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Braves wrestling sets new school tourney mark en route to fourth consecutive team title

After locking up the team title on Day 1, the Braves added some additional seasoning to a memorable campaign on Day 2 as they won their fourth straight Wyoming 3A team title by 103.0 team points over second-place Douglas.

The Braves flirted with 300 points at the 2019 tournament while picking up their 23rd state title since their first team crown in 1968.

Star Valley set a new high mark for points scored at the state tournament by an SVHS team with 296.5, shattering the previous best of 268.5. Overall there were 17 placers for the Braves which included nine All-Staters and three individual champions.

• Haze Child and Brayden Andrews met up against each other in the 120 pound championship with Child winning by a 7-3 decision.

• At 126 pounds, it was Wyoming 3A’s last two state champions at 106 pounds as Tristian Hicks lost a tough 4-2 decision to Pinedale’s Keegan Gehlhausen.

• Nathan Redman won a 9-3 decision over Grayson Hicks at 132 pounds and Ren King lost a technical fall to Ridge Briggs of Riverton, 16-1.

• The heartbreaker of the evening was at 170 pounds where Koa Delong saw a slim 1-0 lead go into overtime where Damon Taylor of Rawlins turned a match-winning takedown into a pin in double-overtime.

• Trent Clark met up with Bo Dearcorn of Powell at 182 pounds for the title, a rematch of last week’s 3A West Regional championship. Clark won with a 10-2 major decision, matching his older brother Trevor’s championship last season.

• Brennen Harris fell to Cody Pinkerton of Douglas at 220 pounds by fall early in the second period. At 2:20 it was the longest match for Harris in the tournament who won his other three matches in under four minutes.

• Parker Merritt capped off the evening with a pin over Brandon Bennick of Torrington at 285 pounds. Merritt won all four of his matches by pin.

Notes: Freshman Jacob Guild placed third by defeating Lyman’s Chaz Condos with a pin. This came after losing in the semi-finals to Condos’ teammate Sefton Douglass who went on to win the 106 title…Waylon Nelson and Winston Green put together one of the most physical matches of the season against each other for 3rd & 4th at 113 pounds…Spencer Larson bounced back from a loss to eventual champion Gehlhausen to place third with his final bout coming by medical forfeit over Buffalo’s Dallas Lopez…Kale Johnson won 11-8 to place 5th after seemingly being pinned; the referees reversed the call and Johnson capitalized with the victory…Tyson Hoopes’ 12-second pin over Wheatland’s Seth DeWitt in the Consolation Semi-final was the fastest for the team in the tournament…Kyle Kunz thrilled the Star Valley crowd by winning three of his four victories by decision where he won with a combined score of 33-29…Connor O’Brien was 0-2 against Wheatland’s Wyatt Crane and 4-0 against everyone else…Of the 17 placers, ten are eligible to return next season which includes five All-State honorees (Child, Andrews, King, Clark & Merritt)…All three individual champs will return next season.

Placers for the Braves included:
106: Jacob Guild 3rd
113: Waylon Nelson 3rd
113: Winston Green 4th
120: Haze Child 1st
120: Brayden Andrews 2nd
126: Tristian Hicks 2nd
126: Spencer Larson 3rd
132: Grayson Hicks 2nd
145: Ren King 2nd
145: Kale Johnson 5th
152: Tyson Hoopes 3rd
160: Kyle Kunz 3rd
170: Koa DeLong 2nd
182: Trent Clark 1st
195: Connor O’Brien 4th
220: Brennan Harris 2nd
285: Parker Merritt 1st

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