The teams battled Tuesday night in the climactic match of the Pierz Quad-rangular, and Pierz finished on top, 30-29, as the Bulldogs' rally from an early deficit fell short when Pierz won a decision in the heavyweight match.
"It comes down to the heavyweights," said coach Virg Vagle, "but it's all 13 wrestlers. A point anywhere down the line would have made the difference."
Adam Christian got the Bulldogs off to a good start with a major decision at 103, but Pierz won four of the next five weights to take leads of 13-4 and 17-10, the biggest of the match. In that stretch of wrestlers, Pierz has four returning state entrants and an eight-grader who Vagle said has a good chance of qualifying this year. Brothers Aaron (119) and Joe (125) Kloss placed third and second at state individually last year for the Pioneers.
Vagle said the lower-weight Bulldogs wrestled well in losses but yielded too many bonus points.
The Bulldogs' only win in that stretch was a key pin by David Kerzman, now 21-1, whose opponent was an individual state entrant last year.
Trailing 17-10, the Bulldogs won four of the next six matches to take a brief lead. Chris Welle had a first-period pin at 140 to remain undefeated for the season at 22-0. Joe Hiltner had a major decision at 152. His opponent was warned four times for stalling; a fifth would have meant disqualification and six team points for Paynesville. As it was, the Bulldogs trailed by one, 21-20.
In a battle of third-place winners in last year's state tourney at 160, Pierz came out on top. The Pioneers' Chris Young, who has placed second and third at state the past two years, is undefeated on the year and pinned Paynesville's Chris Sogge. "That was the biggest win for Pierz," said Vagle.
At 171, Shaun Fleischhacker, 17-3 for the year, got six points back for the Bulldogs by pinning Tom Britz, who was rated in state at the start of the year. The Bulldogs took the lead on Josh Bork's 5-2 decision at 189, but in the decisive heavyweight match Ossie Stumpf of Pierz decisioned Matt Brauchler 10-7. Brauchler trailed 5-0 after two periods and rallied in the third by scoring three takedowns. Trailing 8-6 late in the match, Brauchler was awarded a penalty point at the buzzer, but his takedown attempt slipped and he yielded control to Stumpf, making the final score 10-7.
"Matt wrestled well in the third period, but didn't get anything going in the first two periods," said Vagle.
Entering the night, Pierz was rated seventh in the state in Class A and the Dogs were second. Vagle said Pierz deserved their high ranking. The Bulldogs, he added, looked forward to a rematch with the Pioneers with a state tournament berth possibly on the line.
Neither Pierz nor Paynesville had any problems in beating Braham and Meadow Creek Christian Alliance in the earlier matches. The Bulldogs beat Meadow Creek, also a state entrant last year in Class A, 58-7 and Braham 59-9.
Against Meadow Creek, the Bulldogs won 11 weights. The Bulldogs built a 22-3 lead and then recorded pins in six of the last seven matches. Welle, Hiltner, Chris Sogge, Scott Braun, Fleischhacker, and Bork provided pins for Paynesville.
Braham managed three victories, but yielded more bonus points. Adam Christian and Nate Glenz started the match with pins, and Jeremy Sogge, now 18-4, followed with a technical fall to open a 17-0 lead.
After a narrow decision loss, the Bulldogs rattled off three pins and won another match by forfeit. Kerzman, Welle, and Hiltner had pins again.
In the upper weights, Chris Sogge (20-2), Braun and Brauchler had pins.
Pierz 30, Paynesville 29
103: Adam Christian (P) maj. dec. Tony Andres, 23-9;
112: Craig Luberts (PZ) Nate Glenz, 11-6;
119: Aaron Kloss (PZ) Jeremy Sogge, 13-1;
125: Joe Kloss (PZ) pinned Brad Schultz, 1:20;
130: David Kerzman (P) pinned Shawn Jensen, 3:57;
135: Mark Andres (PZ) maj. dec. Jeremy Fuchs, 12-4;
140: Chris Welle (P) pinned Steve Andres, 1:48;
145: Rick Gall (PZ) maj. dec. Josh Schreifels, 12-2;
152: Joe Hiltner (P) maj. dec. Dan Britz, 14-4;
160: Chris Young (PZ) pinned Chris Sogge, 1:52;
171: Shaun Fleischhacker (P) pinned Tom Britz, 2:32;
189: Josh Bork (P) dec. Kevin Sununde, 5-2;
Hwt: Ossie Stumpf (PZ) dec. Matt Brauchler 10-7.
Paynesville 58, MCCA 7
103: Jason Lazeth (MC) dec. Adam Christian, 5-3;
112: Nate Glenz (P) won by forfeit;
119: Jeremy Sogge (P) dec. Aaron Solberg, 8-6;
125: Brad Schultz (P) dec. Luke DeBoer, 2-1;
130: Bryan Kotten (P) won by forfeit;
135: David Kerzman (P) maj. dec. Jeremy Williams, 17-9;
140: Chris Welle (P) pinned Matt Sutton, 1:49;
145: Joe Hiltner (P) pinned Dan Parke, 1:43;
152: Nate Schut (MC) maj. dec. Josh Schreifels, 17-4;
160: Chris Sogge (P) pinned Ben Nussbaum, 0:17;
171: Scott Braun (P) pinned Jarod Schut, 1:11;
189: Shaun Fleischhacker (P) pinned Nate Sauering, 0:17;
Hwt: Josh Bork (P) pinned Cesar Griep, 1:41.
