With 147.5 projected team points, the Lisbon Broncos are favored to win the North Dakota Class B state tournament by 21 over Hettinger-Scranton. To achieve each team’s projected point output, seeded wrestlers were given a point value based on the average number of points that seed scored at the state tournament last season. For top seeded wrestlers, that average is 27 points, with 22 going to second place and so on down the line. With three top seeded wrestlers, and eight seeded overall, the Lisbon Broncos are what I would consider to be a “comfortable favorite”. That said, there are teams within striking distance. Hettinger-Scranton certainly has the best chance at a state tournament upset, but Pembina County North, Carrington, and Bishop Ryan could all potentially factor into the team race.
The team that can most directly affect Lisbon’s final point total is Pembina County North, who could see finals match ups with Lisbon at 145, 170, and 182 pounds. Though Lisbon is favored in all three of those potential matchups as the higher seed, PCN’s second or third ranked wrestler at each of those weights is capable of state championship runs that could narrow the gap for the teams giving chase.
Hettinger-Scranton’s best chances for improvement are at 145 and 170, where tough regional tournament results pushed talented Night Hawks to lower seeds for state. Alec Andress is capable of a state championship from the sixth seed if healthy, but if hurt could also move the pendulum in the other direction for Coach Randy Burwick’s team. Isaac Anderson has been right there with everyone at 170 all season long, and will potentially see Carrington’s Kaden Wolsky and Lisbon’s Jordan Urbach on the way to the finals. Wins in those matches would nearly close the gap with Lisbon completely.
For Carrington, I am looking at seven seeds Austin Hendrickson (132) and Tyler Hogarth (145), as well as the aforementioned Wolsky, as wrestlers that could improve on the sees that they have and thus put the Cardinals right in the thick of things. Austin Hendrickson has been with everyone in the weight class at 132, but has yet to get a signature win. HIs 2-0 loss to top seed Braydin Jangula gives a strong indication of what he is capable of when wrestling his best, but he also has a few pinfall losses to his record as well.
For Bishop Ryan, relevance in the team race will come down to scoring placers in weight classes where the Lions are unseeded. Murphy Lipp (132), Kaleb Beeter (138), Josh Johannson (170), and Jaxon Lundeen (195) are all unseeded wrestlers with strong records and the potential for upsets. With the strong likelihood of three state finalists, plus twelve total qualifiers, Bishop Ryan can not be counted out in the team race.
Projected Team Points Based on Seeded wrestlers
1. Lisbon (147)
2. Hettinger-Scranton (126.5)
3. Pembina County North (118)
4. Carrington (113.5)
5. Bishop Ryan (107)