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Bucs pick up two wins at triangular

By Staff | Dec 15, 2019

Carson Sturtz lifts his opponent and takes him to the mat for a takedown in wrestling action during the Maher Tournament held in Blue Earth on Dec. 7. Blue Earth Area finished second in the tournament and then took part in a triangular meet against Lake Mills, Iowa and Maple River on Dec. 10. The Bucs defeated Maple River 42-27 and finished their evening by downing Lake Mills 31-30 in a meet decided by criteria. BEA traveled to Wells on Thursday, Dec. 12, to take on the United South Central Rebels.

Lake Mills Triangular

The Blue Earth Area wrestling team traveled to Lake Mills, Iowa, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, for a triangular meet with Maple River and the host Bulldogs.

It turned out to be a good night for the Buccaneers who came home with two wins.

“Each of these opponents are well coached,” BEA head coach Randy Wirtjes said. “We knew we would need to wrestle well against both teams to win.”

The format of the meets was different than what Minnesota wrestling fans are used to. The meets did not start with the lightest weights but instead started with a match somewhere in the middle of the weight brackets.

BEA 42, Maple River 27

The first competition of the evening pitted the Bucs against the Maple River Eagles.

Davis Sunken was the first BEA wrestler on the mat. He scored a 7-2 decision over Trevor Pearson at 126 pounds to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead.

Jacob Beeler made it 6-0 for BEA when he earned a 5-4 victory over Boden Simon at 132 pounds.

The Eagles got on the board when Ethan Evenson scored a 3-1 decision over Caleb Beeler at 138 pounds.

Jaxen Klinkner of the Bucs recorded the first pin of the night in the 145-pound weight bracket. The senior only needed 16 seconds to put the Eagles’ Noah Ziegler’s shoulders to the mat. The win by Klinkner gave BEA a 12-3 lead.

The Eagles used the next two matches to tie the score.

Brothers Cooper and Caden Ochsendorf both recorded wins at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively.

Cooper Ochsendorf won 8-4 over Nick Nelson and Caden Ochsendorf pinned Cole Warmka at the 2:52 mark.

Maple River took a 15-12 lead when Brady Walters won a 6-5 decision over Kean Hicks at 170 pounds.

Nathan Trio of the Eagles was able to pin the Bucs’ Kade Gaydon at the 45 second mark in the 182-pound match. The win increased the Maple River lead to 21-12 over BEA.

A win by Nick Frank closed the gap to 21-18. The BEA junior pinned Cobey Sandte in 51 seconds in the 195-pound match to get the victory.

Luke Mertens of the Bucs pinned Eston Battles in 3:25 in the 220-pound weight bracket to put BEA back on top 24-21.

The Bucs did not maintain the lead for very long. Thayne Decker of the Eagles was able to pin the Bucs’ Nick Lawrence in the first period of the 285-pound match. The win by Decker gave Maple River a 27-24 lead with three matches remaining.

At 106 pounds, Caleb Langager of BEA recorded a fall over Braxton Simon in 2:42 to enable the Bucs to retake the lead, 30-27.

Carson Sturtz guaranteed a Bucs’ victory when he pinned the Eagles’ Kylyn Morrison in 1:21 at 113 pounds. The win put the Maroon and Gold on top 36-27 with one match remaining.

The Bucs’ Ty Peterson needed only 13 seconds to pin Amarus Harris in the 120-pound match. The fall by Peterson made the score 42-27 in favor of the Bucs.

BEA 31, Lake Mills 30

The score was tied 30-30 when the wrestling was done but the Bucs won on criteria to go home with a 31-30 win.

“When the last match was done and the score was tied, coach Pfaffinger told me he thought we had won,” head coach Randy Wirtjes said. “Then, when I walked over to the scorer’s table, I thought Lake Mills had won. But when they announced the score, we found out we had won.”

Lake Mills began the evening as the ninth rated team in Iowa’s Class 1A. They also have five individual wrestlers rated in the top 10 in the state in their respective weight category.

“They are a good squad; they have wrestled as a team in the Iowa State Tournament the last four years,” Wirtjes stated.

Lake Mills got on the board first when Dalton Thorson recorded an 8-4 decision over Jacob Beeler at 138 pounds.

A 4-0 win by BEA’s Caleb Beeler over Brett Peterson in the 145-pound weight class tied the score at 3-3.

The 152-pound match featured a battle between two ranked wrestlers. Jaxen Klinkner is rated sixth in Class A in Minnesota and Casey Hanson is rated eighth in Class 1A in Iowa.

Klinkner scored a takedown and a reversal to gain a 4-3 victory and give the Bucs a 6-3 lead.

The Bulldogs took a 9-6 lead when Ashten Love defeated BEA’s Nick Nelson with a first period pin at the 1:01 mark of the 160-pound match.

Brady Hanson helped Lake Mills extend their lead to 12-6 with a 6-2 decision over Kean Hicks.

Elijah Wagner, the fifth- ranked wrestler at 170 pounds in Iowa Class 1A, recorded a 38 second pin over Kade Gaydon. The Bulldogs now led 18-6.

Nick Frank of BEA received a forfeit at 195 pounds to make the score 18-12 in favor of Lake Mills.

Drake Harnish, ranked number seven in Iowa, downed Luke Mertens 4-2 in the 220-pound match to extend the Bulldog’s lead to 21-12.

Nick Lawrence scored three more points for the Bucs with his 4-2 decision over Brayden Lindeman at 285 pounds. Lake Mills’ lead was reduced to 21-15.

The wrestling now moved to the lower weights and Caleb Langager brought the Bucs within three points of the Bulldogs with a 7-3 decision over Kinser Hanson at 106 pounds.

“Caleb was trailing early on but came back to win,” Wirtjes said. “It was a big win for us.”

Carson Sturtz put the Bucs in front with a first period pin over Lucas Humphrey in the 113-pound match. BEA now led 24-21.

In the 120-pound match, the Bucs’ Ty Peterson was leading but Jack Ramaker turned him to gain a 6-4 victory.

“Ty never gave up, he fought hard and did not give up the pin,” Wirtjes said. “That was so important.”

The score was now 24-24 with two matches to go.

It was another battle of ranked wrestlers at 126 pounds. Davis Sunken is ranked eighth in Minnesota and Jimmy Gallardo is ranked ninth in Iowa.

Sunken gained the victory by pinning Gallardo at the 3:16 mark. BEA now led 30-24.

The Bulldogs tied the score at 30-30 when no. 5-ranked Tyler Helgeson pinned BEA’s Angel Martinez in 40 seconds.

Once the criteria was sorted out the Bucs were awarded one point giving them the 31-30 victory.

“It was an exciting dual,” Wirtjes remarked. “The crowd was really into it and gave us a lot of support.”