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Wolverines compete in 4-A West championship

Feb 18, 2013 - From staff reports

Editor's note: Due to a combination of clerical and computer software errors, the Riverton Wolverines, declared Class 4-A West champions Saturday afternoon, in fact, finished second to the Casper Natrona Mustangs during the conference tournament held Friday and Saturday in Riverton.

The audited final team scores have Natrona with 203 points and Riverton in second with 199.

"We still haven't got anything completely cleared yet, but we know that it went to audit at the activities association because of the new wrestling program that we all use statewide. They found there was a discrepancy in the scores," Riverton High School activities director Jeremy Hill said Sunday.

According to Hill, when two wrestlers from the same school wrestle each other, they both should earn points.

"Only one (Natrona wrestler) received points. The same thing happened and juggled Green River scores as well," Hill said.

After the event Saturday, Riverton was announced as the West 4-A champion with 199 points to Natrona's 198.

Here's how the story originally ran in Sunday's issue of The Ranger:

By Bruce Tippets

Sports Editor

Riverton High School placed 13 wrestlers in the top four positions Saturday and claimed its first Class 4-A West title in a decade.

Wrestling on the home mats at Wolverine Gym, Riverton's margin of victory over favored Casper Natrona was one point. RHS scored 199 points in the two-day event. Natrona finished second at 198.

Evanston was third with 177.5 points. Green River was fourth at 151.5 points. Casper Kelly Walsh placed fifth (149) and Rock Springs sixth (87).

Riverton's T.J. Galey was the lone champion for the home squad at 170 pounds, but team depth lifted the Wolverines past Natrona.

Natrona is No. 3 in the state rankings. RHS is No. 5.

"I knew that the race was going to be tight," RHS coach Jay Galey said. "There were a couple of things that happened that were a little unexpected. That even made it more interesting."

Riverton's Tyler Allen (145 pounds), Rudy Batista (160), Jacob Flescher (220) and Dawson Steeds. (heavyweight) each made the finals and finished second.

Gavin Wilson and Ahren Wempen finished third at 120 pounds and 132 pounds.

Wilson and Wempen lost in the semifinals but bounced back to finish on a strong note.

"The bottom line that it's a tribute to our guys," Galey said. "The wheels fell of a little bit in the semifinals. Saturday morning, we rallied the troops. That round just unbelievable. It set the pace for us."

T.J. Turner (138), Beau Batista (152) and Casey Savage (195) added third-place medals for the home team.

"Our guys just really showed up and battled," Galey said. "You just couldn't be prouder of them. It means the young guys got a little taste of this. They will keep getting better and better. For our older kids, they just have to be supper happy."

Riverton's Joey Ladd (106), Kyle Page (182), and Ransom Slack (heavyweight) finished fourth.

"The seniors have been waiting for this for four years," Galey said. "It will be a memory for them. Being at home just makes it that much funnier. We got our crowd here in our gym. They will be proud to hang the banner in the gym in the spring. "

The top four placers from regionals receive a seed for the Class 4-A state tournament Friday and Saturday in Casper.

Galey's victory

"It's a great thing to win the regional title," T.J. Galey said. "It puts you in a good position for state. It's really nice, but it's one step away from what really matters."

Galey won his championship with a 4-0 victory over William Kishpaugh of Evanston. Galey entered regionals as the top seed.

"The Evanston guy was trying to get really aggressive with me," Galey said. "I just kind of kept it together. It would have been really easy for me to lose my head. He was really banging on my head. It was like boxing match."

Galey broke the scoreless tie in the third period with two one-point escapes.

"He was starting to wear down," Galey said.

Galey scored in the last 10 seconds on two-point takedown for the solid win.

"I think that T.J. is on a mission," Coach Galey said. "He is step one in the final mission. "I thought that in the finals that he wrestled pretty smart. He was never in trouble. He was in good control in the whole match. When he wrestles like that, he is pretty tough to beat."

Runner-up wrestlers

Allen was pinned in the 145-pound championship match by Batista Covolo from Evanston. The pin came at the 2:27 mark.

"The Evanston wrestler is a just super good kid," Galey said. "Tyler had a good tournament. I just told him to stay focused, and good things will happen down there."

Casper Natrona's Brecken Biggs won a 7-3 decision over RudyBatista at 160 pounds.

"We have a couple of things with Rudy that we can get fixed," Galey said. "He will be right there at the end. All you can ask of those guys is that they can give themselves a chance to win."

Flescher lost a 6-4 decision to Casper Natrona's Greg Lensert in the finals at 220 pounds.

"I wrestled pretty tough," Flescher said. "I wrestled about as good as I could against the Natrona wrestler in the finals. But stuff happens, and you get beat."

Flescher battled Lensert for the full six minutes.

"We are both have the same style," Flescher said. "Neither one of us wanted to lock up with each other. He was just riding a lot with me."

Flescher will now be a No. 2 seed for the state tournament.

"Getting second at regionals is a big deal," Flescher said. "This weekend is over. I have to look at state. That it's a whole different tournament.

In the final match of the evening, Colter Bentley of Casper Natrona won a 9-0 decision over Steeds. Bentley entered regionals with a 40-2 mark.

"Dawson wrestled him pretty tough," Galey said. "That is the kind of effort we need from everyone."

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