Bees start strong, fall to Wasatch at wrestling duals
Cameron Earnest seen on his way to scoring a pin against his Cypress opponent in the first round of the 4A state duals championship last week.
By Sean Hales
The Box Elder High School wrestling team steamrolled two opponents in the inaugural 4A Duals Championship last week before getting a little of their own medicine handed to them in the semi-final round by eventual champions, Wasatch.
Hosting the first two rounds at Box Elder High School on Wednesday, the Bees made the quickest work of their first-round opponents, Cyprus, giving up just two weights on their way to a 69-9 win.
Against the Pirates, the Bees lost the first match of the night by fall at 160-pounds, but it was all Box Elder from there. The Bees won four of their next five matches by fall, with Jackson Lancaster (170), Jackson Roubidoux (182), Cameron Earnest (220) and Riley Taylor (285) each putting up six points.
Following a couple of forfeits at 106 and 113, Austin Binghjam (120), Andrew Donaldson (138) and Brock Hardy (145), also pinned their opponents. The Bees’ other wins came at 126, where Robert Hodgson earned a major decision (11-2), and 152 where Briar Bunderson got everything but the pin called, and won by technical fall, 17-1.
Immediately following the first round, Box Elder took on Uintah, who had beaten Corner Canyon, 62-6, in the first round. The Bees earned a solid victory over the Utes, 51-21, despite being ranked below them heading into the tournament.
The two teams traded falls two-by-two through the first six weights, with Box Elder coming out on top after that stretch by 12 points. Lancaster and Roubidoux started the Bees off with wins, and Taylor and Garrett Ricks (106) closed it out. In between, Box Elder lost the 195- and 220-pounds bouts.
That was as evenly matched as the dual would get, however, as Box Elder went on to win six of the remaining eight weights, which included wins by fall from Bingham, Hardy and Bunderson. Koy Caldwell (113), Hodgson and Donaldson all earned wins by decision.
While the overall result was not different from when the two teams met at the Wasatch Duals in December, the change in the quality of the win is noteworthy. Box Elder narrowly edged the Utes at Wasatch, 37-27.
On Thursday at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, the Bees ran into a buzzsaw in the form of eventual champions—and traditional state title contenders—Wasatch, who handed Box Elder a 55-16 loss.
Wasatch had put up 21 points with wins in the first four weights (160-195) before the Bees were able to get on the board with three points thanks to a decision for Cameron Earnest who won the 220-pound match, 6-2.
Box Elder would only score wins in three other weights: Ricks won by fall, Hardy earned a major decision (11-4), and Bunderson was dominant in his win by decision (9-2) to end the Bees’ run.
The Duals Championship format was introduced this year by the Utah High School Activities Association as a more fan-friendly tournament. It also shines a spotlight on the strength of each team’s varsity squad, as JV wrestlers, or “seconds” do not compete as they do in the traditional state championship tournament.
The Bees will begin the road to the 4A state championship beginning today, Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the divisional tournament being held in Wasatch, and continuing tomorrow.
According to information provided by the UHSAA through the website trackwrestling.com, Box Elder will be bracketed in the divisional tournament with Wasatch, who is expected to contend with Maple Mountain for the title. Both teams were featured in the championship event at the 4A duals, which Wasatch won, 44-24.
Other teams in the Wasatch divisional include: Bonneville, Corner Canyon, Highland, Hillcrest, Murray, Ogden, Olympus, Orem, Salem Hills, Skyline, and Uintah.
Bees fall to Braves, bounce back over Leopards
By Jeremy Jones
The Box Elder girls’ basketball team ended the week on a high note as they snapped a three-game losing streak with a big win over East on Friday, 73-56, after falling in a close contest on the road at Bountiful, 64-54, on Tuesday.
The Bees knew they would be in for a tough game against the Braves and their star player, Kennedy Redding. Redding is averaging a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds per game.
The Bees hung tough in the first half, and even held a one-point advantage at the break over the heavy favorites to win the 4A state title.
The Braves opened the second half on a run and built a nine point lead by the end of the third quarter.
But the Bees showed some spirit, chiseling into the lead, and pulling within three points with a minute and a half left. In the end, it was just too much Redding as she poured in 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on the night to lead the Braves to a 64-54 win.
The Bees were paced by Keslee Stevenson as she knocked in 22 points, including connecting on six 3-pointers. Addi Peacock added 14 points.
Despite the loss, the Bees took a lot of confidence from the game, and it showed on Friday at home against the Leopards.
A tightly contested first half saw both sides struggle some with turnovers, but neither team was able to gain much of an advantage as the Bees clung to a two point lead at the halfway mark.
The Bees made the first real run of the game at the start of the third quarter and were able to captialize on some Leopard turnovers and get some easy baskets.
The Leopards tried pressing the Bees, but had little success as Box Elder got several easy buckets resulting from solid ball movement and they stretched their lead to 16 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter opened up a lot but the Leopards were never really able to challenge the lead as the Bees cruised to a 73-56 win.
Both sides saw a very balanced scoring attack as each team had four players reach double figures on the night. Box Elder’s Kambri Curtis lead all scorers with 15 points. Emily Isaacson had 14, Stevenson added 11 and Peacock notched 10 in the win.
The Leopards were lead by Kiki Angilau with 12 points. Aloma Solovi, Liana Kaitu’u and Nia Faletoi chipped in 11 each for the Leopards.
At the end of the week, Bees head coach Aaron Dooley said he was impressed by the chemistry the team is developing both on and off the court.
“They love each other and they love playing for each other. So that’s a lot of fun to be a part of,” Dooley said.
The results last week put the Bees at 3-4 in region play and in a tie for fourth place with Bonneville.
Last night, the Bees looked to convert their momentum into another win, this time at home over Woods Cross (results not available by press time).
With a bye this Friday, the Bees won’t take the court again until Tuesday when they hit the road to take on Highland. The game against the Rams is scheduled to tip at 5:15 p.m.
BC Invitational Softball Tournaments
Brigham City Recreation is now registering teams for its annual Invitational Softball Tournaments in June for 12U-18U teams.
The 12U/14U tournament will be held June 23-25. The 16U/18U tournament will be held June 17-18. The fee to register a team is $340.
Teams can reserve rooms at one of the several hotels located within 10 minutes of the park, or they can camp near the park. At Pioneer Park, where the games will be played, other acitivies are available including a swimming pool, a fishing pond, playground equipment, pickleball courts and a walking path.
Register online at brighamcity.utah.gov or send a check and team information to 641 East 200 North, Brigham City, Utah 84302.
Comp baseball league now registering
Brigham City Recreation is now accepting registrations online for its spring baseball league.
The cost to register a team is $475. There are four available age groups, 9U-12U. The season includes 10 games over five weeks, April 4-May 5, with double-headers being played each week on Monday (9U), Tuesday (11U), Wednesday (10U) and Thursday (12U).
Space is limited, but spots may be reserved with a $50 deposit.
Register online at brighamcity.utah.gov. For more information call 435-734-6610, or visit the recreation office at 641 East 200 North.
Co-rec volleyball to start in March
Brigham City Recreation is accepting registrations for its co-rec volleyball through March 14.
The cost to register a team is $195, which includes an eight-game guarantee and a tournament. Games will be played on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning on March 21.
Register online at brighamcity.utah.gov. For more information call 435-734-6610.