Jan 3, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorRiverton dominated in its first home matches of the season.
Five pivotal pins by the Riverton Wolverines were the difference in a 48-23 conference wrestling victory over the Casper Natrona Mustangs.
The win came Thursday night at the Tonkin Activities Center in the home opener for the Wolverines after being on the road for the first month of the regular season.
The Wolverines are ranked No. 6 in the Class 4-A rankings. Casper Natrona isn't ranked.
"It was the best outing of the year," RHS coach Jay Galey said. "I thought that our guys showed some guts. Even the guys that got beat, I liked some things they did. We just have to correct a few things with them. I feel that we had a bunch of guys wrestle really well."
Pins in wrestling are worth six points.
"Anytime you get a pin in a dual situation, it's a huge bonus," Galey said. "The one thing that we talked before the dual was finishing. When they got somebody on their back, for the most part they had pins. That is something that they had lacked."
Galey said he wants his team to stay focused.
We can't get too high, or we can't get too low because we are so young. We just have to keep working hard."
The tables were set for the Wolverines at 126 pounds when senior leader Gavin Wilson opened the match with a pin in his season debut.
Wilson talked about the team's results.
"We had a good overall effort," Wilson said. "We stayed off our back for the most part. We didn't give up a lot of pins, and we got a lot of pins."
Wilson had been out with an ankle injury.
"I wanted to get a win in my first match back," Wilson said. "I was just trying to get things going for the rest of the team. It was tough at the start because I couldn't really do anything.
"As I started to recover, I could go swim, and I started to run and do things like that. I'm still not 100 percent, but I'm getting there. It's a lot better than it was."
The Wolverines didn't let up after Wilson's victory. T.J. Turner came up with a second pin for RHS at 145 pounds.
Kyle Page recorded a pin at 220 pounds. Devin Martinez (106 pounds) and Joey Ladd (113) had back-to-back pins in the lower weights.
Riverton added six more points to the scoreboard in the heavyweight division when David Romero had a forfeit.
"Anytime that you get a good start is huge in a dual," Galey said. "Gavin got us off to a good start. I thought that T.J. turned the corner for us at 145 pounds."
In the distance victories, Tyler Allen collected a 9-5 victory at 152 pounds for the Wolverines.
"I thought that Tyler wrestled really smart," Galey said. "When he does that then he is tough to beat."
Koa Rodriguez, a freshman, escaped with a 3-1 decision for RHS over Tyler Hamilton in the 160-pound weight class.
Riverton's Reece Prosser won an 11-4 decision over Trevor Brown at 182 pounds.
Chris Holcomb edged Bridger Berry 12-9 for a key RHS win at 192 pounds.
"I'm super proud of the guys," Galey said. "I think that a win like this will help us along. We can't celebrate for very long."
The Wolverines competed Friday night in a non-conference dual at Sheridan.
RHS stays in Sheridan on Saturday and wrestle three Billings, Mont., squads to end the three days of competition.
The schools are Billings Skyview, Billings Central and Billings Senior.
"Skyview and Senior are just super good," Galey said. "It will be a battle."
Riverton 48, Casper Natrona 23
106 pounds -- Devin Martinez, Riverton, pinned Brayton Rude, 3:53.
113 -- Joey Ladd, Riverton, pinned Jon Gaspereti, 3:45.
120 -- Brekn Davis, Casper Natrona, pinned Michael Menzies, :30 seconds.
126 -- Gavin Wilson, Riverton, pinned Denton Skogen, 3:44.
135 -- Quinton Roudes, Casper Natrona, pinned Hank Osborne , 3:44.
140 -- Bryce Brenton, Casper Natrona, pinned Max Batista, 1:12.
145 -- T.J. Turner, Riverton, pinned Clayton Atkinson, 3:04.
152 -- Tyler Allen, Riverton, dec. Matt Bernandis, 9-5.
160 -- Koa Rodriguez, Riverton, dec. Tyler Hamilton, 3-1.
170 -- Casey Brown, Casper Natrona, pinned Bridger Amman, 3:52.
182 -- Reece Prosser, Riverton, dec. Trevor Brown 11-4.
192 -- Chris Holcomb, Riverton, dec. Bridger Berry, 12-9.
220 -- Kyle Page, Riverton, pinned Joe Wortern, :35 seconds.
Heavyweight -- David Romero, Riverton, won by forfeit.
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