HAVRE – No. 3 Montana State-Northern topped No. 4 University of Providence 21-18 Wednesday night at the Armory Gymnasium in a battle of Montana, Cascade Conference and NAIA powerhouse wrestling programs.
The Lights jumped out to a 12-0 start when No. 8 Nick Kunz earned a decision at 125 pounds, Landon Bailey won by forfeit at 133 and Matt Weber got a 9-7 decision at 141 pounds.
The Argos got on the board at 149 pounds when Shonn Roberts pinned Brett Evans to make it 12-6.
The marquee matchup was the 157-pound bout featuring No. 2 Brandon Weber of Northern and No. 3 Casey Dobson of Providence. Dobson pulled out a 4-1 decision over the 2017 NAIA national champion Weber to give the Argos a spark.
The teams split the next two matches with No. 1-ranked Andrew Bartel picking up a decision at 165 pounds for Northern and Providence’s No. 2-ranked Adrian Lyons Lopez earning a decision over No. 4 Chris Nile at 174 pounds to make it 15-12 with three matches left.
The turning point in the dual was at 182 pounds where former Choteau star, No. 12 Steeler French claimed a decision over No. 10 Tyler Webley to give the Lights an 18-12 advantage.
No. 2 Isaac Bartell’s decision at 197 pounds locked up the win for MSU-Northern. Heavyweight Matt Hopkins earned six points for the Argos on a forfeit win to close the dual at 21-18 in favor of the Lights.
Both teams now head to Coeur D’Alene for the Cardinal Duals at North Idaho College on Saturday, and the Spokane Open on Sunday. Northern and Providence will meet for a second dual on Feb. 6 in Great Falls.