Two weeks ago, the teams met for the West Central Conference Championship in Minnewaska and the Bulldogs won 37-25. On Friday night, the Bulldogs hosted the Lakers in a scheduled match and prevailed again 39-18.
The Bulldogs won eight weight classes in their triumph Friday. They lost decisions in two of the first three weights, but took a 21-6 lead halfway through the match thanks to pins by Nate Glenz (112) and David Kerzman (125), a decision by Jeremy Fuchs (130), and a forfeit to Chris Welle (135), whom Minnewaska avoided.
Max Meagher ended up wrestling the Lakers' Aaron Erickson, whose only loss was by technical fall to Welle in the first match between the teams. Erickson, who is rated fourth in state, pinned Meagher.
The Bulldogs split decisions at 145 and 152. Joe Hiltner won 7-4 at 145, and Josh Schreifels lost 9-2 at 152. Schreifels yielded just a decision, and three team points, to senior Tyler Swenson, who is rated sixth in state.
Chris Sogge, Shaun Fleischhacker, and Josh Bork sealed the victory with wins in the upper weights. Sogge had a decision at 160 against a state-rated opponent, Fleischhacker had a pin at 171, and Bork had a pin at heavyweight.
The Bulldogs' only loss in the last few matches was to the Lakers' Joe Bryce, who placed fourth in the state at 189 last year and is rated first this year. Scott Braun, wrestling up from 160, held him to a mere 10-5 decision and three team points.
The sectional playoffs started last night, with the Bulldogs hosting Rush City. The Bulldogs dropped a class in wrestling this year and now compete in Class A.
Barring a major upset, the Bulldogs will wrestle for the sectional championship on Friday in Ogilvie with a return to state at stake. That competition starts with a semifinal match at 6 p.m., where the Bulldogs would face either third-seeded Braham, whom the Bulldogs beat 59-9 in January, or sixth-seeded Ogilvie.
The finals will be held at 8 p.m., and if the second-seeded Bulldogs advance, they would likely face top-seeded, the Pierz Pioneers. In the Pierz Quadrangular on Jan. 25, Pierz rallied for a 30-29 victory over Paynesville. The Bulldogs hope to reverse the result this Friday with a state tournament berth on the line. The Bulldogs are rated fifth in Class A in the latest rankings while the Pioneers are third.
The Pioneers are led by three wrestlers that placed in the top three at state last year: Aaron Kloss (119), Joe Kloss (125), and Chris Young (160).
Community education is organizing a fan bus for the sectional finals on Friday. Today, Feb. 16, is the last day to sign up. See the Sports Briefs box on page 2B for more details.
Paynesville 39, Minnewaska 18
103: Wes Tessman (M) dec. Adam Christian, 5-4;
112: Nate Glenz (P) pinned Jeremy Fischer, 0:21;
119: Brett Braaten (M) dec. Jeremy Sogge, 11-6;
125: David Kerzman (P) pinned Aric Bowen, 2:27;
130: Jeremy Fuchs (P) dec. Matt Mitchell, 8-6;
135: Chris Welle (P) won by forfeit;
140: Aaron Erickson (M) pinned Max Meagher, 3:08;
145: Joe Hiltner (P) dec. Craig Cihlar, 7-4;
152: Tyler Swenson (M) dec. Josh Schreifels, 9-2;
160: Chris Sogge (P) dec. Dan Mitchell, 9-5;
171: Shaun Fleischhacker (P) pinned Andy Disrud, 3:14;
189: Joe Bryce (M) dec. Scott Braun, 10-5;
Hwt: Josh Bork (P) pinned Ben Olion, 3:58.
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