Tigers claw Bucs for Section title
The day started out with excitement and ended in disappointment as Blue Earth Area lost in the finals of the Section 2A team wrestling tournament held Feb. 21 in Janesville.
The No. 2-seeded Bucs needed a near miracle finish to overcome a 30-6 deficit to defeat No. 7-seeded Jackson County Central and advance to the semis and eventually into the finals.
The Bucs came up with five consecutive falls to pull off the 36-30 win.
In December, BEA defeated JCC, 33-29, but the Huskies were determined to avenge the early-season loss.
Dan Eckhardt started the Buc comeback at 160 with a fall in 1:02 over Tanner Menke, and Cody Eckhardt also earned a first period fall in 1:41 over Brandon Pygman at 171.
Taylor Andrews earned a fall in 3:03 at 189, while Mat Willner and Jake Lee made short work of their opponents.
Willner (215) pinned Collin Munoz in 35 seconds to tie the contest at 30-all.
Lee clinched the win with a 22-second pin over Huskies heavyweight Gar-rett Ramstad.
The Bucs advanced to the finals with a 43-16 win over the No. 3-seeded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Grizzlies.
In the championship match, the Medford Tigers’ (21-3) lineup boasting five wrestlers with more than 30 wins and eight ranked in the top 10, proved too much for the Bucs.
The Class A No. 5-ranked team and the top seed in Section 2A dominated the No. 9-ranked Blue Earth Area (26-2) for a 41-22 win.
The Tigers won 10 of the 14 matches, two by a technical fall and only one by way of a fall.
“They have a solid team and I think they’ll do well at State. Our kids wrestled hard, but they were just better,” says Head Coach Randy Wirtjes.
Medford got on the scoreboard first with a technical fall at 103 pounds.
But, Jake Wirtjes gave the Bucs their first and only lead of the match, pinning Adam Utzinger in 1:54 to make the score 6-5.
The Tigers got back on the winning track, rattling off five straight wins to build a 26-6 lead.
Sinjin Bell broke up the streak with a 12-1 major decision over Nolan Green at 145, however the Tigers put together four consecutive wins.
The Bucs’ two ranked individuals then closed out the meet with falls. Willner, ranked No. 4, kept his record perfect collecting his 36th win with his 25th pin of the season in 1:21 over Steve Schulz. The Buc senior set a single-season record for pins earlier in the tournament with his 24th pin over Colton Schroer of WEM/JWP.
Lee then pinned heavyweight Thomas Schroht in 1:43 to make the final score 41-22. The No. 3-ranked heavyweight improved his record on the year to 36-1.
BEA 36, Jackson County Central 30
103: Travis Hagedorn (BEA) dec. Kyle Edlin, 4-3.
112: No. 5-ranked Darick Vancura (JCC) pinned Jake Wirtjes, 5:37.
119: D.J. Gronewald (BEA) dec. Tanner Hummel, 3-2.
125: No. 2-ranked Bronson Steuber (JCC) dec. Joe Franta, 7-2.
130: Spencer Johnson (JCC) dec. Carter Hanson, 10-5.
135: Jesse Regalado (JCC) pinned Bryce Werner, 5:17.
140: Patrick Hanson (JCC) dec. Collin Nienhaus, 8-3.
145: No. 5-ranked Taylor Menke (JCC) maj. dec. Sinjin Bell, 14-6. 1
152: No. 4-ranked Cooper Moore (JCC) pinned Matt Dulas, 0:44.
160: Dan Eckhardt (BEA) pinned Tanner Menke, 1:02.
171: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) pinned Brandon Pygman, 1:41.
189: Taylor Andrews (BEA) pinned Alex Tewes, 3:03.
215: No. 4-ranked Mat Willner (BEA) pinned Collin Munoz, 0:35.
285: No. 3-ranked Jake Lee (BEA) pinned Garrett Ramstad, 0:22.
BEA 43, W-E-M/J-W-P 16
103: Hagedorn (BEA) pinned Jeff Purvis, 5:28.
112: Wirtjes (BEA) maj. dec. Dustin Wolff, 16-4.
119: Dylan Habinger-Burris (WEM/JWP) pinned Gronewald, 2:59.
125: Franta (BEA) maj. dec. Kyle Burgess, 18-8.
130: Hanson (BEA) maj. dec. Nick Borneke, 9-1.
135: Derek Marzahn (WEM/JWP) dec. Werner, 5-1.
140: Nienhaus (BEA) pinned Travis Neal, 0:49.
145: Bell (BEA) dec. Nate Borneke, 8-3.
152: Brady Ayers (WEM/JWP) maj. dec. Dulas, 13-2.
160: D. Eckhardt (BEA) maj. dec. Blake Boran, 12-4.
171: Alex Eustice (WEM/JWP) dec. C. Eckhardt, 8-4.
189: Andrews (BEA) dec. Kevin Lamont, 3-2.
215: No. 4-ranked Willner (BEA) pinned Colton Schroer, 1:06.
285: No. 3-ranked Lee (BEA) dec. No. 5-ranked Andrew Wolter, 10-5.
Medford 41, BEA 22
103: No. 4-ranked Zach Keller (M) tech. falled Hagedorn, 17-1, 5:54.
112: Wirtjes (BEA) pinned Adam Utzinger, 1:54.
119: No. 8-ranked Austin Peters (M) pinned Gronewald, 1:02.
125: No. 7-ranked Curt Maas (M) dec. Franta, 5-1.
130: No. 7-ranked Brad Maas (M) dec. Hanson, 5-2.
135: Cole Kavitz (M) maj. dec. Werner, 10-0.
140: No. 3-ranked Zach Kanzenbach (M) tech. falled Nienhaus, 23-8, 5:15.
145: Bell (BEA) maj. dec. Nolan Green, 12-1.
152: No. 10-ranked Tyler Yule (M) dec. D. Eckhardt, 9-5.
160: No. 6-ranked Jake Elzen (M) maj. dec. Cody Klinksiek, 10-1.
171: No. 7-ranked Calab Svenby (M) maj. dec. C. Eckhardt, 12-2.
189: Reid Balzer (M) maj. dec. Andrews, 10-2.
215: No. 4-ranked Willner (BEA) pinned Steve Schulz, 1:21.
285: No. 3-ranked Lee (BEA) pinned Thomas Schroht, 1:43.