Headlock Hindsight 1/6: Century Win Solidifies “A” Dual Seeds

The Century Patriots defeated the Bismarck Demons Friday evening for the first time in 22 years, and with it secured the West Region’s second seed in the Class A state dual tournament.  The Patriots will wrestle East Region third seed Wahpeton in the first round at state, with the third seeded Demons landing East number two Davies. The top seeds at state from each region, Minot and West Fargo, will wrestle Valley City and Mandan respectively.
Though the Demons put fourth a valiant effort, two forfeits proved to great a task to overcome, and they fell to their crosstown rivals 37-30.  Bismarck High had as good a start as possible, starting the dual with three straight falls from 113 tthrough 126, two of which came in the third period of tight matches that seemed destined for three team-point decisions.  Ahead by the slimmest of margins entering the third period, Bismarck 113 Alex Kaseman and 126 Adam DeBoer went head-hunting, scoring pins by headlock that resulted in an extra six point cushion for the Demons.  Those pins were bookended by a first period fall from Demon state champion Ryan Riplinger to give the Demons an 18-0 lead through three.  At 132 pounds, in what proved to be the most important match of the evening, fifth ranked Jordan Petit-Schmidt of Bismarck fell to sixth ranked Patriot Clint Coleman 6-5.  Petit-Schmidt started strong, and took a two point lead into the third period, but Coleman hit a nice Peterson roll for two reversal and two nearfall.  Petit-Schmidt was able to score an escape to make narrow the gap to 6-5, but was unable to score the winning takedown in the final seconds.  Coleman’s win sparked four straight victories for the Patriots, who knotted the score at 18 when Matthew Rader took a forfeit at 152.  Parker Wahl stopped the bleeding for the Demons at 160, scoring a quick pin and putting the Demons back head 24-18, but from there it was all Century.  Fittingly, Patriot seniors Cameron Rants, Jacob Rader, and Seth Braun secured the victory at the top of the lineup.    Rants scored a fall over Matt Curtis in 1:36, Rader grabbed a forfeit at 195, and Seth Braun sealed the victory with a 15-4 major decision at 285.   Bismarck #1 ranked 106 Laken Boese was able to secure the final victory of the dual to make the score 37-30 in favor of the Patriots.
Century is wrestling as well as it has all season long at the right time.  A frustrating start to the season has given way to a dominant January, putting Century where everyone thought they would be at the beginning of the season: the thick of the team title hunt.  Though Century is without returning state finalist Shane Fleck, the Patriots seemed poised to make their hardest push for state titles in recent memory.
The Demons, who started the season strongly, are fighting hard to remain in the hunt in both team races.  The loss of state placers Justin Bergquist and Devin Steidler has greatly weakened the potential of the team in both the individual and dual tournaments, and head coach Jeff Schumacher will have his work cut out for him to avoid finishing outside of the top three for the first time in school history.
Headlock Hindsight *More abbreviated than normal, as a result of a sick child
1.  Carrington, who struggled in early season duals without some key wrestlers from last season state championship team, went from the fourth seed to Region 2 dual champion on Saturday in Cavalier. The Cardinals upended rival Pembina County North in the semifinals 44-27 before beating Hillsboro 45-32 for first place. After its semifinal loss to Carrington , PCN was able to rebound and score three dual wins in a row, the final 48-35 over Hillsboro-CV to claim true second. Carrington and PCN are now in the familiar position of representing Region 2 in the state dual tournament.
2.  At the Region 1 dual tournament, state #1 ranked Lisbon dominated its way to the crown, and should be the state’s top seed when seeds are released this week. Lisbon dismantled Napoleon 45-22 in the semifinals before beating Oakes 60-13 in the finals. Oakes sealed its spot in the state dual tournament with a 36-30 victory over South Border.
3.  The predictable happened in Region 3, with Bishop Ryan remaining undefeated in duals and taking home first place over Velva 42-31. In the championship dual, Bishop Ryan won eight of fourteen weight classes including five by pin.
4.  In Region 4, state #2 ranked Hettinger-Scranton flexed its muscle with a 50-18 championship dual victory over Bowman County/Beach. Beulah-Hazen, who fell to Hettinger-Scranton in the semifinals of the tournament, earned a true second match with BC/B, but fell 51-27
5.  Mr. Headlock’s Class B Dual Tournament seed prediction:
          1.  Lisbon
          2.  Hettinger-Scranton
          3.  Bishop Ryan
          4.  Carrington
          5.  Velva
6.  The University of Mary had its best NSIC dual showing of the Adam Aho era, scoring a 21-12 victory over MSU-Moorhead on Bismarck on Sunday. The dual was filled with North Dakota talent, and the Marauders got victories from former North Dakota preps Hunter Eckert (Bismarck Century), Paul Michaelson (Williston), and Dane Fischer ( Bismarck St. Mary’s) . Moorhead got a win from second ranked South Border native Blake Bosch in the highlight match of the dual. Bosch scored a first period takedown to take an early 2-0 lead, and was able to hold strong through the third period in spite of the a myriad of single leg attacks from Mary’s Tate Barnhardt for the 3-2 decision. At 165 Mary’s Michaelson was dominant on top, scoring a technical fall victory over Wishek Native Brayden Kuntz. In the final all-North Dakota tilt of the afternoon, Dane Fischer scored a strong upset victory over region #3 Adam Blees 5-2.
7.  Utah Valley University upended NDSU 22-16 on Friday evening at the SHAC. The Bison got wins from Josh Rodriguez, Cam Sykora, Clay Ream, and Andrew Fogarty, but couldn’t find win number five. At 149, UVU’s Grant Lamont scored a :46 second fall over NDSU’s Mitch Friedman, and North Dakota natives Dylan Urbach (Lisbon) and Taylor Nein (Bismarck) buth took losses in the dual. NDSU will look to rebound next weekend at the Air Force Academy and Wyoming.
8.  Bismarck native Ryan Blees continues to register strong results for the Virginia Tech Hokies in the second half of the season. Blees won the Edinboro Open on Saturday with a 3-2 decision over Andrew Shomers. In the tournament, Blees scored a fall, a tech fall, a major decision, and two decisions.
9.  Michael Rengel scored the only victory for Minot State in their 42-3 loss at top ranked St. Cloud State on Friday evening. Rengel defeated Jordan Aquino by 8-1 decision. At 149, Minot native Cody Haugen fell to James Pleski 8-3

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