Bees targeted at HCC duals, and that’s fine by them

Taite Martin, of Bonneville, tries to pin Mountain Home junior Zach Slack in the 7th match of the 21st annual High Country Conference Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at Bonneville High School. Martin defeated Slackby a 10-5 decision. Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com

Taite Martin, of Bonneville, tries to pin Mountain Home junior Zach Slack in the 7th match of the 21st annual High Country Conference Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at Bonneville High School. Martin defeated Slackby a 10-5 decision. Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com

By PAUL LAMBERT prsports@postregister.com

Everyone wants a piece of Bonneville these days.

Mountain Home shuffled their lineup to beat the Bees by two.

An undefeated Teton heavyweight had five pins, but his win against Bonneville is the one that mattered. Snake River finished 6-2, but coach Jeff Gardner pointed to a quality loss to Bonneville.

Yes, it seems Bonneville is getting everyone’s best these days, battle-testing their way to a 6-2 record Saturday as the host of the High Country Conference Duals.

“We’ve had success in the past and now people are looking at us as a threat,” Bonneville 132-pounder Taite Martin said, minutes after earning a medal as one of the event’s undefeated individuals. “Everyone wants to take us down now.”

Caldwell and Mountain Home did just that, finishing 1-2, respectively, at the HCC duals. Both teams finished 8-0 with wins over the Bees, and both ended the two-day, 16-team event with six undefeated wrestlers.

Mountain Home edged the Bees 37-35, massaging their lineup to tap dance around Bonneville’s undefeated star 182-pounder Jared Bird. The ploy worked. Bird got his individual win and Mountain Home got its points and the team victory.

“We are a tough team to beat and those are good wins,” Bonneville coach Zairrick Wadsworth said. “Those guys came, wrestled hard and kudos to them for showing that respect to us. It’s good for our kids and our sport, and I have nothing but respect for them doing what they needed to do.”

Sugar-Salem finished 7-0 against the visiting teams, but 0-1 against the hosts, routed 50-19 by the Bees. The Diggers placed a pair of wrestlers among the unbeatens with Zach Jensen (152) and Eduardo Avendano (195) running the table.

Also representing the 3A ranks, Teton narrowly missed an upset win over Bonneville, falling 40-39 despite a win by sophomore heavyweight Chad LaRose, who finished the weekend unbeaten.

“My favorite was the win against Bonneville and I pinned him in the first round,” LaRose said. “Bonneville’s really good and everybody hates losing to Bonneville.”

Snake River got unbeaten individual performances from wrestlers on opposing ends of the weight spectrum with Destin Summers (98 pounds) and heavyweight Porter Thomas dominating.

Defending individual champ Payson Anderton (195) and teammate J.J. Von Der Leith (120) added two more unbeaten medals for the defending state champion Panthers, and coach Gardner said the weekend gave his team just what it needed.

“We are kind of banged up, and the two duals we lost here were really close, so we’re hangin’ in there,” Gardner said. “This is a good time for us to be banged up because we have the Christmas break to heal.”

Other locals finishing the HCC Duals weekend unbeaten were Shelley 126-pounder Braxton Balmforth and Blackfoot’s Lane Hunt at 132.