PREP WRESTLING: United earns state berth

GRANITE FALLS – Three is a magic number for Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley/Montevideo United, which claimed the Class 2A Team Wrestling Section 3 Tournament championship, earning all three schools their first trip to the state quarterfinals.

Dawson-Boyd and Lac qui Parle Valley have been a cooperative wrestling team for several years, but just added Montevideo to the roster at the start of the 2013-2014 season.

“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t know how wrestling with Montevideo would go but, as the year went on, everyone got to know each other and really worked together,” said United 120-pounder Jordan Bothun. “I am really excited about winning sections with them on our team.”

The last two seasons, Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley lost in the section finals, falling just one dual short of the state tournament.

“We have been knocking on the door the last couple of years,” said Bothun. “This year, we finally got past it together.”

United earned its spot in the finals after posting a 51-21 victory over Fairmont/Martin County West in the semifinal round before it defeated South Division No. 1 seed Worthington 42-19 in the championship.

At 106, United eighth-grader Peyton Mortenson took on Worthington’s Hser Eh Pwae, who entered the Friday ranked eighth in Class 2A. Eh Pwae grabbed an early lead with a takedown, but Mortenson was able to get away for a 2-1 first-period score.

Mortenson began the second period with an escape and brought Eh Pwae to his back with a takedown and three-point near fall to jump ahead 6-3. Eh Pwae rallied in the third, tying the match 6-6, before Mortenson earned an escape as time expired.

Mortenson’s victory set the tone for United.

At 113, United’s Donny Bothun faced Worthington’s Hser Moo Pwae. Bothun brought Moo Pwae to the mat in the opening minutes of the first period, but failed to secure a pin. After a second-period takedown, Donny had a five-point lead before slowing Moo Pwae’s attack the rest of the bout to earn a 5-0 decision.

“We had to win down low,” United head coach Ross Jurgenson said. “With the Hser brothers at 106 and 113, we knew we had to clip them. So, they (Mortenson and Bothun) dug down deep and got it done.”

At 120, United’s Jordan Bothun, ranked eighth in Class 2A, dominated Worthington’s Ethan Pavelko to earn a 24-9 technical fall halfway through the third period. Jordan scored all 24 of his points off of takedowns, allowing Pavelko to earn only escape points.

The Trojans’ Anthony Luft, the defending state champion at 120 and, currently, the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 126, defeated United’s Bailey Eickhoff by pin with only a second remaining in the first period.

At 132, Spencer Sulflow was on a mission to earn six points United. With a takedown early the first period, Sulflow battled to get Worthington’s Jeffery Camacho to his back but wasn’t able to beat the clock. In the second period, Sulflow picked up another takedown, but this time was able to secure Camacho on the mat, earning a fall in 3:46.

At 138, United’s Logan Knoshal built an 5-0 first-period advantage over Worthington’s King Blanchette. Knoshal coasted the rest of the way to claim a 10-3 victory.

At 145, United’s Mitch Kwilinski took on Worthington’s Cody Michelson. Both grapplers battled through the opening minutes of the bout to earn the first takedown. Kwilinski used an escape at the beginning of the second period to break the scoring stalemate, but Michelson answered with his own escape. With 10 seconds left, Kwilinski recorded a takedown to secure the victory.

“That last takedown at the end of the third period was crucial,” Kwilinski said. “I feel like I wrestled hard and did what I needed to do for my team.”

At 152, United’s Keith Abraham, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, handled Worthington’s Torey Rogers by using four takedowns and an escape to earn a 9-1 major decision.

At 160, United’s Mason Kwilinski used a similar pattern to his brother Mitch in his match when the heavier Kwilinski competed against Worthington’s Vince Riley. Mason turned a reversal into a pin of Riley in 2:57.

“I had a tough first period, but I kept in there and weathered the storm,” Mason said. “I had an opportunity for a headlock and I took it and ended up getting the pin, which was good for my team.”

At 170, United’s Wyatt Ireland met Worthington’s Class 2A No. 4-ranked Zach Kempema. Ireland battled hard to counter Kempema’s attack and was able to stay off of his back, allowing Kempema to score a 17-7 major decision.

At 182, United’s Joe Weeding, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, earned the first points against Worthington’s Blake Schroeder with an escape late in the second period. Schroeder answered with a reversal in the third, but was called for an illegal move to give Weeding the 3-2 lead. A last-minute takedown from Schroeder proved costly for Weeding, giving the Trojans’ wrestler a 4-3 decision.

At 195, United’s Markus Kranz faced Worthington’s Carson Hagen, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A. Kranz put up a fight, earning a takedown in the first period, but was taken down in the second, when Hagen earned a pin in 3:20.

