Bulldogs improve to 11-1 in dual meets

Palisade’s Zach Judis wrestles Battle Mountain’s Alex Ramirez on Tuesday night during the Bulldogs’ 74-6 victory at Palisade High School. Palisade also defeated Eagle Valley 56-24.



Eddie Vial was one of the seven Palisade High School wrestlers Tuesday who won by forfeit in a 74-6 win over Battle Mountain. So he sat and watched at Palisade High School with no remedy for his jitters.

“It’s so painful for me,” Vial said. “Just to wait and watch and not be able to get the jitters out and go beat someone.”

But soon came Eagle Valley, which defeated Battle Mountain 58-9.

Vial and the Bulldogs, now 11-1 in dual meets heading into this weekend’s Warrior Classic at Central High School, got plenty of action to cure their jitters in their 56-24 win over the Devils.

Especially Vial. Tied at 5-5 in the second period against Eagle Valley’s Andrew Vigil, Vial scored a takedown and locked Vigil in a chicken wing for a pin in 3:45.

“I felt him position the wrong way,” Vial said. “A little hesitation in his step.”

A pair of Bulldogs, Zach Judis (182 pounds) and Justin Ray (132) improved to 12-0, and Daniel Salazar (138) went to 11-1 with a forfeit and an 18-1 technical fall over Battle Mountain’s Dakota West.

“The kids worked real hard and I’m real proud of their aggressiveness tonight,” Palisade coach Brian Rush said. “Great way to head into the Warrior Classic.”

Palisade’s Dalton Hannigan, who had the night’s fastest pin in 27 seconds over Eagle Valley’s Kris Moya at 126 pounds, and Bulldogs 160-pounder Brice Hawley won both of their matches.

Alejandro Gutierrez, one of the Bulldogs’ most inexperienced wrestlers at 120 pounds, came through with a pin of Battle Mountain’s Micheal El-bitar in 3:42.

Five years ago in Yuma, Ariz., when his father, Enrique, was working on oil rigs on the Western Slope for a year, Gutierrez would remember his father each time he made eggs for breakfast. Enrique taught his son the fine points of preparing a perfect egg breakfast.

Gutierrez, living with his father once again as a sophomore, pinned El-bitar with a half-Nelson and leftover energy from a meal his father taught him how to prepare years ago: egg burritos.

“I had four of them,” Gutierrez said, laughing.

Gutierrez, in his second year of wrestling, prefers simple moves. And the half-Nelson, a classic, is his favorite.

“It’s the basics that get them,” Gutierrez said. “It’s simpler than cradles or any other move.”

At 189 pounds, Matt Pitton, a center on Palisade’s football team that made it to the Class 3A state semifinals, pinned Battle Mountain’s Luis Aguirre in 32 seconds. He used a double-leg takedown before crossing Aguirre’s arms and walking Aguirre around his head for a pin.

Pitton (9-3) said he is adjusting to the type of conditioning that wrestling requires, with all-out bursts and only 30-second resting periods, a stark contrast from the longer football games.

He said “meat-grinders,” where a man on top, with no breaks, wrestles with five teammates who remain in the bottom position, has helped him get in wrestling shape.

“It makes you feel like a noodle,” Pitton said.

Boys Basketball

Grand Junction’s balanced scoring attack lifted the Tigers to a 49-39 win at Glenwood Springs.

The Tigers, who have played five games in six days, are off until Dec. 21-22, when they play at Lewis-Palmer and Liberty.

Broderick Robinson scored 12 points for the Tigers and Justin Whiting added 11.

Girls Basketball

By the time the Tigers woke up, they were down 20-6 to Glenwood Springs at halftime.

After a spirited halftime talk, the Tigers responded, but had too much of a deficit to make up, falling 52-48.

Grand Junction (6-2) pulled within two points a couple of times in the final two minutes but couldn’t get the tying basket.

Sydni Brandon led Grand Junction with 10 points.


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