Velva wrestling tops Bishop Ryan for Region 3 dual title

RUGBY — The Velva wrestling team withstood the rigors of competing in three team duals in one day to capture the Region 3 team dual title Saturday in Rugby.

The Aggies went through Northern Lights (57-13), Stanley (42-21) and Bishop Ryan (52-22), in that order, to take ownership of being the best team in Region 3 at this moment. Bishop Ryan took down hosts Rugby (57-21) and Mondak Thunder (52-27) before losing to Velva.

“This is huge. We were talking about it and I didn’t even realize that this was the first time Velva has had a dual title in five years,” Velva coach Chad Barstad said. “Minot Ryan has pretty much owned that dual title over the years. For a kid like Elijah Hackman, I think he was the only one to be part of a (Velva) dual title when he was a seventh grader.”

The injury-depleted Lions handed over the regional honors, but did upend Stanley 64-16 to finish second.

“Velva is a good team and we knew we were going to have a tough dual with them,” Ryan coach Steve Lipp said. “We are not healthy. We weighed mostly everybody in, but there were four guys that weren’t going to wrestle. For us to be able to compete with a team like Velva we got to be healthy and things have to go our way. So, that’s why the dual got a little bit lopsided.”

The Lions competed without Wesley Harvey (concussion), Keegan Henjum (strep throat), JJ Johannsen (sprained ankle) and Hayden Schall (bronchitis). Illness has even caught Lipp as well.

“All the teams are battling it right now,” Lipp said. “I’m sick as well. Last week, I went to the walk-in clinic and there was a 100 people in there. It was ridiculous. And it’s always worse with wrestling it seems like with cutting weight and having their immune systems down.”

The championship dual between Velva and Ryan featured 10 pins, six of them coming in the first round. The Aggies dominated at the start and won six out of the first seven matches by pins that came from Jon Thomas, Brock Selzler, Wyatt Hanson, Jerimiah Jespersen, Kutter Blumhager and Gunnar Mogen.

“We started at 160 (pounds) and we knew we had to get going right away because that’s where our lineup is a little tougher,” Barstad said. “We figured we could get most of those matches, minus 182 where they have a pretty tough kid in Corbin Okeson.”

Okeson and Conner Ledoux got the lone pins for Ryan in the dual.

In the two matches that went the distance, Velva’s Tyler Irmen defeated Ethan Winick (16-3) at 120 pounds and Ryan’s Kersey Harris topped Bransyn Yanish (13-1) at 132.

“Bransyn Yanish at 132, even though he was overmatched, we just told him to go out there and don’t get pinned,” Barstad said. “He didn’t give up a tech or a pin and saved us a couple points right there.”

Velva’s Braetyn Yanish pinned Jaeger Lundeen at 126, Ryan got a forfeit win at 138 and there was a double forfeit at 152 that wrapped up the Aggies’ 52-22 win.

If Ryan comes in healthy, then Lipp believes it’s a much closer dual.

“I think it comes down to one or two matches,” Lipp said when pondering the what-if scenario. “There are a couple swing matches that can go either way. But, when we are healthy at heavyweight (with Henjum) — that went into overtime the last time we wrestled them, so that’s a tossup — and Wesley Harvey at 106 can compete with Gunnar Mogen.”

Nonetheless, the Aggies took care of business this time around.

“I’m not taking anything away from Velva,” Lipp said. “We would have had to really wrestle well and things would have needed to go our way to compete. But, if we heal up and get healthy, I think we can compete with most teams in the state. A lot of teams are going through this same (injury) thing. Des Lacs-Burlington only weighed in seven guys with three or four of their starters out with bronchitis. It’s just that time of year.”

Teams get a week to rest up before the Region 3 individual tournament next Saturday at Des Lacs-Burlington.

Surging MSU

women win seventh straight game

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Minot State women’s basketball team extended their winning streak to seven games with a 72-64 win at Sioux Falls on Saturday.

The win improves the Beavers to 13-9 (10-8 NSIC) on the season while the Cougars fall to 13-9 (10-8 NSIC).

Minot State improved to 10-1 on the season when scoring 70 or more points.

