The Scottsbluff wrestling team certainly proved why they are the second-rated team in Class B after the Bearcats cruised to a 69-6 dual win over Gering on Tuesday night at Scottsbluff High School.
The rivalry match with Gering seemed fitting for seniors Andrew Aratani, Colton Adams, Cameron Presher and Isaiah Jaramillo, who were honored before their last matches at Scottsbluff.
“Everybody realized it was Senior Night. They realized they weren't wrestling for themselves,” Scottsbluff coach James Miller said. “They realized there were other guys depending on them and trying to get one for the team.”
Adams, who slid up to wrestle 152 for the dual, started things off with a pin over Gering's Quentin Timblin in 1:58 to get the Bearcats off and running. The win marks Adams' 171st of his career, tying him with Tyler Sackett of Omaha Skutt Catholic, who set the Class B record in 2008 for the Skyhawks. The senior is just nine wins away from tying the all-class record of 180, set by Austin Williams of Hastings St. Cecilia, who accomplished that feat in 2011.
The Bearcats kept things rolling in the next two matches with Sabian Harsh pinning Gering's Elijah Timblin at 160 in 3:31, followed by freshman Kobe Paez picking up the pin over Gering's Jon Starke in 2:42 at 170.
Gering put its first points on the board when Blake Rains came from behind to register a second-period pin over Scottsbluff's Dylan Lucius at 182.
Gering coach Jj Behrens was pleased with Rains' performance in the win.
“Since the break, every week he's fixed what we've asked him to fix and it's showing up on the mat.” he said.
At 195, Presher put four more points on the board for the Bearcats after outscoring Gering's Josh Ybarra 4-1 in the final period to register a 14-6 major decision. The win extended the Scottsbluff lead to 22-6 before the Bearcats added 12 more points with forfeit wins at 220 and 285.
Scottsbluff's George Hernandez, who won the 106-pound junior varsity championship at Green River, Wyo. last week, needed just 26 seconds into the second period to win by technical fall over Gering's Garret Allbaugh at 106.
One of the most exciting matches of the night came between Scottsbluff's Cruz Delacruz and Gering's Marcelino Ramos at 113. Delacruz, who is ranked third in Class B at 106 pounds, held a slight 4-2 advantage after the first period. After wrestling to a 2-2 draw in the second, Delacruz held off Ramos in a scoreless final period to secure the 6-4 win, and extend the Bearcat lead to 42-6.
After a forfeit win by Scottsbluff at 120, Scottsbluff's Salem Harsh needed only the first period to record a 1:00 pin over Gering's Devin De Los Santos at 126.
The most anticipated match of the evening came at 132 when second-ranked Keegan Hessler edged sixth-ranked Baily Hort 5-3 in sudden victory. Both wrestlers, who are ranked in Class B's 126-pound class, wrestled to a 0-0 draw after the first period. Holding a slight 2-1 advantage after the second period, Hessler clung to a 3-2 lead late in the match until Hort was awarded a point in the waning seconds of the match, tying it 3-3 right before time expired. However, early in the overtime period, Hessler recorded a takedown just inside the circle to score the win, giving the Bearcats their eighth-straight victory in the match.
Miller was pleased with Delacruz and Hessler's tough wins after both wrestlers moved up a weight class for the dual.
“Cruz, Keegan, sliding up a weight, those were good matches for them,” Miller said. “That was good district and state stuff right there so they get used to wrestling bigger and stronger kids. That was our philosophy for the slide. It worked out to our favor, we won both of those matches.”
At 138, Scottsbluff's Ben Rodriguez registered a 24-second pin over Gering's Kelsey Hutson before Kristopher Kizzire closed things down in the final match, pinning Gering's Zane Orsborn in 3:55.
Miller pointed out that there are still some opportunitites that need to be addressed before the Bearcats hit the final stretch of the season leading into the Class B, District 4 tournament in Cozad on Feb. 14-15.
“Hopefully we can try to get some of those things cleaned up before districts,” Miller said. “We have two tough weekends coming up and GNAC too. So basically three weekends in a row, we're going to be pushed.”
Miller added that he was pleased with the support the Bearcats received from the students and fans.
“It was nice,” Miller said of the atmosphere at Scottsbluff High School. “This is the biggest crowd that we've had for a home dual this year, so it was nice to see the kids show up.”
Behrens, who was down two varsity wrestlers, said that he couldn't ask for more from his wrestlers against a solid Scottsbluff team.
“I'm proud of the boys' efforts despite the score,” Behrens said. “There's a reason why Scottsbluff is No. 2 in state. They're solid top to bottom.”
Scottsbluff will next be in action this weekend at the Top of the Rockies tournament in Lafayette, Colo. Gering will compete in the Chadron Invite on Friday and Saturday.
152 — Colton Adams, SB, pinned Quentin Timblin, Gering, 1:58.
160 — Sabian Harsh, SB, pinned Elijah Timblin, Gering, 3:31.
170 — Kobe Paez, SB, pinned Jon Starke, Gering, 2:42.
182 — Blake Rains, Gering, pinned Dylan Lucius, SB, 2:48.
195 — Cameron Presher, SB, maj. dec. Josh Ybarra, Gering, 14-6.
220 — Mario Soriano, SB, won by forfeit.
285 — Andrew Aratani, SB, won by forfeit.
106 — George Hernandez, SB, tech fall over Garret Allbaugh, Gering, 15-0 (2:26).
113 — Cruz Delacruz, SB, dec. Marcelino Ramos, Gering, 6-4.
120 — Rob Price, SB, won by forfeit.
126 — Salem Harsh, SB, pinned Devin De Los Santos, Gering, 1:00.
132 — Keegan Hessler, SB, won in sudden victory 1 over Baily Hort, Gering, 5-3.
138 — Ben Rodriguez, SB, pinned Kelsey Hutson, Gering, 0:24.
145 — Kristopher Kizzire, SB, pinned Zane Orsborn, Gering, 3:55.