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Gap between top wrestling teams gets closer

RIFLE -The margin of difference between Rifle and Moffat County continues to shrink.

The Bears, currently the No. 8 team in the Class 4A state prep wrestling polls, were less than a handful of points away from pinning an upset on No. 1 Moffat County for the team championship of the Rifle Invitational.

Two weeks ago, in a dual meet held at the Bear Lair, Rifle served notice by coming within 12 points of the Bulldogs in a 43-31 loss.



On Saturday, the Bears decreased Moffat’s superiority a little more.

Expected to battle for the tournament’s team championship, both teams established themselves with laughable wins in the opening round of pool play.



Rifle posted a “perfect” 84-0 shutout win in its first dual of the day against Summit. The score that the Bears amassed is the highest one-sided total which can be obtained in a high school dual meet.

A maximum of six points per match can be obtained only by pinfall or by forfeit. The figure is reached by having a wrestler entered in each of the 14 weight classes.

In the Summit dual, Rifle won eight of the 14 matches by pinfall and four by forfeit when the Tigers left the weight open.

The Bears moved on to the semifinals against Grand Junction Central with a perfect 2-0 record after downing Montezuma-Cortez, 60-10.

Rifle found the Class 5A Warriors a tougher opponent.

But, the Bears pulled out a 37-24 victory over Central, who rebounded after the loss to a third-place finish by defeating Nucla, 43-19.

Moffat County, on the opposite side of the bracket, was having equal success.

Advancing out of pool play with wins over Erie and Pueblo Centennial, the Bulldogs downed Nucla, Colorado’s No. 1 team in Class 2A, 56-15, to setup the showdown.

The final score was determined in the 135-pound match.

Jesse Brookshire, called up from the Bulldog JV’s due to an illness to regular Ty Gandbouche, earned the win on a 5-2 decision over Rifle’s Tyler Cose.

The Bulldogs, ahead by four points prior to the match could have lost the dual if Cose earned a major decision or a pin.

Earlier, Moffat County gained a 11-point swing when heavyweight Trevor Slone earned a 16-2 major decision over Rifle’s Kye Hunter. In the 215-pound match Bulldog Scott Garotte pinned David Yowell in 19 seconds.

The Bears Anthony Alfini won his second straight match over Brandon Duarte in the 171-pound match with a 6-1 decision.

Likewise, senior Nick Worley continued his dominance against Moffat’s Brent Chamberlain.

Worley pinned his opponent at the 3:30 mark, two minutes faster than the previous meeting.

Among the lighter weights, Eddie Kreimier, Rodney Long and Cody Ward earned Rifle victories.

Both Dane Shaffer and Jesse Long had the tightest matches, score-wise, in the Moffat dual.

Shaffer, who wrestles at 145 pounds, nosed out a 3-2 decision over Jason Mosher. Long, who had beaten Shane Zimmerman on a major decision two weeks ago, took Moffat’s regular 160-pounder Charlie Martinez longer to figure out.

Martinez, who had been unable to compete in the earlier meet due to academic ineligibility, scored only once in a 2-1 defeat to Long.

Kreimier, Ward, Long, Shaffer and Alfini completed the tournament with undefeated 5-0 individual records.

On Friday, the Bears defeated league opponent Steamboat Springs, 78-6.

As a team Rifle is 10-4 in dual meets.

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

MOFFAT COUNTY 34, RIFLE 27

103 – Eddie Kreimier, Rifle dec. Steven Englert, 10-4; 112 – Eric Fredrickson, Moffat Cty. pinned Luke Wooten, 2:55; 119 – Bryan Hampton, Moffat Cty. dec. Tyson Thompson, 7-1; 125 – Rodney Long, Rifle, major dec. Korey Koster, 7-1; 130 – Cody Ward, Rifle won by forfeit; 135 – Jesse Brookshire, Moffat Cty., dec. Tyler Cose, 5-2; 140 – Kaleb Brown, Moffat Cty., pinned David Suminski, 5:17; 145 – Dane Shaffer, Rifle dec. Jason Mosher, 3-2; 152 – Ty Weber, Moffat Cty., pinned Casey Dunlap, 1:37; 160 – Jesse Long, Rifle, dec. Charlie Martinez, 2-1; 171 – Anthony Alfini, Rifle dec. Brandon Duarte, 6-1; 189 – Nick Worley, Rifle pinned Brent Chamberlain, 3:40; 215 – Scott Garoutte, Moffat Cty, pinned David Yowell, 0:19; 275 – Trevor Slone, Moffat Cty., major dec. Kye Hunter, 16-2.


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