Fruita places second at Mile High Classic wrestling tournament

Isaac Rodriguez and Jacob Seely won individual titles as Fruita Monument placed second at the 20-team Mile High Classic wrestling tournament Saturday in Denver.

Rodriguez ran his record to 22-4 by beating Palmer’s Ryan Pellow 23-10 in the final at 145 pounds. He won his other three matches by scores of 17-7, 6-2 and 7-1.

Seeley (30-4) won all three of his matches at 170 by first-period pin, including a fall in 1 minute, 40 seconds in the final against Golden’s Brad Blackstock.

Kaden Fife also reached the finals for the Wildcats, but Golden’s Devin Rothrock (29-1) beat Fife by technical fall, 16-0, in the final at 152. Fife (28-10) reached the final with a pin and two major decisions.

Fruita also had two third-place finishers, Eli Konrad (22-15) at 106 and Ian Konrad (28-9) at 120, and two fourth-place finishers, Jared Seely (21-14) at 113 and Clayton Muller (32-10) at 132.

Wildcats coach Dan Van Hoose said the titles were expected from Rodriguez and Jacob Seely, and overall he was happy with his team’s performance at a tournament Fruita won one year ago. The Wildcats finished with 154 points and Pueblo South won the team title with 181.5 points.

“They did well,” Van Hoose said of his team. “We lost some tight ones. We were a little hot and cold at times. We started slow, but bounced back.

“Kaden (Fife) had a real good day, beat some tough kids to get in (the final). ... The Konrad brothers and Kaden Fife, I was really happy with them. I feel they stepped up and wrestled well.”

Valley Classic: Paonia wrestlers reached the final in 10 weight classes and claimed six titles as the Eagles ran away with the team title of the 17-team Valley Classic hosted by Center High School.

Paonia finished with 302 points, Center was second with 220 and Del Norte third with 164. Nucla was eighth with 62.

Claiming titles for the Eagles were: Jesse Reed (13-2) at 113; Bo Pipher (28-4) at 126; Ty Coats (22-10) at 145; Morgan Rieder (26-1) at 182; Tyler Kendall (20-2) at 195; and Tony Darling (26-1) at 285. Reed, Pipher, Rieder, Kendall and Darling won their finals by pin and Coats edged Del Norte’s Brennan Pacheco 9-7 for his title.

Finishing second for Paonia were: Dylan Stroud (13-17) at 132; Gunner Chesnik (22-10) at 138; Jorge Quinonez (23-10) at 160; and Joel Simianer (22-9) at 220.

Taking third for the Eagles were: Garrett Park at 113; Zach Milner at 152; and Matt Hayden at 170.

Valley High School Tournament: Palisade’s Dalton Hannigan won the championship at 126 pounds and helped the Bulldogs to a sixth-place team finish at the 18-team Valley High School Tournament in Gilcrest. Valley won the tournament.

Palisade coach Brian Rush said the team finish was good, especially with the Bulldogs resting a couple of starters to get them healthy for the regional tournament in two weeks.

Hannigan won his final 11-8 over Holy Family’s Joseph Prieto after scoring a pin and technical fall to reach the final.

The Bulldogs also got third-place finishes by Zane Stewart at 170 and Armando Cabriales at 220. Braxton Stewart joined them with only one loss on the day, but because he had five matches upon reaching the third-place match, CHSAA rules prohibited him from wrestling for third, so he settled for fourth.

Palisade’s Kyauna Martinez (113) placed fifth, and Randen Espinoza (106), Quintin Day (120) and Erick Wilson (145) were sixth.

Boys basketball

Palisade rode the offense of Jacob Bollinger in the first half as it took a 27-14 lead on the way to a 55-41 win over Battle Mountain in a 4A Western Slope League game.

Bollinger scored 11 of this team-high 13 points in the first half, marking his first double-digit scoring effort of the season, according to Bulldogs coach Brian Tafel.

“He was awesome,” Tafel said of Bollinger. “He shot the heck out of the ball. He really was our offense in the first half.”

Tafel said the Bulldogs “wanted to come out with a lot of energy” against the Huskies, who played the night before, losing to league leader Delta. Although he thought his team was a little sloppy on offense aside from Bollinger, Tafel said Palisade did a good job on defense and dictated the pace. Battle Mountain was limited to eight points until hitting two 3-pointers to close the first half.

Leading Palisade’s defensive charge was Caden Woods, of whom Tafel said, “He was all over the place and made play after play after play.”

Jesus Aguirre added 12 points for the Bulldogs (11-4, 9-1).

Girls basketball

Cruz Maestas scored 23 points as Palisade defeated Battle Mountain 59-19.

Ashlyn Brown added 14 points for the Bulldogs (7-8, 6-4 league), who held Battle Mountain to zero points in the fourth quarter.


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