Dylan Rood, wrestling for the first time since tweaking a knee in Miles City last month, added the Panthers only pin of the evening. Rood scored first and built a 9-1 lead over Johnny Schlappi after two periods before ending the 126-pound match less than a minute into the third period.
Zach Thiel followed with a hard fought decision over Gabe Whisonant. Whisonant scored first with a takedown, but Thiel responded with a reverse to tie the score after one round. He added two points in the second and two more in the third to take a 6-2 win. Powell’s last win came from Waylon Bays, who was wrestling up a weight at 152, took a two point lead in the first round and stretched it to 4-0 in the second. Cody’s Russ Wilde came back with three points in the third round, one of them on a penalty point, but Bays picked up four near-fall points to win the match 8-3.
Cody’s three wins all came on falls. Colbee Craig was leading his opponent 6-2 in the second period and had his opponent in a nearfall when a mistake cost him a reversal and an eventual pin. Jared Wantulok stepped up from the JV ranks to wrestle at 145 and was pinned, and Mike Mundy fell to Drew McMillan, one of the Broncs best wrestlers.
Final score in the match was 58-18.
Prior to the match, the Panthers honored their seniors, Wittick, Thiel, Bays, Randy Andrews, Olie Olson, Clay Saldana and Kurt Bullinger. Also recognized were three senior cheerleaders, Kaitlynn Norman, Chelsea Segura, and Taylor Swenson.
The Panthers close out their regular season Thursday (tonight) with a trip to Worland to take on the defending 3A state champions. In last year’s matchup with perennially tough Warriors, Worland won seven matches by fall to a 48-23 loss on the Panthers, and the Panthers will be looking to reverse that score. The traditional rivalry always generates intensity and the dual always draw a big crowd.
Wrestling begins at 6 p.m. in the Warrior gym.
Next week, the intensity steps up as PHS enters the conference tournament to wrestle for seedings in the state finals. Worland has moved to the East Regional and will not be there to defend their regional title, but Star Valley returns from 4A to challenge the Panthers and Lander and Cody will also be in the mix, aldong with Lyman, Mountain View, Pinedale and Jackson.