BONNERS FERRY — With a cheering crowd backing his every move, Bonners Ferry wrestler Eli Richards recorded a pin in the final match, providing the Badgers with the winning points in their Dec. 4 dual meet against visiting Sandpoint.
Richards (145 pounds) pinned Bulldog wrestler Mason Bangeman in 1:54, giving Bonners Ferry a 42-36 victory and sending the BFHS gym up for grabs as the Badgers edged their 4A rival.
The Badgers topped Sandpoint despite forfeits in the 113, 220 and 285-pound weight classes.
Bonners Ferry offset those loses with pins from Jake Summerfield (98 pounds), Austin Madden (106) and Evan Barajas (120). Kyle Smith (152) won by technical fall, Chad Maas (132) won by major decision, and Gabe See (195) — one of three Badgers who placed at state last season — earned a hard-fought, 1-0 decision over Sandpoint’s Taggert Benefield.
Bonners Ferry 42, Sandpoint 36
152: Kyle Smith (BFHS) over Brady Nelson (TF 18-2 4:00)
160: Isaiah Fleck (SAND) over Nathaniel Varelman (TF 21-5 4:00)
170: Ryan McNelley (SAND) over Jessie Bradley (MD 9-0)
182: Andrew Sandelin-Macintosh (BFHS) over Isaiah Caralis (Inj.)
195: Gabe See (BFHS) over Taggert Benefield (Dec 1-0)
220: Korder Tonge (SAND) wins by forfeit
285: Matt Thurlow (SAND) wins by forfeit
98: Jake Summerfield (BFHS) d. Jordan Birkhimer (Fall 0:38)
106: Austin Madden (BFHS) d. Heather Wallace (Fall 0:46)
113: Kayelin Otterson (SAND) wins by forfeit
120: Evan Barajas (BFHS) over Zac Kohal (Fall 0:51)
126: Casey Olesen (SAND) over Spencer Eby (Fall 1:19)
132: Chad Maas (BFHS) over Jake Ryan (MD 9-1)
138: Malachi Fleck (SAND) over Grant Merritt (Dec 11-8)
145: Eli Richards (BFHS) over Mason Bangeman (Fall 1:54)
George Wild Invitational: Barajas and Richards won their weight classes in Saturday’s George Wild Invitational at Kellogg High School, leading the Badgers to a fourth-place finish in the team standings BFHS finished just five points behind Intermountain League rival Timberlake, which placed third. The event featured 12 schools from Idaho and two from Montana.
Barajas recorded three pins in his four matches, clinching the 120-pound bracket by pinning Lakeland’s Lucas Williams in 49 seconds.
Richards won his first two matches by pin, earned a 2-1 decision over Orofino’s Brayden Turcott in the semifinals, then topped Jonathan Hill of Post Falls 8-0 in the championship match.
Other Badgers who placed in the tournament were See (second, 195 pounds); Summerfield (third, 98 pounds); Austin Madden (fourth, 106 pounds); Kyle Smith (fourth, 152 pounds); Chad Maas (sixth, 132 pounds); Manuel Naccarato (sixth, 145 pounds); and Andrew Sandelin (sixth, 182 pounds).
Evan Nesbitt (126), Bryan Durrett (138), Grant Merritt (138), Nathaniel Varelman (160), Jessie Bradley (170) and Donovan Varelman (182) also competed for Bonners Ferry.
The Badgers compete this weekend in the Tri State Invitational tournament at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene.
For more detailed match results, visit https://bit.ly/2QNRQxd, Keep an eye on bfbadgers.com for upcoming wrestling matches.
George Wild Invitational
Team standings: 1. Orofino 193, 2. Clearwater Valley 154.5, 3. Timberlake 146.5, 4. Bonners Ferry 141.5, 5. Post Falls 141, 6. Lakeland 125.5, 7. Sandpoint 122, 8. Eureka 114, 9. Kellogg 104.5, 10. Flathead 97, 11. Priest River 82, 12. Lewiston 77, 13. Potlatch 48.5, 14. Grangeville 0.