Braves roll in Kingsford

KINGSFORD – Iron Mountain’s Jared Gauthier kept the Ray Mariucci Invitational outstanding wrestler award in the family Saturday.

Gauthier pinned Norway’s Donny Houle in the third period to win the 119-pound title. Tournament coaches also named Gauthier the top wrestler, an honor his brother, Ryan, received in 2011.

“Jared has an aggressive style and is a technical wrestler,” Mountaineers coach Brandon Rutter said. “He seems to have a good awareness on the mat.

“Donny Houle is a good wrestler. This was a good finals match-up.”

Gauthier improved his season record to 25-1. Alex Edwards, with a 12-6 decision over Gladstone’s James Bruce in the 112-pound finals, gave the Mountaineers a second individual title.

“Alex is good on his feet,” Rutter said. “He hasn’t had a lot of mat time and it was good for him to get out and work.

“Both Jared and Alex wrestled good matches. It was good to see those two perform the way they did. It was a good measure for the U.P.’s (in Marquette on Saturday).”

Gladstone, with five of nine finalists winning individual titles, registered 209 points in claiming the team championship. Runner-up Norway notched 146 points, followed by Marquette, 124; Iron Mountain, 89; Kingsford, 75; Negaunee, 70; Ishpeming, 55; Westwood, 50; Gwinn, 38, and Bark River, 27.

“When we came into the tournament, we had two of our big guys out,” said Gladstone coach Jesse DeBacker. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but our backups stepped up, and everyone wrestled great.”

With the U.P. finals rapidly approaching, DeBacker likes where his team is at, but he isn’t going to look that far ahead yet.

“There is a lot of tough competition out there,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep going at the rate we’re going at right now.”

Bark River-Harris may not have finished very high as far as the final standings, but coach Mike Labadie was very pleased with what he saw from his team.

“I was happy with the results I had,” he said. “My wrestlers did everying we wanted them to do this weekend.”