Greenchain battles into post season

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  • Sandpoint’s Carver Davis resists Libby sophomore Zack Morrison’s attempts at a pin, but Morrison is awarded a near-fall, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 1

    Libby sophomore Cody Crace gets a takedown against Sandpoint’s Neal Causey on Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 2

    Libby junior Trey Thompson gets a near-fall against Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, winning by a 10-1 major decision, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 3

    Libby junior Trey Thompson gets away from Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, moments before getting a reversal, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 4

    Libby junior Trey Thompson gets a takedown on Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 5

    Libby senior Jeff Offenbecher gets a takedown on Sandpoint’s Malachi Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 6

    Libby junior Trey Thompson attempts to get a pin on Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, and is awarded a near-fall, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 7

    Libby senior Buddy Doolin fights Sandpoints’ Casey Olesen attempts attempts to maneuver him into a fall, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 8

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets a reversal on Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 9

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets a reversal on Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 10

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets an escape against Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 11

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets an escape against Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 12

    Libby sophomore Cody Crace works Sandpoints Neal Causey into a fall about a minute into their match Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • Sandpoint’s Carver Davis resists Libby sophomore Zack Morrison’s attempts at a pin, but Morrison is awarded a near-fall, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 1

    Libby sophomore Cody Crace gets a takedown against Sandpoint’s Neal Causey on Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 2

    Libby junior Trey Thompson gets a near-fall against Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, winning by a 10-1 major decision, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 3

    Libby junior Trey Thompson gets away from Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, moments before getting a reversal, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 4

    Libby junior Trey Thompson gets a takedown on Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 5

    Libby senior Jeff Offenbecher gets a takedown on Sandpoint’s Malachi Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 6

    Libby junior Trey Thompson attempts to get a pin on Sandpoint’s Brady Nelson, and is awarded a near-fall, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 7

    Libby senior Buddy Doolin fights Sandpoints’ Casey Olesen attempts attempts to maneuver him into a fall, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 8

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets a reversal on Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 9

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets a reversal on Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 10

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets an escape against Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 11

    Libby freshman Hunter Hoover gets an escape against Sandpoints’ Isaiah Fleck, Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 12

    Libby sophomore Cody Crace works Sandpoints Neal Causey into a fall about a minute into their match Jan. 3 in Libby. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

After coming back off winter break to a disappointing dual at home against Sandpoint, the Libby High School wrestling team has pushed on with wins at the Ronan Western Duals and the Battle of the Kootenai in Eureka.

On Jan. 3, with a team score loss of 57-15 to Sandpoint, the Greenchain only won three of the eight matches that weren’t forfeits.

“They took it to us,” said Libby Head Coach Kelly Morford. “They were more aggressive than we were and we just kind of left all our technique up in the wrestling room for some reason.”

Morford said he didn’t know what happened that the team struggled as much as they did against Sandpoint.

Still, the night had some strong performances, such as junior Trey Thompson’s win by a 10-1 major decision and sophomore Zack Morrison’s win by a 16-1 major decision. Sophomore Cody Crace also won his match, getting a fall in just over a minute.

Morford said that Thompson has come far from where he started as a freshman.

“That’s just because he works so hard and he wants to do well and he has a big heart,” Morford said. “He’s a good part of our team and one of our leaders. He definitely leads by example with the work he puts in.”

Morford said that the Loggers understood what they hadn’t done right against Sandpoint.

“They were disappointed in their performance, and maybe they should have been, but they’re going to use that as energy going forward to get better,” he said.

Ronan Duals

In the following two days at Ronan, the Greenchain pulled themselves forward, with three team wins and two more only a match away from a win despite having to forfeit multiple weight classes.

“I was really proud of how the boys competed on the weekend,” Morford said. “Of course we want to win every dual we wrestle, but the kids understand the situation and know they can wrestle really well as a team and still lose on the scoreboard.”

Looking toward Divisional, Morford said he felt the Loggers faired well in their matches against other Western Class A teams such as Ronan and Hamilton.

