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|Paynesville Press - December 6, 2006|
Wrestlers beat Pierz to finish third at Foley
The Bulldogs wrestling team won two of three matches and took third place at the Foley Tournament on Saturday, the traditional start to their wrestling season.|
Paynesville, seeded fifth, beat fourth-seeded Becker 31-29 in the first round, lost to eventual champion Cambridge-Isanti 42-21 in the semifinals, and beat Pierz 39-36 for third place.
The Bulldogs, ranked #23 in Class A in the preseason rankings by the Guillotine, rallied to beat Pierz, ranked #12, 39-36 for third place. Junior Luke Frank (275) recorded a second-period pin in the final match, erasing a 36-33 deficit and propelling the Dogs to victory.
After Paynesville took an early 18-6 lead against Pierz, the Pioneers rallied by winning four of the next five weights to tie the match at 24-24 and then scored a pin to take a 30-24 lead. Senior Brad Torborg evened the match for the Dogs with a first-period pin at 171, and junior Kevin Klein added a 12-5 decision at 189 to give the Dogs the lead again 33-30.
But Pierz got an overtime pin at 215, taking a 36-33 lead into the final weight.
The Dogs took an 18-6 lead by getting pins from ninth grader Dustin Sieben at 103 and from junior Jeff Albright at 119 and a forfeit for junior Jordan Christian at 125.
Ninth grader Justin Wendlandt also recorded a pin for the Dogs at 135, giving Paynesville a 24-11 lead at the time.
This was the first time the Dogs have beaten Pierz since defeating the Pioneers 34-21 in the Section 6A final in 2001.
Cambridge-Isanti, ranked #11 in Class AAA, rallied to beat the Dogs by winning the final eight weights of their semifinal match. The Dogs took a 21-6 lead by claiming five of the first six weights, but the Bluejackets won eight straight, including three pins, to prevail 42-21 and advance to the title match, where they beat host Foley 30-28.
Sieben and eighth grader Matt Doom recorded back-to-back pins to start the match for the Dogs at 103 and 112. Then Albright and Christian had back-to-back decisions as the Dogs took an 18-0 lead. After a Cambridge-Isanti pin, Wendlandt scored the Dogs' final points in the match with another decision.
Cambridge-Isanti has three ranked wrestlers - senior Ross Dankers at 171, senior Matt O'Connor at 189, and sophomore Tony Nelson at 215 - in their upper weights.
The Dogs opened the day with a 31-29 victory over Becker. Leading 22-19, ninth grader Andrew Moser scored a 4-2 decision at 160 over a senior opponent and then Torborg pinned his opponent to open a 31-19 advantage for the Dogs with three weights to go. Becker won the last three matches but earned only one bonus point, making the final 31-29.
The Dogs jumped to an 18-6 lead again thanks to a pin by Sieben (103), a forfeit to Albright (119), a decision by Christian (125), and a decision by ninth grader Hayden Spaeth at 130 (also over a senior opponent). After Becker closed the score to 18-16, sophomore Jon Kerzman won a major decision at 145 to give the Dogs a 22-16 lead.
Becker cut that lead to 22-19, but the Dogs scored nine points by Moser and Torborg and yielded only ten to win 31-29. Becker beat Rocori for the consolation title 48-20.
The Bulldogs took third against strong competition with six ninth graders and two eighth graders in the varsity lineup, noted coach Tim Woehler. "Our young kids came through very well," he explained. "We're very pleased with them."
The team needs to continue to work hard to improve and get better, added Woehler.
Undefeated wrestlers for the Dogs at the tourney were Sieben (103), Albright (119), and Christian (125).
This week, the Dogs (2-1) will open their conference schedule on Thursday with a home match against Albany. On Saturday, the Dogs will travel to Wayzata for a tournament. Next week, the Dogs will travel to New London-Spicer for a conference match on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
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