Braves batter NHC foes; Carroll looms Thursday

    KENDALLVILLE — Bellmont went unbeaten in eight weight classes and went 34-8 overall to dominated the annual NHC triple-dual, blanking Norwell and soundly trimming both East Noble and DeKalb Saturday.
    The wins put the No. 11 Braves at 14-2 and 5-0 in the NHC, setting up the conference showdown at Carroll on Thursday.
    Despite the dominance, BHS coach Brent Faurote was pleased with the opposition. "It's a pretty solid wrestling conference. The competition is good and it's getting better.
    While the competition wasn't so grand Saturday, the coach feels that there will be a dog fight at Carroll for the dual-meet loop crown.
    "From 145 on up, it's really split on who is going to be favored," said the coach. "We need for a few light weights to come through, and battle through  the middle. They have those three Lefever kids, and they're stacked pretty well in heavy weights also. Both teams are blessed with a lot of seniors. it should be a fun dual and we're looking forward to it," said Faurote, noting the close scores in the last two years.
    It wasn't close Saturday. Norwell's best chance to score was at 189 pounds with veteran Kyle Short. However, Bellmont junior Isaac Birch never let him in the match and was ahead 8-0 before applying the easy-over for a 3:18 fall. Bellmont won 76-0.
    "It was a good win for Birch. Short does a lot of off-season work and I thought it would be a good match. Birch hits a nice single-leg and used a bear hug to go up 4-0 right away. He dominated a solid kid. Birch has done a nice job for us and could be undefeated if he hadn't got caught in a headlock while up 9-2 (last week)."
    Frosh 103-pounder Jordan Richards earned his first varsity win for the Braves. "Jordan caught the kid in the first period with a reverse cradle and got the pin. It was pretty exciting," said Faurote.
    Travis Thatcher used a Palmer cradle for a show-stopping 12-second fall over frosh Tony West at 215. John Mahlan had the first of three falls on the day in 2:23 over Will Green at 160. Ryley Hankenson scored his first of three pins in 1:59 at 171. Brooks Faurote at 140 and Blake Adams at 125 scored falls. Anthony Stebing and Daniel Meyer recorded tech falls.
    Will Busse scored three takedowns on senior Grayson Smith for a 7-2 win at 152, and Jacob Girod earned a 10-5 win over Mitch Wilson at 112.
    The Braves took out East Noble 51-21 and had a similar 51-18 win over DeKalb.
    The Braves scored three key wins over DeKalb to make it a rout. Busse, still feeling the affects of illness that took him out of two matches last week, yielded a penatly point for .3 seconds left to force overtime versus Aaron Mason, then drove in for the winning single-leg takedown for the 6-4 OT win. Bobby Keueke had a big comeback win at 119, and Dewey Melcher needed a late nearfall to outast Conner Brummett of at 135.
    Keuneke trailed 4-0 going into the third period versus Alex Mix,  earned the takedown and cradled Mix to go up 5-4. Mix rallied witha reversal to go back up, then Keuneke  gramby-out with about 20 seconds to go and hit a headlock to score the 10-6 win.
    Dewey was  down 7-4 with three seconds to go in second period, hit a switch,to cut the lead ton one, then hit another switch and nearfall in period three and hung on for the 10-9 win.
Triple-Dual Highlights
    QUICK MATCH OF THE DAY: Travis Thatcher (215) a 12-second fall over Norwell's Tony West.
    COMEBACK OF THE DAY: Bobby Keuneke (119), down 4-0 to start 3rd period, rallies for 10-6 win over Alex Mix.
    QUALITY WIN OF THE DAY: Isaac Birch (189), up 8-0 scored 3:18 fall over Norwell veteran Kyle Short, helping BHS to shutout win.
    THE BIG MOVE: Frosh Jordan Richards hits a reverse-cradle, scoring his first varsity win in 1:07 over Norwell's Kam Foster.
    SWEEPS: Ryley Hankenson, 3 falls in 7:56; John Mahlan, 3 falls in 9:48; Thatcher, 3-0 in 8:28; Brooks Faurote, 3-0 in 9:19; Daniel Meyer, 3-0 in 9:16. Dewey Melcher 3-0; Birch 2-0 (6:42); Will Busse 2-0 and  Bobby Keuneke 3-0.

Bellmont 76, Norwell 0
130-W. Mahlan (B) WBF
135-D. Melcher (B) WBF
140-Faurote (B) p. Moon :49
145-Stebing (B) t.f. Sutton 18-2
152-Busse (B) d. G.Smith 7-2
160-J. Mahlan (B) p Green 2:23
171-Hankenson (B) p. Burke 1:59
189-Birch (B) p. Short 3:18
215-Thatcher (B) p. West :12
285-Meyer (B) t.f. Strickney 15-0
103-Richards (B) p. Foster 1:07
112-Girod (B) d. Wilson 10-5
119-Keuneke (B) WBF
125-Adams (B) p. Harris 1:15

Bellmont 51, E. Noble 21
135-Melcher (B) d. T. Housholder 6-4
140-Faurote (B) d. Riecke 7-0
145-Croy (E) d. Bergman 3-1
152-Lantz-Robbins (E) p. Stebing 1:49
160-J. Mahlan (B) p. Grimes 2:59
171-Hankenson (B) p. Rodenbeck 4:36
189-Birch (B) p. Z Housholder 3:24
215-Thatcher (B) m.d. Morr 19-7
285-Meyer (B) p. MeMuyt 1:40
103-Jordan Richards (B) WBF
112-Girod (B) m.d. Lutter 10-2
119-B. Keuneke (B) WBF
125-Jackson (E) p. Adams 3:32
130-Nesbitt (E) p. W. Mahlan 1:58

Bellmont 51, DeKalb 18
140-Faurote (B) p. Preston 1:44
145-J. Mason (D) d. Stebing 3-1
152-W. Busse (B) d. A. Mason 6-4 ORT
160-J. Mahlan (B) p. Snyder 3:26
171-Hankenson (B) p. Rivers 1:21
189-B. Baker (B) p. Clark 1:31
215-Thatcher (*B)  p. Coleman 2:16
285-Meyer (B) p. Shoemaker 3:36
103-Krumlauf (D) p. Richards 1:51
112-Franke (D) m.d. Girod 10-0
119-Keuneke (B) d. Mix 10-6
125-Poynter (D) p. Adams 3:25
130-W. Mahlan (B) p. McMaken 3:55
135-Melcher (B) d. Brummett 10-9