LAMBERTON - With four state-ranked teams competing for a single spot in the Class A Team Wrestling State Tournament, the Section 3?Tournament championship was a fight to the finish.
The No. 4-ranked Minneota/Lincoln HI Vikings weathered the storm with two flawless performances to defeat No. 10-ranked Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 42-16 in the semifinal round and No. 4-ranked Adrian 36-23 to become the Section 3 champions.
"Our section has some great wrestlers," Minneota/Lincoln HI head coach Joel Skillings said. "I am just so proud of our kids for showing up and getting things done today."
Photo by Lauren Beukelman
The Minneota/Lincoln HI wrestling team poses for a picture after winning the Class A Section 3 Tournament championship on Saturday at Red Rock Central High School in Lamberton.
Indeed they did.
The Vikings were eliminated in the team tournament last season during the semifinal round. They won Section 3 championships in 2012, 2011 and 2010.
The Dragons eliminated No. 12-ranked Wabasso/Red Rock Central 39-19 in this season's other semifinal dual.
The first bout of the title dual set the tone with a matchup of the top two wrestlers at 106 pounds in Class A - Skylar Hieronimus (No. 1) of Adrian and Brock Buysse (No. 2) of Minneota/Lincoln HI.
Hieronimus and Buysse battled it out with the Adrian grappler taking a 2-1 advantage through two periods. Buysse, set in the offensive position to start the third, was determined to pull ahead of his opponent. He did that by taking Hieronimus to his back to earn a three-point nearfall to claim a 4-3 decision.
"The 106-pounders are considered the spark plugs of the dual," Buysse said. "I knew, if I could pull out a win, everyone would come through. So, I felt the pressure."
Buysse knew a victory meant that he did his job well.
"Once a person gets through a big match, everyone else feels they need to do the same thing," Buysse said. "I think it helped to get the momentum going and it got everyone feeling it."
At 113, Minneota/Lincoln HI's Eric Hauswedell used that momentum to earn the first points with a takedown in his match against Adrian's Greg Kern. Hauswedell grabbed an escape and reversal in the second period to secure a 5-4 decision.
At 120, the Vikings' Brendan Reiss lost an 11-0 major decision to the Dragon's Ryan Elias, which trimmed Minneota/Lincoln HI's lead to 6-4 through three bouts.
But Kyle Hennen answered for Minneota/Lincoln HI with an 11-3 major decision over Logan Nelson at 126. Leading 9-3 late in the third period, Hennen earned another takedown to claim an additional team point.
At 132, Landyn VanOverbeke continued the Vikings' domination by putting Michael Preuss on his back twice, earning three takedowns and six points in nearfalls during his 13-1 major decision.
At 138, Adrian's Tony Lynn earned a 14-6 major decision over Leo Buysse as the Dragons cut into Minneota/Lincoln HI's lead to make it 14-8.
At 145, the Vikings' Bryce Bruner earned five points in the final period to claim the 9-1 major decision over the Dragons' Logan Rogers.
At 152, Minneota/Lincoln HI's Alec Engler grabbed an early lead over Hunter Heitkamp with a takedown in the first. Engler used that momentum to earn 12 more points, allowing Heitkamp to grab only four points from a reversal and an escape.
"I was looking for six (team) points," said Alec Engler. "But I just do whatever I can for my team and the (14-4) major (decision) really helped," Engler said.
At 160, the Vikings' Nicholas Esping recorded a 26-11 technical fall against the Dragons' Carter Vandyke with a little more than a minute remaining in the highest-scoring match of the day. Esping earned all 26 points from takedowns.
At 170, Minneota/Lincoln HI's Cole Hennen picked up a 4-0 decision over Adrian's Matthew Slater.
At 220, the Vikings' Trent Esping had the Minneot/Lincoln HI's only pin of the dual after he pressed down on the Dragons' Gavin Engelkes in 1:44.
Adrian won the 182-, 195- and 285-pound weight classes.
Minneota/Lincoln HI?advanced to the Class A Team Wrestling State Tournament, which will take place Feb. 27 at the Xcel Enregy Center in St. Paul.
"I am pretty proud of my kids," Skillings said. "We won a lot of close matches due to the kids just having confidence in what they have been doing in practice and just seeing it in each other."
