Three Devils advance at state wrestling tournament |

Three Devils advance at state wrestling tournament

DENVER – It’s the littlest thing and it’s so quick.

Welcome to the state wrestling tournament in Denver at the Pepsi Center, where the Devils learned that lesson, mostly on the positive side of the ledger. Eagle Valley’s Ty LaFramboise (182 pounds), Joey Sanchez (195) and Andy Armstrong (220 pounds) won their first-round matches Thursday night, while Cole Nielsen fell at 170.

Going back to the quick theme, Armstrong didn’t take long to dispose of Mountain View’s Mason Barber. Dandy Andy took all of 64 seconds to up his record to 37-0.

He had a quick takedown for two points against Barber, who then needed blood time. Once coagulation was achieved, Armstrong had Barber’s shoulders on the mat. Armstrong faces Pueblo South’s Hunter Reinert in the quarters today.

Sanchez was on the wrong end of 1-0 score for most of his match against James Garrett of Mesa Ridge. It wasn’t until late in the third period, that Sanchez busted out of Garrett’s grip for an escape and a 1-1 tie.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Sanchez wasn’t going to overtime, however. He threw down Garrett for a two-point takedown and earned a three-point near fall in the final seconds for a 6-1 win. Sanchez gets Longmont’s Ramos Vega today in the round of eight.

LaFramboise stopped hearts a little bit by going to overtime at 182. He overcame a 4-0 deficit against Tony Molinaro of Pueblo County in regulation with a third-period takedown and near fall. In the extra time, LaFramboise kept a tight hold on Molinaro to prevent his opponent from getting an escape.

On the reset, from the down position, LaFramboise burst Molinaro’s hold for an escape. For good measure, he turned that into a takedown and got some back time for a 10-4 win. LaFramboise meets up with the top seed at 182, Mead’s Kyle Couch, today.

At 170, Nielsen was simply on the wrong end of the decisive moment of his bout. Nielsen led Pueblo County’s Chandler Montes, 1-0, and looked like he was going in for a takedown. Instead, Montes flipped him and ended up defeating Nielsen, 8-1. Nielsen is still alive in the consolation bracket as he takes on Golden’s Brad Blackstock.

Delta beats Devils girls

GRAND JUNCTION – Eagle Valley girls basketball did what it wanted.

The Devils held Skylyn Webb to a measly six points. Caillie Gafford only had 12. Despite holding Delta’s duo of scorers to 16 points – they averaged 37 per game throughout the season – the No. 2-ranked Panthers still topped Eagle Valley, 52-27, in the quarterfinals of districts.

Eagle Valley will take on the loser of Montrose-Palisade, likely the latter, at 3 p.m. at Central High School in Grand Junction.

“We executed our game plan perfectly,” Devils coach Sam Bartlett said. “We did everything we wanted except to make our shots.”

Eagle Valley trailed just 22-17 at halftime against Delta, which ran the Western Slope table with a 14-0 mark. The Panthers are co-favorites in the tournament with Montrose.

Bartlett gave postgame props to Mariel Gutierrez for her defense and Taylor Martin, who had an outstanding game in the paint with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Again, it’s important to remember that the top-seven teams from districts make the state tournament, so the Devils (12-10) are by no means out of the hunt.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

Support Local Journalism