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Kyle Knudtson wins individual championship at 182 pounds while Zach Mauras is second at 126

JASON CHANEY/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kyle Knudtson works to pin a teammate during the annual Wrestling Blue & Gold Scrimmage in November. Wrestling at 182 pounds, Knudtson won the weight-class championship at the Tri State Wrestling Tournament, which was held this past Friday and Saturday at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The Crook County High School wrestling squad crowned one individual champion and had five other individual placers as the Cowboys finished in seventh place at the 60-team Tri State Wrestling Tournament, which was held Friday and Saturday at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

"We have never been to Tri State before," Crook County head coach Jake Gonzales said. "It was good. It was a tough tournament and the guys wrestled good."

Post Falls, Idaho, took a narrow victory in the tightly contested tournament.

Post Falls finished with 176 points, while Mead High School out of Spokane, Washington, was second with 174.5 points. Also in the title hunt until the end were Granger, Idaho, 173, and Moses Lake, Washington, 170.

Rounding out the top 10 were Mt. Spokane, Washington, 155, Washington, 151, Crook County, 136, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 135.5, La Grande, 122, and Lake Stevens, Washington, 104.

The Cowboys also took a B squad, which finished 42nd in the 60-team field with 33 points.

The lone champion for the Cowboys was Kyle Knudtson, who won the 182-pound weight class.

Knudtson won his first four matches by fall, then defeated Nathan Reed of La Grande 7-4 in the championship match.

Other Cowboys to place in the tournament were Steven Ware, seventh at 120 pounds, Zach Mauras, second at 126 pounds, Trevor Martin, eighth at 132 pounds, and Hunter Mode, fourth at 145 pounds.

Ben Sather, 152 pounds, also placed eighth, however, he was wrestling for the Crook County B squad rather than the varsity.

"He's a hard-working kid," Gonzales said of Sather. "He just works hard and does the right things, so I'm super proud of him."

Sather defeated varsity teammate Brayden Duke, 5-4, in the opening round of the tournament.

After being pinned in his second-round match, Sather then won five consecutive matches before losing his final two to finish with a 6-3 record for the tournament.

After an opening round bye, Ware won his next two matches before falling to eventual third-place finisher Zach Lopez of Shadle Park in the quarterfinals. Ware rebounded to win his next consolation round match. After losing to fourth-place finisher Jacob Carr of Mt. Spokane in the seventh consolation round, Ware then rebounded to pin Braxton Mason of Post Falls in the seventh-place match.

Like Ware, Mauras had a bye in the opening round. After pinning his first four opponents, Mauras led early in the championship match before being pinned by Abel Nava of Granger late in the second round.

Martin also received a bye in the opening round. Like Ware, he won his next two matches before falling to Hunter Schueller of Coeur d'Alene in the quarterfinals. Martin won his next consolation match, before finishing the tournament with close losses to Levi Miller of Deer Park and Reuben Seemann of Colville.

Mode also received a bye in the opening round. He then won three consecutive matches by fall before losing to eventual champion Ky Haney of Mt. Spokane in the semifinals. Mode then won a close decision over Nolan Randles of Coeur d'Alene in the consolation semifinals before dropping an 8-2 decision to Mateo De LaPena of Kennedy Catholic in the third-place match.

Several other Cowboy wrestlers also won matches at the tournament.

Tucker Bonner finished 3-2 at 113 pounds, Jace England was 1-2 at 138 pounds, Brayden Duke went 1-2 at 152 pounds, Gavin McLean was 3-2 at 160 pounds and Clayton Berman finished 1-2 at 170 pounds. Jacob Van Leuven, 195, Hayden Hilderbrand, 220, and Joseph Miller, 285 also wrestled for the Cowboy varsity team at the tournament but did not win matches.

For the Cowboy B team, Cash Wells, 113, finished with a 2-2 record, Tannon Joyner, 120, went 1-2, Garrett Cobb, 126, was also 1-2, Wyatt Wood, 132, finished with a 2-2 record, and Alex Vail, 145, went 1-2 at the tournament.

Also wrestling for the Cowboy B team, but not winning matches, were Gage Perry, 138, Jubal Brumble, 170, and Wyatt Holliday, 220.

Crook County did not have any wrestlers competing at either 98 pounds, or 106 pounds in the tournament.

"We didn't have a full lineup, so to finish seventh, isn't bad," Gonzales said. "We are not where we need to be yet, but that's OK. We are getting better."

The Cowboys now have some time off before wrestling again. The team will wrestle at Pendleton on Thursday, Jan. 2, then compete in the Rollie Lane Invitational in Nampa, Idaho on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 3-4.

"We've been on a pretty good grind here, so we are going to have some time off and then go to Rollie Lane in a couple of weeks," Gonzales said.

Tri-State Invitational

Friday and Saturday, December 20-21

At North Idaho College, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Team scores — 1. Post Falls, 176. 2. Mead 174.5. 3. Granger, 173. 4. Moses Lake, 170. 5. Mt. Spokane, 155. 6. Chiawana, 151. 7. Crook County, 136. 8. Coeur d'Alene, 135.5. 9. La Grande, 133. 9. Lake Stevens, 133. 11. Lakeland, 104. 12. Lake City, 101. 13. Othelo, 83. 14. Frenchtown, 81.5. 15. University, 76. 16. Timberlake, 75. 17. Lewiston, 73. 18. Tonasket, 67. 19. Auburn Riverside, 63.5. 20. Hermiston, 60.5. 21. Skyview, 59. 22. Kamiakin, 55. 23. Darrington, 54. 23. Liberty Spangle, 54. 25. East Valley, 46.5. 25. Gonzaga Prep, 46.5. 27. Bonners Ferry, 46. 28. Reardan, 45.5. 29. Meadowdale, 45. 29. Potlatch, 45. 31. Central Valley, 44. 32. Lakeside, 43. 32. North Central, 43. 34. Riverside, 42. 35. Kelso, 41.5. 36. Deer Park, 40. 36. Kennedy Catholic, 40. 38. Ferris, 39. 39. Colville, 37. 39. Centinel, 37. 42. Crook County 2, 33. 43. Vashon Island, 31. 44. Royal, 30. 45. Pullman, 29.5. 46. Jenkins, 29. 47. Eatonville, 28. 47. Rocky Mountain, 28. 49. Newport, 25. 50. Libby, 25.5. 51. Kellogg, 24. 51. Shandle Park, 24. 53. Mary Walker, 17. 55. Moscow, 14. 56. Freeman, 13. 56. Liberty Bell, 13. 58. Lake Roosevelt, 9. 59. Priest River, 6. 60. Polson, 0.

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