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|Paynesville Press - February 12, 2003|
Paynesville, Litchfield wrestle to 30-30 tie
The prequel ended in a draw.|
The Paynesville Bulldogs and the Litchfield Dragons - who could meet in the Section 5AA finals on Friday - wrestled to a 30-30 tie on Tuesday, Feb. 4, before a near-capacity crowd in Paynesville.
The nonconference match (since Litchfield left the West Central Conference for the Wright County Conference this school year) featured three lead changes and ended knotted at 30 points apiece. Had this been a playoff match, the Dragons would have advanced on criteria, having won eight weights to only six for the Bulldogs.
Starting at 140, the Dragons won the first three matches to take a 11-0 lead, but the Bulldogs got decisions from senior Josh Kerzman at 160, from senior Ryan Glenz at 171, and a pin from junior Pat Utsch at 189 to take a 12-11 lead. Senior Marty Engen followed with a pin at 215 and the Dogs led 18-11.
Then the Dragons roared back into the lead with four consecutive major decisions: at 275, at 103, at 112, and at 119. After this run, Litch led 27-18 with three matches to go.
Ninth grader Sean Glenz's pin at 130 gave the Bulldogs a brief 30-27 lead against Litchfield. The Dragons tied the match 30-30.
Sophomore Jack Mueller scored a pin at 125 for Paynesville, cutting the lead to 27-24. Ninth grader Sean Glenz, trailing in points, pinned his opponent midway through the third period to give Paynesville a 30-27 lead with one match left.
Litchfield senior Joe Buschette won a matchup of state-rated wrestlers at 135, scoring a 9-5 decision over the Bulldogs' Adam Christian to knot the final score.
The Dogs won only six matches but got four pins while not allowing any pins to Litchfield. But the Dragons won eight matches and got a technical fall and four majors.
The Dragons have five state-rated wrestlers and four won matches against the Dogs: sophomore Devin Blom at 145, senior Bryar Johnson at 275, senior Jake Ziegler at 119 (who won his 100th career match), and Buschette at 135. Senior Travis Gottschalk, rated #5 in the state at 160, did not wrestle last week due to injury but is expected back for the sectional tournament.
The Dragons are currently rated #5 in the state in Class AA. They started this season rated #1, on the heels of upsetting the Bulldogs in the Section 5AA finals last year 30-19 and taking second at the state tournament in Class AA. The Bulldogs are rated #3 in Class AA.
Since both are in Section 5AA, only one can make it to state as a team. In the sectional seedings, Litchfield is seeded #1, Dassel-Cokato is seeded #2, and Paynesville is seeded #3. (D-C is currently ranked #15 in Class AA.)
All three teams were expected to advance during the first round of the sectional tournament on Tuesday. The section finals will be held on Friday at Dassel-Cokato High School, which is located on Highway 12 between Dassel and Cokato. The section semifinals start at 6 p.m., where Paynesville would wrestle Dassel-Cokato. The winner most likely will face Litch in the section finals, which should start around 8 p.m.
Paynesville 30, Litchfield 30
Paynesville Quadrangular The Bulldogs won two of three matches at a home quadrangular on Thursday, beating ACGC and Kimball but losing their last match to Pierz, 34-33.
Against Pierz, a former section rival when the Bulldogs were in Class A, the Pioneers jumped to a 34-6 lead after winning seven of the first eight matches and held on to win. The Dogs won the final six matches but scored only 27 points, giving them 33 for the match, one less than Pierz.
Each team won seven matches, but Pierz scored more bonus points. The Pioneers had three pins, a technical fall, two major decisions, and one decision, scoring 13 bonus points. The Bulldogs had four pins and three decisions, scoring only 12 bonus points.
After Pierz jumped to a 23-0 lead, Christian scored a pin at 135 for the first points for Paynesville. Also recording pins were Ryan Glenz at 171, Engen at 215, and senior Brad Person at 275. The Dogs also got decisions from junior Matt Kerzman at 153, from Josh Kerzman at 160, and from Utsch at 189.
Pierz, rated #19 in Class A, had the mat clinched wtih two weights to go, leading 34-21 after 189.
In their opening match against ACGC, the Dogs won ten straight matches to claim a 55-11 victory. ACGC led 11-10 after the two teams split the first four matches but the Bulldogs reeled off ten consecutive wins after that.
Recording pins for the Dogs were senior Pat Noonan (119), Matt Kerzman (145), Ryan Glenz (171), and Person (275). Other winners for the Dogs were sophomore Cory Christenson (112), Sean Glenz (130), Christian (135), senior Josh Johnson (140), ninth grader Joel Kerzman (152), Josh Kerzman, Utsch, and Engen.
Against Kimball, in the middle match, the Bulldogs jumped to a 23-0 lead and won 49-21. Ninth grader Joey Sheridan started the match with a pin at 103, Christenson added a technical fall at 112, Noonan pinned at 119, and Sean Glenz pinned at 125.
Johnson (140), Engen (215), and Person (275) added pins for the Bulldogs. Other winners were Christian (135) by technical fall and senior Justin Reeck (145) by major decision.
The meet had an unusual format. Pierz also beat ACGC 59-16, making the meet a triangular for these two teams, but Kimball only wrestled against Paynesville.
Paynesville 55, ACGC 11
Paynesville 49, Kimball 21
Pierz 34, Paynesville 33
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