It was the start to the season Mountain Crest’s wrestling program was hoping for.

Despite missing two of their best grapplers, the Mustangs finished fifth out of 31 teams at the prestigious Layton Invitational last weekend.

Mountain Crest racked up 154 points, which was only four fewer than runner-up Wasatch and 24 fewer than champion Payson. The top seven teams all finished within 25.5 points of each other.

The Mustangs were without two-time state placer Hunter Schroeder and Luke Schroeder, who was 4A’s second-ranked 106-pounder last year before suffering a season-ending injury. With those two athletes, Mountain Crest definitely would have at least finished in second place and likely first.

“It was a great tournament,” MC head coach Jay Tovey said. “A lot of good individuals and a lot of good teams. I’m proud of the kids. They fought hard. We are right on track and doing all we can in our training, so that we are prepared for the best competition.”

Mountain Crest had two finalists and eight other wrestlers who placed in the top eight of their respective weight class. Easton Evans was the champion at 98 pounds, while Gabe Sanders was the runner-up at 138.

Evans dominated all four of his opponents at the tournament and pinned his foe in the finals. Sanders lost a hard-fought decision to Fremont’s Mason Denton in a showdown of reigning state champions. Denton is the eighth-ranked high school wrestler in all of Utah in the Beehive Top 25 preseason poll.

Sanders rolled past 2019 state silver medalist Deegan Palmer of Payson, 10-1, en route to the championship round.

Mountain Crest’s other eight medalists at the Layton Invitational were Terrell Lee (seventh place at 126 pounds), Jordan Wakefield (sixth, 152), Wyatt Larsen (sixth, 160), Caleb Swensen (fourth, 160), Brock Guthrie (seventh, 170), Brayden Guthrie (third, 182), Walker Hutchinson (fifth, 182) and Sam McMurray (fourth, 182). All of these Mustangs won at least four matches at the tourney.

Brayden Guthrie’s lone setback was a 7-0 decision to eventual champion Lucas Cochran of Box Elder, who is a returning state champ and is ranked fifth in the Beehive Top 25. Brock Guthrie’s two losses were by a combined three points. Brayden Guthrie, a 4A runner-up in 2018, defeated a pair of returning state placers this past weekend.

Brock Guthrie, Hutchinson and McMurray all beat returning state medalists for the Mustangs.

Green Canyon and Sky View also competed at the Layton Invitational, but neither team brought more than nine varsity competitors. The Wolves finished 16th with 59 points, while the Bobcats were 20th with 34 points.

Sky View’s Hunter Larsen was the consolation champion at 220 pounds. The senior reigned supreme over McMurray in their third-place bout. Larsen’s only loss was in overtime to eventual titleist Logan George of Highland (Idaho). George easily handled everyone else he wrestled at the tournament.

Green Canyon’s Mason Morris emerged victorious in four matches and placed fifth at 132 pounds. Morris prevailed against returning state medalists from Viewmont and Wasatch. Teammate James Shumway won three bouts at 126 pounds.

Meanwhile, Ridgeline capped off a strong opening week of the 2019-20 campaign by going 6-2 at the Syracuse Scuffle, a dual-style tourney that was contested last Friday and Saturday. The Riverhawks defeated Weber, American Fork, Copper Hills, Snow Canyon, Highland and the Syracuse Blue squad and lost to Northridge and Syracuse Green.

Colter Ricks shined for the Riverhawks as the 152-pounder went 8-0 and pinned a returning state placer from Syracuse. The senior won seven of his duals by fall and the other by major decision.

Joseph Sena went 6-2 at 220 pounds for Ridgeline, while Kaden Kirk went 5-2 at 170 pounds. Brenden Gessel (145 pounds) and Caleb Pirtle (126) won five matches apiece for the Riverhawks, who earned a big 39-36 victory over Fremont last Thursday. Pirtle was triumphant in his final five matches of the Syracuse Scuffle.

Logan brought six varsity competitors to the Skyhawk Showdown, and three of them secured a spot on the podium. Quincy Wildman was the champion at 285 pounds and he pinned four of his five opponents, including Mountain View’s Ryley Horrocks in the finals.

Jaque Miller (160) and Ty Stearns (220) both went 4-3 and placed seventh for the Grizzlies, who finished 18th out of 25 teams with 64.5 points. North Summit edged Beaver for the team title, 216-211.

PREP GIRLS HOOPS

Four Cache Valley teams were in action last Saturday, with Logan, Mountain Crest and Sky View all prevailing. Preston made it to the finals of its own tournament before falling to a very good North Summit squad, 55-31. North Summit went 24-2 last season.

Mountain Crest (3-2) ended up going 2-1 at the Preston Tournament, thanks to its come-from-behind 45-36 victory over Highland (Idaho). The Mustangs trailed the Rams 24-19 at halftime.

Havyn Brown led Mountain Crest with 17 points, while Birkli Barrera and Ella Douglass combined for 17.

Mikali Hendricks went off for 28 points as Sky View rolled past South Summit, 87-65, in its final game of the Dixie Tournament. Hendricks went 8 for 14 from 3-point range.

Kaytlin Smart finished with 15 points for the Bobcats (2-2), who got 13 points from Melanie Hiatt and 10 from Gracie Rigby. Macy Hellstern chipped in with nine points and an impressive 12 assists.

Logan capped off its trip to the Desert Hills Holiday Classic by outpointing Hurricane, 48-35. Taylor Rose led the Grizzlies (4-2) with 16 points, while Amber Kartchner and Tawnee Tubbs teamed up for 20. Tubbs drained a trio of treys for Logan, which limited Hurricane to 19 points in the first three quarters.

Preston struggled to score against the undefeated Braves, who outscored the hosts 39-18 in the middle two quarters. Cassee Pugmire led Preston with nine points — all one shots beyond the arc.

The Indians advanced to the finals of the eight-team tourney with a 55-50 win over Skyline (Idaho). Mickayla Robertson netted 15 points for Preston in that game, while Kylie Larsen pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots.

PREP BOYS HOOPS

Preston’s two-day weekend road trip was a successful one. The Indians (3-0, 1-0) started things off with a 63-52 triumph over Nampa on Friday. Ty Hyde and Scott Dunn combined for 40 points — nine by Hyde in the first quarter and 10 by Dunn in the second.

Preston then proceeded to put the clamps on district rival Mountain Home a day later. The Indians limited the Tigers to 15 points in the first three quarters en route to a 53-24 win. Preston took a 49-15 lead into the fourth quarter.

Hyde led the Indians with 15 points in that game. Cole Harris added nine points and Dunn eight.

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