Paynesville 59, Braham 9
103: Adam Christian (P) pinned Matt Morgan, 5:23;
112: Nate Glenz (P) pinned Ernie Loerzel, 1:36;
119: Jeremy Sogge (P) tech. fall David Shockman, 17-2;
125: Craig Birkaker (B) dec. Brad Schultz, 1-0;
130: David Kerzman (P) pinned Jonathan Aurand, 2:51;
135: Jeremy Fuchs (P) won br forfeit;
140: Chris Welle (P) pinned Dan Kelling, 5:24;
145: Joe Hiltner (P) pinned Chris Betsinger, 0:22;
152: Jake Shockman (B) dec. Josh Schreifels, 6-5;
160: Chris Sogge (P) pinned Troy Heaton, 1:55;
171: Scott Braun (P) pinned Drake Lagasse, 4:32;
189: Joe Compton (B) dec. Josh Bork, 7-2;
Hwt: Matt Brauchler (P) pinned Al Cameron, 0:52.
Eleven Bulldog wrestlers reached the finals and five claimed championships at the individual tournament of the West Central Conference North in Litchfield Friday. Paynesville won the team score by more than 40 points.
Paynesville had wrestlers in the final in 11 of the 13 weights. Jeremy Sogge (119), David Kerzman (125), Chris Welle (135), Shaun Fleischhacker (171), and Josh Bork (189) prevailed in the finals for individual championships. In the final, Sogge pinned Litchfield's Matt Forester, who was fourth in the state last year. Fleischhacker also recorded a fall in the final for the Bulldogs.
Adam Christian (103), Nate Glenz (112), Brad Schultz (130), Josh Schreifels (145), Chris Sogge (152), and Scott Braun (160) took second for the Dogs. Champions and runners-up earned All Conference recognition.
Joe Hiltner (140) finished third, and heavyweight Matt Brauchler, who was limited by injury, placed fifth.
Paynesville had the most champions and the most runners-up for a team score of 247. Litchfield had three champions and four second-place finishers and a total of 206.5. Sauk Centre also had three champions, and Melrose and Albany each had one.
WCC North team scores
1. Paynesville- 247.0
2. Litchfield- 206.5
3. Albany- 157.0
4. Sauk Centre- 140.5
5. LPGE- 88.0
6. Melrose- 85.0
103: Adam Christian (P) pinned Mike Eveslage (M), 1:15...dec. A.J. Werner (L), 10-2...lost to Cody Olson (SC), 7-1 ...second place;
112: Nate Glenz (P) pinned Jay Magney (A), 3:26...lost to Mark Twardy (L), 26-11 ...second place;
119: Jeremy Sogge (P) dec. Adam Hoppe (M), 9-1... pinned Matt Forster (L), 3:19...first place;
125: David Kerzman (P) pinned Chris Rothstein (A), 3:26...dec. Bryce Schauer (L), 9-2...first place;
130: Brad Schultz (P) dec. Joe Arens (SC), 6-5...pinned by Erik Flowers (L), 0:58...second place;
135: Chris Welle (P) pinned Rick Byland (LPGE)...maj. dec. Mike Worden (L), 17-4...first place;
140: Joe Hiltner (P) pinned Kurt Beckstrand (L), 2:36...lost to Chad Minette (SC), 9-4...pinned Harold Buschmann (M), 2:21...pinned Matt Schad (LPGE)...third place;
145: Josh Schreifels (P) pinned Scott Salzl (A), 4:28...dec. Ethan Vogt (SC), 10-4...lost to Nate Turck (L), 27-10...second place;
152: Chris Sogge (P) pinned Mark Woeste (LPGE), 1:45...pinned Matt Imdieke (M), 4:37...lost to Travis Hoffarth (A), 9-3...second place;
160: Scott Braun (P) dec. Dustin Reding (A), 9-5...lost to Joe Fiedler (SC), 8-5 ...second place;
171: Shaun Fleischhacker (P) pinned Kurt Jenkins (LPGE), 0:55...pinned Adam Goebel (A), 1:40...first place;
189: Josh Bork (P) pinned Anthony Fischer (M), 3:50...pinned James Roering (SC) 1:09...dec. Clayton Hennen (A), 7-1...first place;
Hwt: Matt Brauchler (P) lost to Lonie Marcyes (LPGE) by injury default...lost to Scott Hoffarth (A)...fifth place.
The Bulldogs host Canby tomorrow night. The junior varsity match will start at 6 p.m. The varsity should begin around 7 p.m.
On Friday, the wrestlers will travel to Minnewaska for the WCC playoff with the Lakers, the champion in the south half. That match will start at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs will host the Paynesville Duals. Eight teams will wrestle head-to-head matches for both the junior varsity and the varsity. Two mats will be placed in both the high school and the middle school gymnasiums.
The matches start at 9:30 a.m. with the junior varsity preceding the varsity. There will be three rounds of wrestling in the morning and afternoon. Teams for the tournament, in addition to Paynesville, are from Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena, Belview-Danube-Renville-Sacred Heart, Dawson-Boyd, Milaca, Perham, Sauk Centre, and Wheaton-Herman-Norcross.
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