 22, 2021 7:00 AM

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Libby senior Tucker Masters pins Wildcat Lucas Thacker in the 170 pound category. (Will Langhorne/The Western News)

The Greenchain split their first home dual of the season. The mixed Libby and Troy varsity boys wrestling squad pinned Polson 42-12, but fell to Columbia Falls 48-27 in their Jan. 15 matchup.

Greenchain freshman Jace DeShazer and seniors Cody Crace and Aydan Williamson emerged victorious from both of their bouts. Senior Tucker Masters, who won his match against Polson by forfeit, bested his Columbia Falls opponent on the mat.

The Greenchain opened the dual against Polson. Freshman Xavier Reatz led the charge in the 113-pound category, pinning opponent Cole Cross in the second period. Fellow freshman Zekiah Meyers fell to Gavin Knutson in the 126-pound class. In a 40 second bout for the 138-pound category, Libby senior Xander Spady vanquished his competitor Noah Trosper.

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Libby Freshman Jace DeShazer pins Wildcat Rowdy White in the 160 pound category. (Will Langhorne/The Western News)

Crace won the 152-pound class over Caleb Pierre with a fall in the first period. Following the match, Crace said his strategy was to keep pace with Pierre until a shot presented itself. From there, he moved to make the quick pin. The match was Crace’s first of the season. The senior missed the Loggers’ opening dual due to a shoulder injury.

“It felt really nice to be back,” said Crace.

DeShazer made quick work of his opponent, Abel Kimmel, in the 160-pound category with a pin in 37 seconds. In the 285-pound heavyweight category, Williamson pinned Polson’s Aaron O’Roake after a battle that lasted almost all three periods.

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Libby junior Aydan Williamson looks for advantage against Wildcat Josh Price in the 285 pound category. (Will Langhorne/The Western News)

Following the match, Williamson said he knew going into the scrap that O’Roake was a strong opponent. It wasn’t the first time the two had met on the mat. Williamson said he was able to take the Pirate down through grit and perseverance.

“I just had that last little bit in the tank,” said Williamson.

In the second bout of the night, Meyers fell to the Wildcats’ Orion Barta halfway through the second period in the 126-pound class. Columbia Falls’ Justin Widauer defeated Spady, but only after a protracted two-period tussle for the 132-pound class. The Wildcats struck again in the 138-pound category when Ty Allen pinned Matthew Neimi.

Still, the Greenchain showed their prowess in the higher weight categories. Crace pinned Wildcat Bryan Osborne in the first period of the 152-pound class. After the match, Crace said he had worried about the match because Osborne seemed more muscular. As in his first bout, Crace’s strategy was to fight steadily and wait for an opportunity.

“I had him locked up, about to pin him and then he got out,” he said. “I just kept my cool, came back around and got another opportunity to pin him and made it happen.”

DeShazer secured the 160-pound category by felling Rowdy White in the opening seconds of his bout.

In the 170-pound category, Masters and Wildcat Lucas Thacker duked it out for all three periods. Libby head coach Thompson said he knew the match was going to be close since Thacker placed at the state tournament last year. Masters came out aggressive and managed to tire Thacker out by the second period.

“I’m glad that I pushed the pace and he gassed in the first,” said Masters after the bout. “After that, it was just me getting my stuff set up.”

Masters left the mat with a win by decision and a score of 4-1.

In his second bout of the night for the heavyweight category, Williamson pinned Josh Price. Following the match, Williamson said he came on to the mat looking for the quick win.

“It was more just I wanted to get it over and done with,” he said. “I was going for anything.”

The Greenchain squad hit the road to wrestle Hamilton and Whitefish on Jan. 16. The Libby/Troy team defeated the Broncs 36-30.