Pinned by Demons
Magi wrestling denied first team dual state title by Bismarck
FARGO — History repeated itself Friday evening at the Fargodome, as the Bismarck High wrestling team toppled Minot High 32-20 to win its fourth straight Class A team dual state title.
The WDA No. 2-seeded Magicians were gunning for their first team dual state title in school history, but didn’t have the firepower necessary to stop the WDA No. 1-seeded Demons from nabbing its 15th state dual championship since the competition started back in 2000.
“We had a lot of close matches throughout there,” MHS coach Justin Racine said. “We were in some matches we thought we were outmanned. We just battled. It never really got out of hand. Our guys wrestled tough and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Bismarck stormed ahead by winning five out of the first six matches. Overtime losses at 160 with Gage Roaldson over Jacob Mortensen (4-2) and at 195 with Connor McGregor beat Jorge Talamantes (5-3), proved to be costly. And Minot also lost a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, as Racine accidentally stepped into the circle while arguing a call.
Despite that, the Magi were still in striking distance with a 5-3 win from Creighton Rudolph (wrestling up) at 182, a pin by Elijah Huff at 285 and a 5-2 win for Kelby Armstrong at 106.
Samuel Goodman even pulled off a takedown in the final second of round three to steal a 2-1 decision away from Preston Fettig at 113. That set up a key rematch between Corey Hooker and Laken Boese at 120. No. 5 Hooker upset No. 1 Boese in the individual semifinals two hours prior.
Boese got his redemption this time around with a slim 2-0 decision.
“I just wanted to make a statement,” Hooker said. “I wanted to be known as the better wrestler, but now he has me 2-1 (on the season). But, it’s OK. I beat him when it mattered and now it’s time to get that state title tomorrow.”
Following Minot’s Chase Burke getting pinned by Ryan Ripplinger at 126, two-time state champion Brody Armstrong faced off against No. 2 Adam DeBoer in a 132-pound individual finals preview.
Armstrong, looking and needing a pin, had to settle for a 5-0 decision. And Minot trailed 28-17 with two matches left.
Trevon McClanahan won 7-4 against a passive Brandt Kringlie at 138. But, that wasn’t enough. Triston Walsh lost a meaningless match at 145 and the Demons won 32-20.
Minot reached the team dual final with a 45-20 semifinal victory over West Region No. 4 Bismarck Century earlier in the day.
“They didn’t wrestle all of their guys, but you still got to wrestle,” Racine said. “We took advantage of that.”
Mortensen got the Magi started with a first-round pin at 152.
It was evened back up at 6-6 when Minot’s Luke Tyler Nathe was pinned by Bryant Nelson in the final minute at 160 after being on his stomach most of the match.
Forfeits at 170 and 182 put the Magi into the lead for good and they didn’t relinquish it.
A 19-second pin from Swartwout and a timely third-round pin from Huff at the heavyweights eased the pressure off the lightweights to get pins.
“It played out great,” Swartwout said. “We got the ball rolling going into the (individual) semifinals round.”
Kelby Armstrong used the multiple take down and let them escape strategy for a 14-5 major decision at 106. Then, Hooker mathematically capped the dual win with a 14-3 major decision at 120.
Chase Burke (126) and Brody Armstrong (132) finished the dual up with wins for Minot.
No. 5 Velva
ousts Ryan for
the third time
In Class B, a rematch of the Region 3 team dual championship was played out in the consolation round and No. 5 Velva knocked off Bishop Ryan yet again, 48-27.
It’s the third time this season that the Lions have fallen victim to the Aggies.
“I don’t either of us had to think too much on what we were going to do because we have wrestled each other so many times,” Velva coach Chad Barstad said. “After having a rough couple of rounds on the individual side, we wanted to make sure the kids were ready for the dual side, and they were.”
Velva won nine of the match with six pins coming from Jon Thomas (160), Brock Selzler (170), Jerimiah Jespersen (220), Gunnar Mogen (106), Bransyn Yanish (132) and Aaron Dean (138).
On the other sideline, an already rough state tournament continued for the Lions.
“We had a rough day,” Ryan coach Steve Lipp said. “In the state tournament, you have to be ready to go and peaking at the right time. We just didn’t have it. The kids wrestled as hard as they could, but it’s just one of those deals where we didn’t come out on top.”
Later in the evening on Friday, Velva squared off against No. 2 Bowman County/Beach in a fifth-place match.
The two teams each won seven matches, but the Aggies racked up six pins for a 41-37 upset win.
“That was a huge win for us,” Barstad said. “That was the only dual that we lost this year in the regular season. We felt if we would have got that dual earlier in the season, then we would have probably been a No. 3 seed in this tournament. They whipped us pretty good (earlier), so the kids had a little revenge on their minds because that has been eating at them for the last month.”
Unseeded South Border upended No. 4 Carrington, 39-34, for the Class B team dual state championship.
Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.