Dec 19, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Casper team won seven matches on the mat to Riverton's six, with one forfeit.
Casper Natrona collected four pins against Riverton High School to open the Class 4-A West wrestling conference season with a 39-24 victory Tuesday night in Casper.
The Natrona Mustangs entered the dual as the No. 4 ranked team in Class 4-A in the Wyoming wrestling poll. The Wolverines are No. 3.
The Mustangs also beat the Wolverines Saturday in a dual tournament in Worland.
"Natrona is a pretty solid team," RHS senior T.J. Galey said.
"They are pretty tough where we are good. During the whole lineup, they have some pretty tough guys. You just can't get pinned, That is the bottom line. That is too many points."
The Wolverines will take part Friday and Saturday at the Lander Invitational at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
Lander Valley High School wrestling coach Nick Fulton is expecting Cody, Douglas, Green River, Jackson, Kelly Walsh, Lyman, Mountain View, Powell, Rawlins, Riverton, Shoshoni, Thermopolis, Star Valley, Torrington and Wind River to be in the tournament.
"I'm pretty excited to wrestle in Lander," RHS 132-pounder Ahren Wempen said. "It should be a good tournament for us all. There are a lot of solid teams going. It should be a lot of fun."
The tournament will have a junior varsity and a varsity division. The wrestling will begin at 2 p.m. Friday in the double-elimination tournament and will continue at 9 a.m. Saturday. The finals are Saturday afternoon.
Natrona County 39, Riverton 24
The dual started with the 126-pound weight class.
Riverton's first victory was by Wempen, who beat Colby Coughenor 9-0 at 132 pounds.
"I didn't feel like there was much movement from him on the bottom," Wempen said. "I could have worked harder on top. I got him on his back a couple of times and got some pretty good takedowns."
The only pin from the Wolverines was by T.J. Turner in the 138-pound weight class over Tyler Hamilton. The time was 3:30.
Tyler Allen won a 7-3 decision over Josh Palomo at 145 pounds.
In the 160-pound weight class, Rudy Batista pulled out a 8-3 victory for RHS over Casey Brown. Batista had been pinned by Brown in the dual tournament Saturday in Worland.
"It helped that I just got beat so bad last time," Batista said. "That just kind of made me mad. It made me want to get the win that much more. It just helped me to get over my toe being hurt and all that."
In Tuesday's match, Batista scored a two-point takedown in the first period for a 2-1 lead. The second period was scoreless. In the third period, Batista had an escape, a two-point reversal and a three-point near-fall for the five-point win.
"I would have liked to get a pin in that match just to make up for it that much more," Batista said.
"In the third period, I was just trying to get as many points as I could and help the team out with a major decision or a pin."
At 170 pounds, Galey edged Brecken Biggs 3-1. Galey is ranked No. 1 in Class 4-A, and Biggs is No. 2.
Galey scored two points on a takedown in the second period and one point in an escape.
"It was a pretty good takedown," Galey said. "Biggs is a good athlete. He is pretty strong and quick. He is quick on his feet."
Riverton's Gavin Wilson dominated Keegan Berry 18-3 for a win at 120 pounds.
Natrona County 39, Riverton 24
106 pounds -- Kegan Wass, Casper Natrona, dec. Joey Ladd 14-9.
113 pounds -- Phillip Padilla, Casper Natrona, won by forfeit.
120 pounds -- Gavin Wilson, Riverton, tech fall. Keegan Berry, 18-3.
126 pounds -- Quinton Rhoades, Casper Natrona, dec. Joey Roseno, 6-4.
132 pounds -- Ahren Wempen, Riverton, major dec. Colby Coughenor, 9-0.
138 pounds -- T.J. Turner, Riverton pinned Tyler Hamilton, 3:30.
145 pounds -- Tyler Allen, Riverton. dec. Josh Palomo, 7-3.
152 pounds -- Matt Benardis, Casper Natrona, pinned Brodi Hart, 2:12.
160 pounds -- Rudy Batista, Riverton, dec. Casey Brown, 8-3.
170 pounds -- T.J. Galey, Riverton, dec. Brecken Biggs, 3-1.
182 pounds -- Thomas Myler, Casper Natrona, pinned Kyle Page, 5:44.
195 pounds -- Lance Ferguson, Casper Natrona, dec. Casey Savage, 3-2.
220 pounds -- Greg Lensert, Casper Natrona, pinned Riley Reichert, 3:15.
Heavyweight -- Colter Bentley, Casper Natrona, pinned Dawson Steeds, 3:34.
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