Thompson and senior Buddy Doolin came away undefeated from the Ronan duals, as did junior Jeff Offenbecher.

Morford was pleased to see the quick progress Offenbecher is making.

“Our home dual on the third was his first action of the season, so it was exciting to see him hit his stride so quickly. He really helps our lineup,” Morford said.

During the Saturday duals at Ronan, Morford was able to set up a tough row of four back-to-back duals.

“I wanted to push them a bit with a bunch of wrestling and try to put some pressure on them with tough matches and short turnaround time,” he said. “We took some lumps against Mission, they are a tough team, but we bounced back in a big way against Ronan.”

Morford said Saturday’s performance showed that the Loggers are developing the grit they will need in the postseason tournaments.

Morford said that the match of the weekend was freshman Hunter Hoover’s win by pin in the third period over Ronan’s Daniel Collins Bishop.

“The constant pressure from Hunter really kind of broke the kid, and he was able to take him down a few times and pin him,” Morford said. “We had challenged the boys before the match to be a little more hard-nosed out there, and Hunter put on a clinic in that regard.”

Morford said he couldn’t have been more proud of Hoover.

“If he keeps this up, he is going to be a force come Divisional and State,” Morford said.

Battle of the Kootenai

Following a weekend with three straight days of matches, the Greenchain was back at it again Tuesday when they traveled to Eureka to participate in the winter portion of the Battle of the Kootenai.

“We knew we matched up pretty well with Eureka so we were looking forward to that dual. They have some great kids and some great coaches, so it makes that Battle of the Kootenai really fun every year,” Morford said.

Still, Morford said that he had “penciled out” how he expected things to go, and knew it would be close.

“There was one match that really could have went either way and we knew that would be the difference. Unfortunately, they came out on top and won the dual but I thought as a team we competed okay,” he said.

Morford said that the Loggers can sometimes allow themselves to become complacent, something good teams will use against them.

“We got caught in a few bad spots because of that and we paid for it. Consistency in our effort and technique is something that we will focus on going forward,” Morford said. “Continuing to improve our conditioning will also help with that, so we have been continuing to ramp that up.”

Overall, Morford said he is excited about where the Greenchain is.

“We are a long ways from wrestling our best, which makes the possibilities of the next month pretty exciting. Things don’t get much easier as we have Rocky and Class A duals over the next few weeks. If there is any question now, we will really know where we stand after those tournaments,” he said.

The Loggers wrestle this weekend at the Rocky Mountain Classic in Missoula. Their next home dual is against Whitefish on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Ralph Tate Memorial Gym.

Sandpoint at Libby

Thursday, Jan 3

Sandpoint 57, Libby 15

126: Casey Olesen, S, won by pin in 2:46 over Buddy Doolin, L;

132: Zack Morrison, L, won by tech. Fall (16-1) over Carver Davis, S;

138: Malachi Fleck, S, won by pin in 2:44 over Jeff Offenbecher, L;

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by maj. dec. (10-1) over Brady Nelson, S;

152: Cody Crace, L, won by pin in 1:02 over Neal Causey, S;

160: Isaiah Fleck, S, won by 10-7 dec. over Hunter Hoover, L;

170: Ryan McNelley, S, won by pin in 3:07 over Tucker Masters, L;

182: Isaiah Caralis, S, won by pin in 2:20 over Daniel Rigney, L

Ronan Western Duals,

Fri.-Sat., Jan. 4-5

Hamilton 39, Libby 36

120: Buddy Doolin, L, won by pin in 1:29 over Deegan Martin, H;

132: Adrian Garcia, H, won by pin over Zack Morrison, L;

138: Jeff Offenbecher, L, won by pin in 1:49 over Michael Golden, H;

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by pin in 1:23 over Bridger Williams, H

152: Hunter Hoover, L, won by pin in 2:42 over Cole Anson, H;

160: Noah Hurst, H, won by 8-2 dec. over Cody Crace, L;

182: Daniel Rigney, L, won by pin in 4:15 over Cadagen Wheat, H

Polson 39, Libby 36

138: Jeff Offenbecher, L, won by pin in 0:59 over Dugan Davis, P;

