Opening statement

Bishop Ryan, Minot High win dual meets, Velva falls to Carrington

Garrick Hodge/MDN Bishop Ryan's JJ Johnannsen, right, grapples with Bowman County's Mitch Stuber, left, during the 170-pound match at a Class B dual meet at the North Dakota state wrestling tournament Thursday at the Fargodome. Johnannsen won the match 9-5.

FARGO — Bishop Ryan wrestling coach Steve Lipp knew at the beginning of the season his team would have a chance to make the semifinals in the Class B team duals portion of the state wrestling tournament.

His prognostication held true Thursday, as Ryan defeated Bowman County 45-28 in the opening round at the Fargodome. With the victory, the Lions advance to wrestle Hettinger/Scranton at 1 p.m. today in the semifinals.

“I’m very proud of this team,” Lipp said. “We didn’t have a great first round in the individuals but we bounced back and wrestled well on this dual.”

It could have been all too easy for Ryan, the No. 3 seed in the bracket, to panic early.

The Lions lost the first three matches to Bowman County and were staring a 13-0 deficit in the face. Yet, Ryan rebounded in the later rounds and recorded four consecutive pins to close out the meet.

Garrick Hodge/MDN Minot High's Triston Walsh, top, tries to take control of Valley City's Jonathon Langer, bottom, during Minot's opening dual at the state wrestling tournament Thursday in Fargo.

“We lost the flip on odds and evens and they were able to dictate some of the matchups early on,” Lipp said. “We knew it was going to start off maybe a little bit rocky because of the matchups. But our kids came through and we finished that dual the way we were hoping to with those four straight pins at the end. We found a way to get it done.”

Bowman County’s Jacoby Mattern started the dual by beating Ryan’s Chase Burke 10-2 at the 120-pound weight class and Alex Madrigal pinned Ethan Winick at 126. Cole Schmalz cemented Bowman County’s fast start with a 8-5 win over Murphy Lipp at 132.

Kaleb Beeter got the Lions on the board by pinning Tyson Mattern in the 138-pound weight class, but Matthew Carlson returned the favor for Bowman County by pinning Luke Voorhies at 145.

Konner Beeter racked up another pin for Ryan at 152 and Cole Dauphinais dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker at 160.

Bishop Ryan took the lead in the dual when JJ Johnannsen beat Bowman County’s Mitch Stuber in a 9-5 decision at 170 and Cody Luck picked up a forfeit win at 182.

Garrick Hodge/MDN Velva's Jon Thomas, top, takes down Carrington's Brady Davis, bottom, during the 152-pound match at a Class B dual meet at the state wrestling tournament Thursday at the Fargodome. Thomas won the match by major decision, 15-5.

Bowman County re-took the lead when Beau Jeffers pinned Jaxon Lundeen at 195, but Ryan began its streak of four straight pins when Jordan Will earned six team points by pinning Nate Boehm at 220.

The momentum shifted to Ryan’s side for good when Keegan Henjum lifted his team up by pinning Tristen Peterson at the 285-pound weight class.

“I thought we were going to get pins at 106 and 113, but the heavyweight pin really gave us a spark and gave us a nice cushion,” Lipp said.

Kersey Harris (106-pound weight class) and Conner Ledoux (113) each pinned their opponents in the final two matches to seal the victory for Ryan.

With Bowman County behind them, the Lions now look to No. 2 Hettinger/Scranton, which defeated Oakes 55-19.

Garrick Hodge/MDN Bishop Ryan's Keegan Henjum, left, tries to throw down Bowman County's Tristen Peterson, right, during the 285-pound match in a Class B dual meet at the North Dakota state wrestling tournament Thursday at the Fargodome. Henjum won the match by fall.

“It’s going to be a good, close dual,” Lipp said. “Depending on if we can win the flip and get the matchups we want where we can bump kids around and get favorable matchups, I think we have a very good chance.”

Magi decimate Valley City 66-9

It was smooth sailing for Minot in the opening round of the Class A team duals Thursday.

The Magi, the No. 1 team in the west, defeated Valley City, the No. 4 team in the east, 66-9. Minot advances to face Bismarck in the semifinals beginning at 1 p.m. today at the Fargodome. Bismarck beat Fargo Davies 53-18 in its opening round.

“We had a good start to the day, we just came and fired out,” MHS coach Justin Racine said. “We told the guys we wanted to leave no doubt we were the better team. We came out aggressive and just took it to them.”

The closest match of the dual came between Triston Walsh and Jonathon Langer at 145, with Walsh emerging victorious in a 12-10 contest. Langer raced out to an 8-0 lead, but Walsh scored six straight points to close the gap. With Walsh leading Langer 12-10 with 13 seconds remaining, the Valley City wrestler made one last gasp at a takedown but failed, giving Walsh the match.

“Walsh was wrestling a kid that is number six in a higher weight class, but he wrestled his heart out and ended up beating the kid,” Racine said. “That was a big win for him and it really helped the team.”

Samuel Goodman (113-pound weight class), Jacob Mortensen (152), Matthew Rabe (170), Je-Mario Jones (195), Hunter Swartwout (220) and Davian Ross (106) each had pins for the Magi. At the 126-pound weight class, Brody Armstrong defeated Valley City’s Parker Larson by a 7-2 decision.

Corey Hooker (120), Tyler Strandberg (132), Trevon McClaanahan (138) and Elijah Huff (285) each picked up forfeit victories for Minot.

In other Class A duals, Bismarck Century defeated Wahpeton 64-14 and Mandan took down West Fargo 41-32.

Looking ahead, the Magi defeated Bismarck in the regular season 30-27 on Jan. 13 in Bismarck.

“We beat them once, but we can’t be overconfident,” Racine said. “It’s going to be the same type of deal that the last meet was, so we have to come out firing.”

Velva can’t get past Carrington

The Velva wrestling team recovered from a slow start, but it wasn’t enough to beat the defending Class B dual state champions in Carrington.

After falling behind 30-0, the Aggies eventually trimmed the deficit to 36-28 but ultimately fell 53-28.

Carrington started the match with five straight pins, but Velva got on the board when Jon Thomas won a major decision, 15-5, over Brady Davis in the 152-pound weight class. Velva’s momentum continued after Austin Schreiner pinned Nicholas Lyman at 160. At 182, Brock Selzler pinned Jarret Bauer and Justin Helseth also won by fall at 195. Kutter Blumhagen was the last Velva wrestler to pick up a win, pinning Colton Buskness at 220.

The Aggies face Pembina County North at 1 p.m. today in the consolation bracket. No. 1 Libson defeated Pembina County North 61-12 in the first round of duals Thursday.

Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge.