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Rice reigns in Cascade tourney

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Arlee wrestler Cole Rice started the season where he left off last year. 

The defending state champion pinned Townsend’s Shay Christiansen to win the 152-pound class at the Cascade Invitational. Rice pinned Christiansen last year in the state finals to become the 140-pound champion.

The four-minute pin of Christiansen was Rice’s third pin of the tournament. The senior pinned Great Falls’ Aaron Carpenter (1:13), and Florence’s Kolter Beneitone (3:26) on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. With the three victories Rice now has 131 career victories.

Rice was won of six Warriors at the 20-team, two-day tournament.

Clayton Trimble was the only other Warrior to join Rice in the championship round, but was defeated by Choteau’s Adam Debruycker, who finished third at state last year.

Trimble breezed to the championship round. He pinned Cody Blackcrow in 32 seconds in the opening round. It only took 17 seconds for Trimble to pin Butte’s Phillip Moreno.

Trimble’s second-place finish was a good way to start the season. Last year after joining the team late, Trimble hurt his back and never was 100 percent. Arlee coach Ken Hill said that Trimble looked good to start the season, but still has a lot of catching up to do after missing most of last year.

Wrestling 14 pounds heavier than last season, Warrior sophomore Austin Rubel finished fourth in the 119-pound class. After being pinned by Helena’s Matt West-Reed in the opening round, Rubel rebounded by winning his next four matches to earn a spot in the consolation match, where he lost a 9-2 decision to Townsend’s Logan Schwope.

Hill said he was impressed with how Rubel has adapted to wrestling in the heavier weight class.

“Austin is wrestling great this season and is coming into his own style after a lot of learning and experimentation,” Hill said. “He is developing into an aggressive wrestler and still exploring his own abilities. He is going to be a great wrestler.”

Zach Tameler, a 140-pound junior, picked up three wins at the invite, but failed to make the podium. Hill said that Tameler, who missed most of last season, impressed a number of coaches at the tournament with his pin of Cascade-Simms Keith MacDonald and his two other wins at the invite.

After losing his opening match, Leif Rova (160) picked up two wins before being eliminated. Carter Clinkenbeard picked up three wins in the 152-pound class. Freshman Logan Potts finished fourth in the 215-pound class in the junior varsity tournament.

The Warriors will host Hellgate Thursday in a dual at 6 p.m. and then travel to Superior Saturday.

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