At 220, United’s David Nelson wrestled Worthington’s Peter Abraham in an even battle throughout the first two periods. A takedown from Nelson late in the third sealed a 4-1 decision in the bout.

At 285, United’s Jake Lehmann, ranked No. 10 in Class 2A, took on Worthington’s Trevor Wietzema. Both wrestlers scrambled through the first period, but neither were able to score. Lehmann brought Wietzema to his back early in the second before securing a pin at 3:42.

“We wrestled really well,” Jurgenson said. “If we wrestle like we did in finals, we can hang with anybody. That is all I can ask of these guys.”

United will compete in the MSHSL Class 2A Team Wrestling State Tournament on Feb. 27 at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.

Worthington advanced to meet United after defeating Quad County 44-16 in the semifinal round. The Sting received wins from Ethan Thein, Kirby Winson, Dylan Johnson, Wyatt Hatch and Zach Fischer.

At 120, Thein defeated Paelko, 10-1. At 145, Winson snuck away with a 9-7 decision over Michelson. At 152, Johnson shut out Riley 4-0. At 160, Hatch earned a 9-7 decision. At 285, Fischer posted a 6-2 decision over Ty Veen.

Both United and Quad County will compete at the Class 2A Individual Section 3 Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Luverne High School.

CLASS 2A TEAM WRESTLING SECTION 3 TOURNAMENT

At Yellow Medicine East High School

Championship

UNITED 42, WORTHINGTON 19

106: Peyton Mortenson (U) decision Hser Eh Pwae, 7-3; 113: Donny Bothun (U) decision Hser Moo Pwae, 5-0; 120: Jordan Bothun (U) technical fall Ethan Pavelko, 24-9; 126: Anthony Luft (W) pinned Bailey Eickhoff, 1:57; 132: Spencer Suflow (U) pinned Jeff Camacho, 3:46; 138: Logan Knoshal (U) major decision King Blanchette, 10-3; 145: Mitch Kwilinski (U) decision Cody Michelson, 3-2; 152: Keith Abraham (U) decision Torey Rogers, 9-1; 160: Mason Kwilinski (U) pinned Vince Riley, 2:57; 170: Zach Kempema (W) major decision Wyatt Ireland, 17-7; 182: Blake Schroeder (W) decision Joe Weeding, 4-3; 195: Carson Hagen (W) pinned Markus Kranz, 3:10; 220: David Nelson (U) decision Peter Abraham, 4-1; 285: Jake Lehmann (U) pinned Trevor Wietzema, 3:42.

Semifinals

UNITED 51, FAIRMONT/MARTIN COUNTY WEST 21

106: Peyton Mortenson (U) pinned Christian Hugget, 2:43; 113: Donny Bothun (U) major decision Colin Steuber, 9-0; 120: Jordan Bothun (U) pinned Chris Ettesvold, 1:51; 126: Bailey Eickhoff (U) pinned Mario Maldonato, 2:37; 132: Spencer Suflow (U) pinned Christopher Krenz, 3:30; 138: Logan Knoshal (U) pinned Levi Bulfer, 3:20; 145: Elijah Gronewold pinned Mitch Kwilinski, 2:35; 152: Joe Weber (F/MCW) decision Mason Kwilinski, 8-3; 160: Keith Abraham (U) decision Tanner Lange, 5-2; 170: Joe Weeding (U) pinned Harley Luhmann, 3:31; 182: Anthony Quigley (U) pinned Nathan Gilis, 1:24; 195: Kory Brown (F/MCW) pinned Markus Kranz, 1:34; 220: Luis Figueroa (F/MCW) pinned David Nelson, 4:45; 285: Jake Lehmann (U) decision Adrian Moscoffian, 3-0.

WORTHINGTON 44, QUAD COUNTY 16

106: Hser Eh Pwae (W) pinned Jake Roiger, 1:49; 113: Hser Moo Pwae (W) major decision Jordan Odegard, 12-3; 120: Ethan Thein (QC) major decision Ethan Paelko, 10-1; 126: Anthony Luft (W) decision Colten Specht, 8-4; 132: Jeffery Camacho (W) decision Austin Friese, 12-11; 138: King Blanchette (W) pinned Cole Hatch, 2:36; 145: Kirby Winson (QC) decision Cody Michelson, 9-7; 152: Dylan Johnson (QC) decision Vince Riley, 4-0; 160: Wyatt Hatch (QC) decision Torey Rogers, 9-7; 170: Zach Kempema (W) pinned Austin Villareal, 1:42; 182: Blake Schroeder (W) major decision Hayden Johnson, 12-2; 195: Peter Abraham (W) pinned Zach Juarez, 1:04; 220: Carson Hagen (W) won by forfeit ; 285: Zach Fischer (QC) decision Ty Veen, 6-2.