Killdeer grapplers place fifth at Hettinger tourney

Dillan Jepson won a gold medal and Cole Dukart made the finals to lead the Killdeer High School wrestling team to a fifth-place finish in the 17-team Nighthawk Classic Tournament in Hettinger over the weekend.


The Cowboys were also scheduled to wrestle  Standing Rock and New Salem in a triangular on Thursday. Results of that mat action can be found on the Dunn County Herald website and in next week’s edition.

In Hettinger, the two finalists helped the Cowboys place in the top 5 with 167 points in the tournament that featured teams from North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Wyoming power Moorcroft won the tournament with 356 points, followed by host Hettinger-Scranton with 296, Bowman-Beach with 240 and Lemmon, S.D. was fourth with 189.5.

Jepson rebounded from a shocking defeat to Trig Olson of Harding County in the fifth round to win the 182-pound class with a 10-5 decision over Kobe Murphy on Standing Rock in the final.

Jepson defeated Connor Dennis of Watford City by major decision in the semifinals, posting a 16-8 victory. He never got a chance for revenge against Olson, who lost to Murphy in the other semifinal.

Jepson in his early matches, scoring pins in 28, 30, 59 and 34 seconds, before he ran into Olson.

Dukart, meanwhile, made the finals at 152 pounds, but was pinned by Rowdy Pfeil of Moorcroft, Wyo., midway through the first period. Pfeil had earlier pinned Dukart in a match-up of unbeatens in the fifth round.

Killdeer showed some depth in the tournament, with eight other wrestlers placing.

Tony Kluver won a bronze medal at 170 pounds after scoring a 5-3 decision over Tommy Schlater of Moorcroft.

Meanwhile, Zach Anderson (138) and Rope Smith (195) were fifth, while Curtis Hall (285) was sixth, Ean Larsen (106), Dylan Tabor (132), and John Tomjack (145) placed seventh and Jayden Hicks (113) finished in eighth.

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