BISMARCK - The margin was just one point and Carrington came out on the short end in the Class B state championship dual.
Without freshman heavyweight Bradee Schroeder - who failed a skin infection check before the tournament - the Region II top-seeded Cardinals had to forfeit at that weight and South Border held on for a 34-33 win.
"It's hard to win a dual championship with a forfeit," Carrington coach Josh Kerbaugh said. "We had to have everything go perfect and in the finals there's a lot of roller coaster effect going on with both teams, let alone giving up a free six (points), which actually could be 12 if you get the pin."
CHS jumped out to a 15-0 lead, beginning with a 4-2 overtime win for Chaz Bauer at 132 pounds. Patrick Freeman and Walker Carr followed with pins in the first and second rounds, respectively. The Mustangs stole the momentum with eight consecutive wins, including the forfeit, and top-ranked Tyler Toepke Floyd clinched the title on a 12-0 major decision over freshman Tyler Hoggarth at 106. The four points gave South Border a 34-15 lead with just three matches remaining. The Cardinals picked up pins in the final three matches, but it was too late.
"They wrestled hard, they wrestled smart, they did what they had to do to win," Kerbaugh said. "They bumped like they needed to and it worked. You gotta give all the credit to South Border. They had 14 guys on the mat and they performed."
CHS is looking to avenge the loss today with an individual team title. The Cardinals trail the Mustangs 158-125.5. Pembina County North, Lisbon and Oakes are also in the mix.
"Wrestle-backs win tournaments," CHS sophomore Walker Carr said. "That's what coach said and I feel like we can come back with the wrestle-backs."
Carr, the No. 2 seed at 145 and a defending state champion, will go for his second straight championship against No. 1 Jaron Lunday of Grafton. CHS senior Patrick Freeman was the only other Cardinal of nine in the semifinals to advance to a final. Freeman, the top seed at 138, will face No. 3 Justin Thomas, a senior from Des Lacs-Burlington.
"It was a good accomplishment having that many guys in the semis," Kerbaugh said. "What I've been telling these guys is the thing about the state tournament is it's hard to wrestle at a high level, each and every round."