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by pin in 1:25 over Caleb Pierre, P

152: Cody Crace, L, won by pin in 0:48 over Jeff Devlin, P

160: Garrett Croft, P, won by 7-6 dec. over Hunter Hoover, L;

170: Tucker Masters, L, won by pin in 0:52 over Jarius Smith, P;

205: Aaron O’Roake, P, won by pin in 1:29 over Daniel Rigney, L;

120: Buddy Doolin, L, won by pin in 3:23 over Maysn Cowell, P;

132: Zack Morrison, L, won by pin in 2:53 over Jarod Farrier, P;

Libby 42, Florence-Carlton 24

126: Buddy Doolin, L, won by pin in 0:34 over Aaron Edens, F;

132: Zack Morrison, L won by forfeit

138: Jeff Offenbecher, L, won by pin in 5:15 over Jonny Chamberlin, F

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by pin in 1:30 over Caden Plasmier, F;

152: Cody Crace, L, won by pin over Gregory Winegart, F;

160: Avery Meinzen, F, won by pin in 2:18 over Hunter Hoover, L

170: Tucker Masters, L, won by pin in 3:37 over Luke Maki, F;

182: Daniel Rigney, L, won by pin in 1:32 over Zach Cather, F;

Saint Ignatius 43, Libby 19

120: Buddy Doolin, L, won by maj. dec. (11-3) over Walker Murphy, SI;

132: Cole Gilleard, SI, won by pin in 1:10 over Zack Morrison, L;

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by 6-1 dec. over Darwin Adams, SI;

152: Isaac Dumontier, SI, won by 6-2 dec. over Cody Crace, L

160: Hunter Hoover, L won by forfeit

170: Isaiah Allik, SI, won by maj. Dec. (8-0) over Tucker Masters, L;

182: Tray Matt, SI, won by pin in 4:49 over Daniel Rigney, L

Libby 33, Ronan 18

126: Buddy Doolin, L, won by 11-4 dec. over Trapper McAllister, R;

132: Zack Morrison, L, won by 9-5 dec. over Zane Walchuk, R;

138: Jeff Offenbecher, L, won by forfeit

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by forfeit

152: Hunter Hoover, L, won by pin in 5:49 over Daniel Collins Bishop, R;

160: Cody Crace, L, won by pin in 0:44 over Christian Smith, R;

170: Tucker Masters, L, won by 12-6 dec. over Rodolfo Minetti, R;

182: Jamison Webster, R, won by pin in 3:45 over Daniel Rigney, L;

Libby 48, Arlee 0

126: Buddy Doolin, L, won by pin in 1:17 over RJ Knoll, A;

132: Zack Morrison, L, won by pin in 0:19 over Frankie Wright, A;

138: Jeff Offenbecher, L, won by pin in 0:59 over Colt Crawford, A;

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by pin in 1:44 over Kanoa Palazzolo, A;

152: Cody Crace, L, won by pin in 3:24 over Skylar Titsworth, A;

160: Hunter Hoover, L, won by pin in 3:09 over Demetrix Austin, A;

170: Tucker Masters, L, won by pin in 0:44 over Ashley Potts, A;

Battle of the Kootenai

Tuesday, Jan. 8

Eureka 30, Libby 22

126: Buddy Doolin, L, won by 4-2 dec. over Kyle Durden, E;

132: Nathan Schmidt, E, won by pin in 4:41 over Zack Morrison, L;

138: Hank Dunn, E, won by pin in 0:35 over Jeff Offenbecher, L;

145: Trey Thompson, L, won by pin in 3:47 over Chance Muller, E;

152: Hunter Hoover, L, won by 9-5 dec. over Nate Cargill, E;

160: Cody Crace, L, won by pin in 1:43 over Johnny Fehr, E;

170: Tucker Masters, L, won by maj. Dec. (11-1) over Gavin Pilkington, E;

182: James Fehr, E, won by pin in 0:52 over Daniel Rigney, L

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