(Des Lacs-Burlington’s Coy Spooner rides out Matthew Carlson of Bowman County Beach in their overtime thriller)
No team was without its ups and downs in round one of the Class B Individual State Wrestling Championships on Thursday in the Fargodome, but three teams will go into day two separated by paper-thin margins. Carrington and Hettinger-Scranton sit atop the team race with 60.5 points each, while favorite Lisbon sits in third just a half point behind with sixty, Fourth place Pembina County North is also right in the hunt with 53.
Carrington appears ready to fight tooth-and-nail for a third consecutive state championship, as they were nearly flawless during the first two rounds of championship-bracket wrestling. The Cardinals advanced five wrestlers through to the semifinals tomorrow evening, two of which were underseeded. At 106, Brecken Lura defeated three seed Ethan Wonser of Williams County by 14-3 major decision in what was a microcosm of the round for the Cardinals. Kaden Wolsky, who came into the tournament seeded fifth, upended Hettinger-Scranton’s Isaac Anderson by second period fall in what could be one of the most important matches of the weekend for the team tournament. Wolksy will now have Lisbon state finalist Jordan Urbach tomorrow afternoon in another match that will have huge team title implications. Other Cardinals to advance were state champion Lucas Geiszler (126), Zach Broadwell(138), and Bradee Schroeder (285). Geiszler and Schroeder both pinned their way through he first two rounds. Carrington nearly scored another upset quarterfinal victory at 145, as Tyler Hogarth led second ranked Brett Verville of Pembina County North 4-3 late in the third before giving up a takedown in the last ten seconds. Hogarth will now look to place through he wrestlebacks.
Hettinger-Scranton also advanced five wrestlers through to the semifinals; none more unexpected than 113 six seed Mason Defoe. Defoe, who has had a strong season but but had yet to grab a signature victory over one of the state’s top five 113 pounders, upended Rugby state finalist Riley Zachmeier by 4-2 decision. Defoe will now wrestle Region 4 foe Jeremy Leintz of Beulah-Hazen in the semifinals. At 132, Cale Schalesky looks to be back to state championship form after being plagued by injuries last season. The state champion defeated Carrington’s Austin Hendrickson by technical fall 21-4. Other semifinalists for the Night Hawks are state champion Kyle Burwick (120), Ethan Anderson (160), and Jacob Schalesky (220). All three won by first period pin in the quarters.
Keeping with he theme, Lisbon also placed six into the semifinals starting with state champion Ethan Elijah at 145. Elijah was tested in the quarterfinals by South Border’s Mark Joachim, but managed a 10-2 major decision. Top seeds Jordan Urbach (170) and Soren McDaniel (182) each recorded first period falls in their quarterfinal bouts, and will look to make a return trip to the finals tomorrow evening. At 160 Dalton Reinke advanced with a 5-0 decision over Bishop Ryan’s Cole Dauphanais. Reinke will wrestle Hillsboro-CV two-time state champion Luke Hastings in the semifinals tomorrow afternoon. Finally, Spencer Schwab gave Lisbon fans a scare early, falling behind New Salem-Almont’s Shane Forster early before getting a fall in 4:14. The Broncos did lose fourth seeded 285 Taylon Sad to the wrestlebacks when he was defeated by Pembina County North’s Bradyn Lafferty 5-2.
Though they only put four through to the semis, Pembina County North is certainly still in the hunt. Tanner Urlaub (132), Brett Verville (145), Carter Brown (182), and the aforementioned Lafferty will all wrestle tomorrow evening. PCN lost two three-seeds to the wrestle back in juniors Austin Urlaub and Tristen Sott. Sott was defeated by Beulah-Hazen’s Tyrel Mellmer 5-4, while Sott fell to Kaydin Jaeger of Rugby 13-6.
Rounding out the top five is Napoleon-GS, who rode their seven state qualifiers to five quarterfinal appearances and four semifinalists. the Imperials will look to advance brother Braydin (132) and Garrett (138) Jangula to the finals for the second consecutive year, and this season bring with them Jacob Bitz (145) and Nathan Weigel (152).
Other Notes From State B
-Beulah-Hazen advance two six seeds to the semifinals in Tyrel Mellmer and Tyler Erickson. I spoke of Mellmer above, but Erickson (160) defeated Bowman County/Beach’s Clayton Mattern by 3-2 decision.
-Hillsboro-CV’s Bailey Lawson nearly made an unseeded run to the semifinals. He pinned EEK’s Wyatt Nitschke in the first round before getting to to a big lead on Cade Merrigan of Central Cass only to fall12-9.
-Seeded, seventh, Tyler Kuntz won a 6-5 decision over Jared Roth of Oaked to advance to the state semifinals.