The Kalispell Flathead wrestling program poses after winning the Best of the West Tournament on Friday. (Photo courtesy: Kalispell Flathead wrestling)

PASCO, Wash. – Kalispell Flathead is the best in the west.

The Braves wrestling program won the annual Best of the West Tournament on Friday evening, defeating Newberg, Ore. 34-33 in the championship match. Flathead won eight of 14 matches against the top-ranked team in Oregon to clinch the team title.

“We’re so excited to win the Best of the West Tournament, going 5-0 and defeating the No. 1 team in Oregon,” said Flathead head coach Jeff Thompson. “Alex Paul, Hunter Wellcome, Tucker Nadeau, Zaybin Stewart, Brendan Barnes, Payton Hume and Tanner Russell all went undefeated.”

Flathead won seven of the first eight matches, including six straight from 145 pounds to 195. Jaden MacNeil opened the championship dual with a victory, then Tanner Russell (fall), Kenyon Fretwell (9-1 major dec.), Garrett Rieke (9-5 dec.), Payton Hume (4-0 dec.), Tucker Nadeau (fall) and Hunter Wellcome (7-3 dec.) built a 28-6 lead for Thompson’s defending Class AA state champions.

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Newberg rallied back to a 28-18 deficit before Brendan Barnes pinfall victory pushed the lead to 33-18. The Oregon squad won the final three matches, but Bryce Shaffer’s 3-2 defeat clinched the championship for the Braves. Despite a pair of pins to round out the match, Flathead held on for the one-point victory.

“We’ve put a lot of miles on our old Kalispell school bus so far this season, but it’s all worth it when we find great competition and perform well,” Thompson said.

Friday’s win was the latest for Thompson and a Flathead program rich with tradition. The Kalispell squad finished runner-up at the Tri-State Invitational in Coeur d’Alene last week, and also added a second-place finish at the Mining City Duals in Butte in November.

The defending Class AA champions opened Friday’s championship round bracket with a 63-12 win over Newberg’s No. 2 team, then defeated Hanford, Wash. 62-10 in the quarterfinals, before earning a 57-18 win over Baker, Ore. in the group semifinals. The Braves won 10 of 14 matches in the group championship against Chiawana, Wash., winning the final seven matches in a 51-15 win.

The results of Kalispell Flathead’s tournament duals can be found below.

Championship
Kalispell Flathead def. Newberg, Ore. 34-33

132 – Jaden MacNeil (Flathead) over Zach Irving (Newberg) SV-1 6-4
138 – Joey Moody (Newberg) over Bo Meyer (Flathead) Fall 1:33
145 – Tanner Russell (Flathead) over Jack Evans (Newberg) Fall 2:30
152 – Kenyon Fretwell (Flathead) over Alec Love (Newberg) Maj 9-1
160 – Garrett Rieke (Flathead) over Rowan Gallardo (Newberg) Dec 9-5
170 – Payton Hume (Flathead) over Oliver Myers (Newberg) Dec 4-0
182 – Tucker Nadeau (Flathead) over Kadyn Lauer (Newberg) Fall 3:06
195 – Hunter Wellcome (Flathead) over Hunter James (Newberg) Dec 7-3
220 – Isaiah Parker (Newberg) over Sebastian Koch (Flathead) Fall 3:24
285 – Tristan Osborn (Newberg) over Michael Lee (Flathead) Fall 5:17
106 – Brendan Barnes (Flathead) over Boulder Friesen (Newberg) Fall 5:11
113 – Micah Worthington (Newberg) over Bryce Shaffer (Flathead) Dec 3-2
120 – Christopher Strange (Newberg) over Dominic Battello (Flathead) Fall 1:50
126 – Cody Fettig (Newberg) over Braden Comer (Flathead) Fall 1:13

Group championship
Kalispell Flathead def. Chiawana, Wash. 51-15

126 – Robby Vaughn (Chiawana) over Braden Comer (Flathead) Fall 1:51
132 – Kobe Santoyo (Chiawana) over Jaden MacNeil (Flathead) Dec 5-2
138 – Bo Meyer (Flathead) over Darius Grogan (Chiawana) Dec 8-1
145 – Tanner Russell (Flathead) over Isreal Ramiro (Chiawana) Fall 1:48
152 – Riley Cisne (Chiawana) over Kenyon Fretwell (Flathead) SV-1 8-6
160 – Payton Hume (Flathead) over Tyson Stover (Chiawana) Fall 1:24
170 – Tavin Blair (Chiawana) over Colby Martin (Flathead) Dec 6-0
182 – Tucker Nadeau (Flathead) over Victor Silva (Chiawana) Fall 1:51
195 – Hunter Wellcome (Flathead) over Trent Black (Chiawana) Maj 10-1
220 – Sebastian Koch (Flathead) over Ian Cambell (Chiawana) Dec 4-3
285 – Michael Lee (Flathead) over Josh Alvarez (Chiawana) Fall 3:19
106 – Brendan Barnes (Flathead) over Jayson DeLamora (Chiawana) Fall 1:22
113 – Bryce Shaffer (Flathead) over Kevin Llamas (Chiawana) Fall 4:24
120 – Dominic Battello (Flathead) over Camillo Cardenas (Chiawana) Fall 0:17
Flathead’s team score was adjusted by -1.000 for unsportsmanlike