Both teams got off to a slow start, as the Beavers held a 12-11 lead after the first quarter.

Sioux Falls opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run to take a 19-14 lead with 7:16 left in the second quarter.

Minot State answered the run with a 13-0 run of their own to take a 27-19 lead with 2:43 left in the first half.

The Cougars and Beavers went back and forth for the remaining two minutes of the quarter while Holly Johnson scored on a layup with 16 seconds left in the half to give Minot State a 32-24 lead at halftime.

Mariah Payne knocked down a three-pointer from an assist by Kristal Flowers to give the Beavers a 47-32 lead with 4:34 left in the third quarter.

Sioux Falls trimmed the Minot State lead down to 51-41 at the end of the third quarter.

Diondra Denton connected on a three-pointer with 1:49 remaining in the game to give the Beavers their biggest lead in the fourth quarter, 64-51. The Cougars cut the lead down to eight with 20 seconds left before trying to extend the game with fouls.

Minot State went six of eight from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds to clinch the 72-64 victory over the Cougars.

The Beavers shot 47.5 percent from the field while limiting Sioux Falls to 38.7 percent shooting and recorded a dominant 44-27 rebounding advantage over the Cougars.

Minot State assisted on 18 of 29 field goals and outscored USF in second chance points (15-0) and points in the paint (34-22).

Johnson posted her fifth double-double of the season, including her second of the weekend with 19 points and 10 rebounds while tallying four assists and two steals.

Madison Wald scored 14 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and, followed by Denton with 13 points and seven rebounds. Denton shot four of seven from the floor and notched a team-high three steals on the defensive end.

Flowers finished one point short of posting her seventh double-double of the season, scoring nine points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Kari Clements recorded nine points and four assists while Payne tied her season-high with eight assists.

Minot State will take their seven-game win streak on the road next weekend, as the Beavers travel to Duluth, Minn. to take on Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. before facing St. Cloud State on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. in St. Cloud, Minn.

— Minot State athletics

Minot State men suffer fourth straight defeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Senior Tyler Rudolph scored 19 points and David Akibo and Nathaniel Moore each had 13 points, but Sioux Falls pulled away from Minot State in the second half on its way to an 80-59 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory over the Beavers on Saturday in the Stewart Center.

Minot State, which dropped to 17-7 overall and 11-7 in the NSIC, fell behind by 13 points in the first half before rallying to get back into the game.

A three-pointer by Drew Guebert gave the Cougars a 33-20 lead with 5:42 remaining in the opening period before the Beavers staged a late first-period rally.

A jumper by Rudolph and a three-pointer by Russ Davis got Minot State to within 33-25 at the 3:37 mark of the opening period.

Brandon Green started the run with a pair of free throws and Moore hit a jumper and converted a layup to cut the lead to 35-31. Dorian Aluyi capped the run with a free throw to bring Minot State to within three points at the intermission.

The Cougars used a 12-2 run to increase the margin to 52-41 at the 12:28 mark of the second period.

Sioux Falls, which improved to 16-8 overall and 11-7 in conference play, was led by Guebert who scored a game-high 25 points.

Minot State will continue on the road next weekend as it visits Minnesota Duluth on Friday (Feb. 9) and St. Cloud State on Saturday (Feb. 10).

— Minot State athletics

Beaver softball splits doubleheader

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Junior Lauren Cowden had four hits and drove in four runs leading Minot State to a split of its two games on Saturday on the second day of play at the Desert Stinger Tournament at Majestic Field.

The Beavers, who are 2-2 on the season, opened the day with a 14-8 loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills and then bounced back to run rule Notre Dame de Naumur 11-2 in five innings.

Cowden led the Beavers against Notre Dame de Naumur as she drove in four runs, while Isis Cabral drove in a pair of runs.

Ashley Hill led Minot State against the Argonauts with three hits, while Julia Suchan, Tori Zimmermann and Cabral each had one hit.

Laura Mendez went the distance in the circle for the Beavers as she allowed five hits and one earned run in five innings of work to earn the win.

Minot State will conclude tournament play on Sunday (Feb. 4) when it faces Stanislaus State.

– Minot State athletics