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Velva wrestling survives Hettinger-Scranton, Ryan wrestling falls to Lisbon

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Velva freshman Brayden Selzler celebrates after pinning Hettinger-Scranton freshman Tristan Pekas during Thursday's Class B Dual Tournament in Fargo. The Aggies earned a 48-33 victory over the Night Hawks.

FARGO — Two talented local wrestling teams took their talents to the Class B Dual Tournament at the Fargodome on Thursday.

Velva fared well, while Bishop Ryan dropped its match.

No. 3 Velva Aggies

The Aggies needed to survive a scare. Although Velva earned three quick victories on Thursday, the Night Hawks had the answer.

Velva’s first two victories came via forfeit. After Nick Hodges gave the Aggies their third win with his 43-second fall victory over Corey Christopherson in the 285-pound match, Hettinger-Scranton struck.

Jaron Frank stunned the Aggies by pinning Colin Dean in 5:31 at 106. Dean had earned the No. 2 seed in individual action.

“Sometimes in duals, you get a match where that happens,” Velva head coach Chad Barstad said. “It kind of snowball-effects where you lose a couple other close matches, but that didn’t happen this time.”

The Night Hawks weren’t done quite yet. They kept their momentum alive with wins from Peyton Tuhy and Tanner Defoe at 113 and 120, but Velva’s Gunnar Mogen stopped the run by pinning Gavin Dailey in just 43 seconds at 126.

Hettinger-Scranton bounced back with two pins from Cade Warbis at 132 and Conner Andress at 138. Ezra Weichmann kept the Aggies on their heels with 2:12 pin at 145.

Then, Velva strung four consecutive wins together to close out the match. Bransyn Yanish pinned Ty Warbis in 2:12 at 152, and Michael Thomas pinned Landon Stang in just 1:53 at 160.

With their fans bursting into joyous cheers, the Aggies sealed the deal.

“The kids react to the fans,” Barstad said. “It’s just like any other sport. You hear the fans cheering, it pushes you. It gives you a little extra drive. That definitely helped.”

Brayden Selzer and Tristan Pekas fought a grueling battle at 170. Selzler finally flipped the script on Pekas toward the match’s conclusion and gained prime position.

As a small streak of blood streamed from his nose, Selzler celebrated by pointing to the Velva faithful. After that, Bryce Selzler captured one Velva victory with his 52-second pin of Gage Goldade at 182.

“It was nice to have the dual in that first round,” Barstad said. “There’s a lot of nerves out here on both sides. Hettinger probably had some nerves, and we had nerves. That’s one of the advantages of wrestling that first dual. The nerves are kind of out of us.”

Velva will be tested once again this afternoon. The Aggies will meet No. 2 South Border in a 2 p.m. semifinal. The winner earns a berth in the 7 p.m. championship match.

Bishop Ryan Lions

The unseeded Lions faced a daunting task on Thursday. Ryan squared off against last year’s Class B individual and dual champion Lisbon in the first round.

The Lions showed flashes, but ultimately fell 63-12 to the No. 1 team in Class B.

“We knew it would be a tough dual,” Ryan head coach Brock Nagel said. “They are the top team in the state for a reason. The matchups that we knew would be toss-up matches or close matches, I’d say we won most of those. I thought our guys wrestled really well. The atmosphere of the Fargodome wasn’t too big for them, which was good to see.”

Corbin Okeson gave the Lions an early 6-0 lead by pinning Zach Nord in 3:14 in the 195-pound match. Lisbon’s Sam Rieger earned a 4-2 decision in a tough match against Ryan’s Noah Swegarden at 220.

“Swegarden lost in the final seconds to the No. 2 seed and we’re not seeded,” Nagel said. “That shows how tough Noah Swegarden can be. It was a good match for him. Despite losing, there’s some positive takeaways for the rest of the tournament.”

Keegan Henjum battled against Ethan Lyons at 285. Henjum established his offensive attack and grinded his way to a 7-6 decision victory.

From there, Lisbon won all remaining matches but one. Carter Wallner pinned Ryan’s Lane Cooper in 2:53 at 106, while Mike Nelson pinned Gattlin Ledoux in 1:57 at 113.

Octavio Alvarez earned a 6-5 decision victory over Levi Sveum at 120, giving Ryan another boost. Caleb Nielsen struck back by pinning Gannon Ledoux in 3:37 at 126.

Brody Aberle earned a 3:36 fall victory over Connor Harvey at 132, while Boeden Greenley followed with a 1:05 pin over Drew Zwak at 138.

Hunter Schwab pinned Wesley Harvey in 1:09 at 145, Jaden Schmidt pinned Caden Dauphinais in 1:16 at 152, and Jordan Sours added another pin victory by taking down Jaeger Lundeen in 1:13 at 160.

After Jacob Reinke seized Lisbon’s final pin in 1:17 at 170, the Broncos’ Granger Dick won by forfeit.

Ryan will clash with No. 4 Carrington in a 2 p.m. consolation match this afternoon. The winner will advance to the fifth-place match at 7 p.m.

“It should be a really close dual,” Nagel said. “It should be a really good one. After losing this dual, our main team goal is to take fifth. It should be exciting.”

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.

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