Group semifinal
Kalispell Flathead def. Baker, Ore. 57-18

120 – Dominic Battello (Flathead) over Johnny Niehaus (Baker) Fall 1:31
126 – Nick Blair (Baker) over Braden Comer (Flathead) Fall 1:44
132 – Jaden MacNeil (Flathead) over Colton Anderson (Baker) SV-1 10-8
138 – Bo Meyer (Flathead) over Ian Feldmeier (Baker) Dec 4-1
145 – Tanner Russell (Flathead) over Jorge Duran (Baker) Fall 3:51
152 – Kenyon Fretwell (Flathead) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
160 – Payton Hume (Flathead) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
170 – Clay Keller (Baker) over Colby Martin (Flathead) Fall 1:19
182 – Tucker Nadeau (Flathead) over Andrew Dunn (Baker) Fall 2:15
195 – Hunter Wellcome (Flathead) over G`ovi Quezada (Baker) Dec 9-3
220 – Hudson Cole (Baker) over Sebastian Koch (Flathead) Fall 1:20
285 – Michael Lee (Flathead) over Lucien Yervasi (Baker) Fall 0:18
106 – Brendan Barnes (Flathead) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
113 – Bryce Shaffer (Flathead) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

Group quarterfinal
Kalispell Flathead def. Hanford, Wash. 62-10

106 – Brendan Barnes (Flathead) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
113 – Bryce Shaffer (Flathead) over Austin Patton (Hanford) Fall 1:28
120 – Dominic Battello (Flathead) over Hunter Murphey (Hanford) Maj 13-3
126 – Braden Comer (Flathead) over Glenn Siekawitch (Hanford) Fall 4:45
132 – Jaden MacNeil (Flathead) over Braeden Nalle (Hanford) Dec 8-6
138 – Josh Say (Hanford) over Bo Meyer (Flathead) Maj 9-1
145 – Tanner Russell (Flathead) over Carter Murphey (Hanford) Fall 1:10
152 – Kenyon Fretwell (Flathead) over Louis Werner (Hanford) Fall 3:15
160 – Garrett Rieke (Flathead) over David Bates (Hanford) Fall 2:46
170 – Colby Martin (Flathead) over Michael Bishop (Hanford) Maj 12-1
182 – Tucker Nadeau (Flathead) over Hayden Henry (Hanford) Dec 9-3
195 – Hunter Wellcome (Flathead) over Jake Hanson (Hanford) Fall 1:54
220 – Jonathan Burt (Hanford) over Sebastian Koch (Flathead) Fall 3:18
285 – Alex Paull (Flathead) over Angel Campos (Hanford) Fall 0:34

Group round one
Kalispell Flathead def. Newberg, Ore. No. 2 63-12

106 – Brendan Barnes (Flathead) over Harrison Womack (Newberg 2) Fall 3:30
113 – Bryce Shaffer (Flathead) over Tanner Nicol (Newberg 2) Fall 4:53
120 – Dominic Battello (Flathead) over DJ Berry (Newberg 2) Fall 2:48
126 – Diego Salinas (Newberg 2) over Braden Comer (Flathead) SV-3 2-2
132 – Jonah Worthington (Newberg 2) over Jaden MacNeil (Flathead) Dec 5-4
138 – Bo Meyer (Flathead) over Ryan Frey (Newberg 2) Dec 7-1
145 – Tanner Russell (Flathead) over Ben Redwine (Newberg 2) Fall 1:31
152 – Kenyon Fretwell (Flathead) over Mason Turpen (Newberg 2) Fall 1:35
160 – Garrett Rieke (Flathead) over Justin Holtan (Newberg 2) Fall 0:41
170 – Colby Martin (Flathead) over Dalton Paskett (Newberg 2) Fall 1:29
182 – Tucker Nadeau (Flathead) over Jordan Beaudry (Newberg 2) Fall 1:20
195 – Hunter Wellcome (Flathead) over Avian Mendoza (Newberg 2) Fall 1:18
220 – Branko Frketich (Newberg 2) over Sebastian Koch (Flathead) Fall 0:34
285 – Alex Paull (Flathead) over Connor O`Bryan (Newberg 2) Fall 1:56

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