B-H fi nishes last regular season tournament strong
BY JARANN JOHNSON
The East-West tournament in New Salem is an event where many returning Class B state-placers come out to play. The tournament offers wrestlers one last chance to increase their resume for a high seed at the state tournament with big wins.
The Beulah-Hazen wrestling team accomplished their goal of increasing their resume at the tournament with nine tournament placers. Alex Barbion (195) led the way in a dominant fashion.
Barbion, a junior, didn’t get much mat time during the tournament because of own will. Barbion pinned every wrestler he faced in the tournament.
Barbion took out Region 4 rival Tristin Peterson (Bowman County) with a 1 minute and 39 second pin, then in the semifi nals Barbion took out Tyrell Larson (Carrington) in 2:29. Barbion faced Jordan Will (Bishop Ryan) in the finals.
Will, a state-placer last year at 182, couldn’t stop Barbion from earning another pin and fell in 1:09. Barbion was the only Beulah-Hazen wrestler who claimed champion honors.
Two other Beulah-Hazen wrestlers reached the fi nals; Jeremy Leintz (120) and Josh Snyder (145). Leintz’s early performance at the tournament mirrored Barbion’s.
Leintz pinned his first opponent, Ethan Zoblotney (Harvey), in 4:40. Leintz didn’t grab pins in his next two matches but he earned tech falls.
Leintz defeated Kaleb Beeter 17-2 and topped Josh Irwin (New Salem-Almont) 18-2. The fi nals wouldn’t be as easy for Leintz.
Leintz faced Braydin Jangula (Napoleon). Jangula took third at the state tournament last year in the 113 class.
The battle of highly-ranked light weights went to Jangula 6-4, leaving Leintz with second place honors.
Josh Snyder’s path to the championship was also fi lled with an early surge of dominance. Snyder took out Hayden Beck (Harvey) in the fi rst round with a 15-0 tech win and advanced past the second round with a 14-4 major over Jacob Bitz (Napoleon).
Snyder topped Colton Miller (Des Lacs-Burlington) in the semifi nals with a 3:51 pin for a spot in the finals. Snyder also ran into a state placer in the fi nals like his teammates but Snyder’s draw was possibly the toughest.
Snyder was locked into a match with Walker Carr (Carrington). Carr won the state championship last season at 145.
Carr showed his champion form in a 10-2 in over Snyder. The loss put Snyder at second place overall.
Denzel (220) Sanders was the only other Beulah-Hazen wrestler to reach the semifinals at the tournament.
Sanders started the tournament well by pinning Kutter Blumhagen (Velva) in 1:23. Sanders kept his strong start going in the semifi nals with a 7-4 win over Riley Molter (South Border) to advance to the semifinals.
Sanders found himself facing Jake Belland (Watford City) in the semifi nals. Belland has been a tough draw for Sanders all season.
Belland once again fi gured out a way to top Sanders, pinning Sanders in 2:31. Sanders didn’t let his frustration with overcoming Belland ruin his tournament.
Sanders won a tough 3-2 match over Jacob Copenhaver (Carrington) in his fi rst consolation match. Then in the third place match Sanders pinned Garrett Hoelscher (Stanley) in 4:30.
No other wrestlers for Beulah-Hazen reached the semifi nals but Tyler Erickson (152) had the best day in the consolation bracket. Erickson pinned Stephen Westarp (Killdeer) in 1:01 in the fi rst round but lost a major 14-5 to Bradley Ladwig (Stanley) in the second round.
Erickson showed some resilience in the consolation rounds, going 3-1 to earn fifth place honors. Hunter Fritz (132) also had to wrestle through the consolation bracket to place after a second round elimination.
Fritz won his fi rst match 10-2 over Levi Herrington (Harvey) but fell 15-0 to Jeseb Mogen (Velva) in the quarterfinals. Fritz went 2-1 in the consolation rounds, earning seventh place honors.