Though the effort wasn’t enough to land the top spot in the team race after day one of the North Dakota State Wrestling Tournament Thursday at the Fargodome, the Bismarck Demons showed up firing on all cylinders after two rounds of championship-side wrestling, and appear ready to battle crosstown rival Century, as well as Minot, to the last breath for another individual team title. The Century Patriots currently hold a slim 8.5 point lead over their crosstown rival Demons with 98.5 points heading into the Friday’s morning wrestle back round. Bismarck High sits second with 90 points, and nipping at Bismarck’s heels is Minot with 89.5.
Though all three teams were impressive on the day, Bismarck likely needed the biggest statement out the gate, and got it from its regular stable of horses plus seven seed Jaden Petit-Schmidt at 132 and six seed Justin Bergquist at 182. Petit-Schmidt scored a huge 3-0 decision over Mandan’s second seeded Kolton Reisenauer to advance to Friday afternoon’s semifinal round. Petit-Schmidt was especially impressive from the top position, riding Reisenauer for the entire third period when it mattered most. The win from Petit-Schmidt sets up a huge semifinal with Century’s Clint Coleman that will play heavily into the team race. Petit-Schmidt is 3-1 against Coleman on the season, winning their quarterfinal matchup at the West Region tournament 7-0. Petit-Schmidt’s victory also made the Demons 4 for 4 in quarterfinals matches, as they had already advanced Alex Kaseman (113), Ryan Ripplinger (120), and Adam DeBoer (126), to the semis.
Bergquist, who has has seen limited mat time this season, but was a finalist for the Demons in 2015 as a sophomore, dominated Wahpeton three seed Kyle Bjugstad by 13-6 decision. He will also face off against a Patriot, second seed Cameron Rants, tomorrow afternoon in the semifinals.
In total, Bismarck lost four matches on the day with scoring wrestlers, and placed eight through to the semifinals. Also advancing were 106 Lake Boese, 160 Parker Wahl and 220 Chase Dockter. Both Wahl and Dockter registered falls in each of their matches Thursday.
First place Bismarck Century advanced nine to tomorrow’s semifinal round, but the Patriots did deal with one early upset. In the first round this morning, 170 Tjaden Smith was defeated in sudden victory 3-1 by Dickinson senior Austin Boswell. Smith will now have to work his way back to placement through the wrestlebacks.
Century also looked fantastic in the light weights as the Schulz brothers, Devin and Mason, bookended a run of five straight quarterfinal wins for Century starting at 113 and ending at 138. Sandwiched between the Schulz’s were Dylan Barchenger (120), Izaiah Bitz (126), and Clint Coleman (132). Patriot 152 Trey Pajimula continued his late season surge, defeating Minot’s Tyler Thompson 9-2 to clinch his first semifinals appearance. Century’s senior big men were also great Thursday, as Cameron Rants (182), Jacob Rader (195), and Seth Braun (285), all advanced through to the semifinals with ease. State champion Rader worked a 13-3 major decision over Dickinson’s Sam England.
Like Bismarck, Minot High also placed seven wrestlers in the semifinals. State champion Brody Armstrong started thing off right for the Magi in the quarterfinals with a fall over Jaden Hatcher of Jamestown. From there, in one of the biggest matches of the day for Justin Racine’s squad, senior Tyler Strandberg scored a fall over Carlos Balboa of Grand Forks Central. Strandberg and Balboa had split matches on the season previously. After losing his last two bouts to Dickinson’s Caden Haugen, Magi state finalist Creighton Rudolph scored a bit of revenge with a 7-2 decision and semifinals birth. He will face off with Bismarck’s Parker Wahl in what will be a huge match for team race purposes. Wahl and Rudolph have split on the season. Other Minot semifinalists are Jacob Mortensen (145), Matthew Rabe (170), and Je-Mario Jones (195). Magi 285 Eli Huff was upset 3-1in sudden victory by Davies’ Andre Baguma.
Rounding out the top five after the first day are Mandan and West Fargo with 73.5 and 53 respectively. Mandan advanced six wrestlers though to the semifinals including defending state champion Dale Spilman, but was hurt by the loss of second seed Kolton Reisenauer to the wrestlebacks. West Fargo advanced all five of their top seeds through to the semifinals, but no other Packers made the quarterfinal round.
-No top seeds went down in the quarterfinals, but West Fargo’s Cade Pederson fell behind Legacy’s Thomas Scheet early before securing a third period fall to advance.
-Mandan’s Kolton Reisenauer wasn’t the only two seed to fall in the quarters, Alex Skaare of Davies dropped a 9-3 decision to Wahpeton’s Casey Frankhauser.
-Williston’s Quade Slater and Turtle Mountain’s Koby Brunelle were the lone unseeded wrestlers to advance to the semis. Both advanced through the four and five seeds back to back.
Dual Semifinals Set
All four West Region teams won their first round dual matches Thursday morning, setting up a two Wild West Semifinal bouts. Third seed Bismarck will take on top seed Minot in one semifinal, while Century will battle Mandan in the other. Expect fireworks!