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Thilmony wins, Hawks fourth in Western B-C

T-Falls sends five into this week's State B-C

 

February 13, 2020

John Hamilton

HAND FIGHTING - Hawk grappler Dane Chojnacky works towards a win over Johnny Fehr of Eureka in Mission Saturday. Chojnacky won second place at 170 pounds.

MISSION – Feeling good after a fine showing at the Western B-C divisional tournament in Mission Saturday, five Thompson Falls-Noxon Blue Hawks are winging their way east this week to compete in the Class B-C portion of the 2020 Montana All-Class wrestling tournament at Metra Park in Billings.

Sophomore Trae Thilmony won his second straight divisional title (this one at 120 pounds after claiming gold at 113 as a freshman) to lead the Hawks' charge in Mission.

Three Hawks claimed second place Western B-C medals. Freshman Elijah Ratliff battled to second place at 132 pounds, junior Dane Chojnacky won second at 170 and junior Will McPherson took the silver medal at 285.

Sophomore Shane Reishus, along with Josh Baldwin the two Hawk wrestlers from Noxon this season, clawed his way to a bronze medal at 138 pounds after a tough semifinal loss to Sanders County nemesis Conrad Vanderwall of Plains-Hot Springs.

Senior Seth Alarcon placed fourth at 182 pounds in Mission but will not wrestle in this week's State B-C tourney.

The Hawks scored 118 points and finished fourth in team scoring behind champion Mission-Charlo (187), Clark Fork (Superior-Alberton, 183.5) and Eureka (151).

First-year Blue Hawk head coach Mike Thilmony likes what his team gave him in Mission and looks forward to what's in store at the Metra in Billings this Friday and Saturday.

"It was a really good, competitive divisional tournament in Mission and I thought our kids wrestled extremely well," he said. "We have been studying the brackets for the State B-C and feel real good about our first round matches."

Trae Thilmony will open the tourney facing Ty Borge of Colstrip, Ratliff will take on Jacob Hardeson of Cut Bank, Reishus will wrestle Joe Ramos of Valier, Chojnacky will grapple Cylar Taylor of White Sulphur Springs and McPherson will square off with Tucker Smith of Deer Lodge.

Trae's championship run was a highlight for the Hawks in Mission. The Hawk sophomore pinned his way to the 120 championship, sticking Gavin Benge of Eureka in 57 seconds of that quarterfinal match, pinning Mason Elliott of Plains-Hot Springs in 2:28 of the semifinals, and finally, flattening Oliver Post of Florence in 1:17 of the championship match.

"Trae put himself in good position for what looks like a very tough field at 120," his father said. "Now we just need to take it one match at a time."

The Hawks' only returning State B-C placer, Trae won third at 113 pounds in the 2019 tourney.

One of the most dangerous 132-pounders in the B-C ranks and only a freshman, Ratliff earned his way into the title match Saturday, pinning Bigfork's Eli Tidwell in 2:39 of the quarterfinals and battling to a tough 9-6 win over Florence's Adyn Meinzen in the semifinals.

Ratliff put up a good fight against Eureka's Kyle Durden in the championship but Durden eventually won by fall in 5:10 of the championship match.

Chojnacky scored a 10-1 major decision win over Eureka's Johnny Fehr in the 170 semifinals but lost by pin in 1:29 to the undefeated Isaiah Alik of Mission-Charlo in the title match.

"Dane has had a great year, has really improved a lot since joining our program a few years back," coach Thilmony said. "He is in a good spot in the bracket and could surprise some folks in Billings."

John Hamilton

DEREK ANDERSEN wrestles against Gage Fuhrman of Plains-Hot Springs at the Western B-C divisional tournament at Mission.

McPherson gained his spot in the 285 final by pinning O'Maste Foster of Florence in 1:54 of the semifinals. Jacob Lapinski of Clark Fork, in turn, pinned McPherson in the championship.

Reishus battled back from his semifinal loss at 138, pinning teammate Hunter Little in the consolation semis and pinning Robert Dempsey in 2:32 of the consolation finals.

Westin Brown (132 pounds), Little, Derek Andersen (145), Lucas Andersen (152) and Baldwin (160) also all competed for the Hawks in Mission but did not quite manage to place and earn berths in the State B-C.

"I really appreciate the efforts of all our kids," coach Thilmony said. "Everybody worked hard all season and deserve thanks for all they did. They have nothing to hang their heads about and we look forward to getting them back in the room next year."

Little and Alarcon were the only seniors on the Hawks' grappling squad this winter.

 

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