The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers came close to grabbing the championship of their own Dick Maher Wrestling Invitational Tournament on Dec. 7, but when the final match was over the Bucs had to settle for second place.
The Maple River Eagles notched first place with a team score of 190, while just two points the Bucs were in second with 188.
Both BEA and Maple River had three champions, but the Eagles edged the Bucs in total points.
Fairmont-Martin County West grabbed third place with 160 points, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown was fourth with 157.5 and United South Central was fifth with 145 points.
In sixth was Brainerd at 90.5, Madelia-Truman seventh with 77.5, Mankato East eighth at 76 and Lake Mills ninth with 69 points.
"Overall, as a team, I thought we wrestled pretty well," coach Randy Wirtjes says. "We can still improve in some areas and it is early in the season, so we need to focus on those areas and just keep working hard."
Ironically, cross-county rivals Blue Earth Area and United South Central faced off on the mats at the BEA gym numerous times during the day's tournament action.
At 132 pounds, for instance, the Bucs' Alec Huber defeated the Rebels' Adam Knutson to claim the championship. Knutson took second.
It was a battle with Huber winning 8-6 in overtime. Huber had gained the championship match with two pins in earlier action. Knutson had narrowly defeated Reid Ayers of WEM 4-3 to get overtime.
Huber had gained the championship match with two pins in earlier action. Knutson had narrowly defeated Reid Ayers of WEM 4-3 to get into the match.
At 145 pounds, it was USC's Dylan Herman pinning BEA's Mike Ankeny to give Herman the championship and Ankeny second place. Herman won all three of his matches with a pin.
BEA's Mike Ankeny to give Herman the championship and Ankeny second place. Herman won all three of his matches with a pin.
Colten Carlson of USC defeated BEA's Gus Phillips at 182 pounds to claim the championship and giving Phillips a second place finish.
Carlson won all three of his matches by falls. Phillips had also had a pin to gain advancement into the championship match.
The Buccaneers had two other champions during the day.
At 170 pounds, BEA's David Franta decisioned WEM's Ben Boran by a score of 9-4 in the championship match.
Franta had scored two technical falls on his way to the final match. He outscored Stevie Tierney of Madelia-Truman 19-3 and outscored Phillip Bowie of F-MCW 20-3.
USC's Travis Brown took third place at 170 pounds by pinning Lukas Trio of Maple River.
At 285 pounds, BEA's Martin Granados took a close 7-6 win over Logan Swanson of Mankato East to claim the Logan Swanson of Mankato East to claim championship trophy.
Granados had pinned Joe Mathews of USC to gain the championship match. Logan Swanson of Mankato East to claim the cc match. championship match. Matthews went on to claim fifth place.
Besides Ankeny and Phillips, BEA also had another second place finisher in the tournament.
Adam Legred claimed the spot at claimed the spot at 106 pounds. Legred lost 7-0 to Cole Kubesh of Brainerd in the championship match. Earlier he had pinned Nathan Moore to gain a chance at the title.
Kyle Brandt of USC took fifth place at 106 with a 6-0 decision over Christian Hugget Nathan Moore to gain a chance at the title.
Kyle Brandt of USC took place at 106 with a 6-0 decision over Christian Hugget Nathan Moore to gain a chance at the title.
Kyle Brandt of USC took fifth place at 106 fifth with a 6-0 decision over Christian Hugget of F-MCW.
USC's Derek Herman was also a second place finisher in the tourney, losing 4-2 to Noah Irons of Lake Mills at 152 pounds.
Herman had won by falls n his first two matches of the day.
Tanner Wolf of BEA took sixth place at 152 pounds, losing 10-2 to Will Storch of WEM. Jordan Stelter grabbed the Buccaneer's only third place finish, wrestling at 138 pounds.
Stelter pinned Justin Gifferson of Madelia-Truman.
Zach Buseman of BEA took fourth place at 120 pounds when he lost 7-3 to Trey Wigand of Maple River in the third place contest.
BEA's Jared Armon was also a fourth place finisher at 195 pounds, losing to Jake Denn of Madelia-Truman by a technical fall, 17-1.
The Buccaneers' Camden Bowers took fifth place at 126 pounds with a close 4-3 win over USC's Brett Byrne who ended with sixth place.
But it was USC's Seth Olson who claimed fifth place at 160 pounds with a pin of BEA's Brandon Williams, who ended with a sixth place finish.
USC's Jesse Meyer also placed fifth by scoring a fall over WEM's Luke Borneke at 113 pounds.
The Bucs' Justin Ritter was also a sixth place finisher, losing to Madelia-Truman's Jeremy Blakesley by a fall at 220 pounds.