Jan 31, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets Sports EditorRiverton High School came within a victory of winning the Class 4-A West wrestling conference crown Saturday in Rock Springs.
The Wolverines lost to Green River 42-33 in the first dual of the day, then dismantled Kelly Walsh (62-15), Rock Springs (55-21) and Evanston (45-26) to end the day on a strong note.
A win over Green River would have secured the West 4-A regular season conference title for RHS.
"Our guys responded really well in the next three matches," RHS coach Jay Galey said.
RHS finished the West 4-A campaign with a 4-1 record in conference to place second heading to the regional tournament.
In the Class 4-A statewide team rankings, the Wolverines are in the No. 4 slot. Evanston is No. 5 and Green River stands sixth.
"The lesson learned is that our guys know it's hard to get to the top," Galey said. "Unfortunately, I think that is where we should have been. It didn't work out for us."
Green River won the league title by going 4-0 on the day.
In the setback for the Wolverines, Gavin Wilson missed the dual at 113-pound weight class because he had to get a medical problem cleared up.
"That was a huge swing in momentum for Green River," said Galey about not having Wilson in the lineup. "The dual with Green River was an interesting dual. Green River just got the early momentum, and we were never able to get it back."
Wilson was back in the lineup for RHS the next three matches and went 3-0 the rest of the way.
RHS is focusing for a busy week on the mats.
The Wolverines host Laramie in a dual at 5 p.m. Thursday (junior varsity first) to prepare for the huge Ron Thon Invitational at Wolverine Gym on Saturday.
The Ron Thon is slated for 42 wrestling teams to come into Riverton on Friday and Saturday.
The junior varsity tournament is set for Riverton Middle School, and the Ron Thon varsity matches are held at Wolverine Gym.
TJ Galey and Jacob Flesher both went 4-0 Saturday in the conference duals, Galey in the 171-pound weight class, and Flesher in the 195-pound class.
"We are getting into the time of the year that those guys know it's time to get after it," said Galey.
In the 220-pound weight class, Riverton's Lane Savage escaped in overtime 3-2 to beat top-ranked wrestler Reece Brown from Evanston. Savage is ranked No. 4 in the state.
Brown was 2-0 against Savage this year before the duals in Rock Springs.
In a showcase match at 126 pounds, Riverton's Ahren Wempen fell to Tanner Galey of Casper Kelly Walsh 11-5.Galey is No. 1 in the state, and Wempen has the third position.
"I really think that Ahren should have beaten him," coach Galey said. "Tanner has pretty good hips."
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