No. 12-ranked Wabasso/Red Rock Central completed its dual season after suffering a 39-19 loss to Adrian in the semifinal round.
Highlights of that match for the Bobcats included heavyweight Alex Schroepfer earning his 100th victory by pinning Tony Sieve 25 seconds into the bout. Jordan Schroepfer claimed a 10-2 major decision at 182, while T.J. Fulton, Spencer Jenniges and Justin Frank each recorded decisions.
All four teams will send wrestlers to compete in the Class A Individual Wrestling Section 3 Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Pipestone Area High School.
CLASS A TEAM WRESTLING SECTION 3 TOURNAMENT
MINNEOTA/LINCOLN HI 36, ADRIAN 23
106: Brock Buysse (M/LH) decision Skylar Hieronimus, 4-3; 113: Eric Hauswedell (M/LH) decision Greg Kern, 5-4; 120: Ryan Elias (A) major decision Brendan Reiss, 11-0; 126: Kyle Hennen (M/LH) major decision Logan Nelson, 11-3; 132: Landyn VanOverbeke (M/LH) major decision Michael Preuss, 13-1; 138: Tony Lynn (A) major decision Leo Buysse, 14-6; 145: Bryce Bruner (M/LH) major decision Logan Rogers, 9-1; 152: Alec Engler (M/LH) major decision Hunter Heitkamp, 14-4; 160: Nicholas Esping (M/LH) technical fall Carter Vandyke, 26-11. 170: Cole Hennen (M/LH) decision Matthew Slater, 4-0; 182: Jesse Slater (A) pinned Alec Bueltel, 2:36; 195: Ben Taracena (A) decision Nathan Bueltel, 8-5; 220: Trent Esping (M/LH) pinned Gavin Engelkes, 1:44; 285: Tony Sieve (A) pinned Ryan Twedt, 1:04.
ADRIAN 39, WABASSO/RED ROCK CENTRAL 19
106: Skylar Hieronimus (A) pinned Tyson Doubler, :54; 113: Greg Kern (A) decision Jared Schroepfer, 9-4; 120: Justin Frank (W/RRC) decision Alex Fuerstenberg, 6-4; 126: Spencer Jenniges (W/RRC) decision Ryan Elias, 5-3; 132: Michael Preuss (A) decision Derek Christians, 3-2; 138: Tony Lynn (A) technical fall Caleb Kemp, 25-10; 145: TJ Fulton (W/RCC) decision Logan Rogers, 4-0; 152: Hunter Heitkamp (A) decision Josh Alternmatt, 8-3; 160: Matthew Slater (A) pinned Cole Anderson, 1:03; 170: Jesse Slater (A) major decision Josh Mattison, 12-0; 182: Jordan Schroepfer (W/RRC) major decision Ben Taracena, 10-2; 195: Dylan Gyberg (A) decision Cody Coulter, 9-4; 220: Gavin Engelkes (A) pinned Jared Welch, :52; 285: Alex Schroepfer (W/RRC) pinned Tony Sieve, :28.
MINNEOTA/LINCOLN HI 42, KERKHOVEN-MURDOCK-SUNBURG 16
106: Austin DeVlaeminck (M/LH) pinned Jacob Carlson, 1:13; 113: Brock Buysse (M/LH) decision Jonathan Tostenson, 6-2; 120: Kyle Hennen (M/LH) pinned Casey Thorson, 2:50; 126: Cody Peters (KMS) decision Landyn VanOverbeke, 8-3; 132: Jordan Engler (KMS) decision Leo Buysse, 7-4; 138: Bryce Bruner (M/LH) decision Aaron Collins, 4-2; 145: Alec Engler (M/LH) pinned Simon Johnson, 1:28; 152: Nicholas Esping (M/LH) decision Nick Meyer, 6-0; 160: Fred Mansfield (KMS) decision Grant Abraham, 12-6; 170: Zachary Carlson (KMS) major decision Alec Bueltel, 21-8; 182: Cole Hennen (M/LH) pinned Travis Lamecker, 1:51; 195: Nathan Bueltel (M/LH) decision Karter VanHeuveln, 3-2; 220: Chase Norton (KMS) decision Ryan Twedt, 7-3; 285: Trent Esping (M/LH) pinned Colton Kinney, 2:55.