FAIRMONT - Joe Weber recorded a fall during 152-pound wrestling action Thursday night to inch the Fairmont/Martin County West Red Bulls within striking distance of the Blue Earth Area Bucs at Cardinal Gym.
David Franta, Carter Hanson and Gus Phillips, however, countered with a technical fall and back-to-back pins, respectively, to trigger the Bucs' eventual 49-23 South Central Conference dual-meet victory in Fairmont.
"We (coaching staff) told our guys that they (the Red Bulls) have a relatively young lineup that has talent, so we'd better be focused tonight," Blue Earth Area mentor Randy Wirtjes said. "We knew there'd be some good matches all the way through the dual."
TURNING POINT — Blue Earth Area wrestler Alec Huber (top) attempts to turn Fairmont/Martin County West opponent Elijah Gronewold during 126-pound South Central Conference action on Thursday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Huber went on to edge Gronewold, 4-3. Photo by Leanna Becker
After 106-pounder Zach Buseman recorded the first of the Bucs' six falls to lead off the SCC dual meet, the Red Bulls grabbed an early 11-6 lead behind back-to-back wins by seventh-grade phenom Collin Steuber and senior standout Trevor Schultz.
Steuber assembled a textbook 19-2 technical fall decision at 113 to reduce FHS/MCW's deficit to 6-5 before Schultz needed only 2:23 to earn the slap of the canvas during 120-pound action. Schultz holds the No. 1 spot in the Class AA 106-pound rankings.
Blue Earth Area then created separation on the scoreboard via the ensuing four matches. Alec Huber edged Elijah Gronewold, 4-3, at 126 before Buc teammates Jordan Stelter and Mike Ankeny delivered falls in 3:05 and 1:34 at 132 and 138, respectively, to reverse a 21-11 lead in the visitors' favor.
Jesse Alleven then added a clinic-like 15-0 technical fall at 145 to widen the Bucs' lead to 26-11 before the No. 10-ranked Weber regained six points for the Red Bulls by recording a fall in 5 minutes flat at 152.
Ahead 26-17, Franta and his pair of highly-ranked teammates combined to generate 17 points during the 160- through 182-pound matches to put the team decision out of reach at 43-17 with only three matches remaining.
Franta amassed a dozen takedowns, while allowing 10 escapes in utilizing the trade 2-for-1 strategy en route to a 25-10 technical fall victory at 160.
Hanson, who's ranked No. 7 at 160 pounds in Class A, needed only 25 seconds to record a fall at 170 before Phillips - who holds the No. 8 spot at 170 - pressed his opponent's shoulders to the canvas in 20 seconds at 182.
FHS/MCW's Kory Brown posted an 8-1 decision at 195 before Blue Earth Area's third and final ranked grappler - Kysten Zierke - stepped to the mat. Zierke, who's ranked No. 7 at 195, earned a fall in 5:17 at 220 to generate the Bucs' final team points.
Red Bull heavyweight Colton Hines, who holds the No. 3 spot in the Class AA rankings, then outdueled Martin Granados in a hard-fought 285-pound clash, 11-5.
Fairmont/Martin County West (3-2, 0-1 SCC) plays host to St. James on Jan. 17 at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.
Blue Earth Area (5-3, 1-0) travels to New Richland tonight for a nonconference dual meet against New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.
BEA 49, FHS/MCW 23
106: Zach Buseman (BEA) pinned Chris Ettesvold, 5:19. 113: Collin Steuber (FHS/MCW) tech. fall Wyatt Tungland, 19-2. 120: Trevor Schultz (FHS/MCW) pinned Camden Bowers, 2:23. 126: Alec Huber (BEA) dec. Elijah Gronewold, 4-3. 132: Jordan Stelter (BEA) pinned Levi Bulfer, 3:05. 138: Mike Ankeny (BEA) pinned Harley Luhmann, 1:34. 145: Jesse Alleven (BEA) tech. fall Tanner Lange, 15-0. 152: Joe Weber (FHS/MCW) pinned Luke Schavey, 5:00. 160: David Franta (BEA) tech. fall Brock Burmeister, 25-10. 170: Carter Hanson (BEA) pinned Phillip Bowie, 0:25. 182: Gus Phillips (BEA) pinned Nathan Gillis, 0:20. 195: Kory Brown (FHS/MCW) dec. Chris Ramos, 8-1. 220: Kysten Zierke (BEA) pinned Luis Figueroa, 5:17. 285: Colton Hines (FHS/MCW) dec. Martin Granados, 11-5.
BEA 29, FHS/MCW 12
93: Joe Schavey (BEA) major dec. Nick Segar, 12-1. 113: Cole Klinkner (BEA) pinned Cody Fischer, 1:03. 98: Rylee McGuire (BEA) dec. Tanner Klug, 8-2. 132: Trevor Oppedal (BEA) major dec. Dayton Nielson, 16-8. 138: Kollin Kelly (FHS/MCW) pinned Chris Leland, 2:21. 113: Remington Kuehl (FHS/MCW) pinned Dylan Herfendal, 0:47. 220: Micah Twedt (BEA) pinned Tyler Allen, 3:33. 106: Dalton Nagel (BEA) dec. Aaron Burmeister, 12-10. 93: Jonah Legred (BEA) dec. Nick Segar, 6-2.
Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther 48, River Valley 24 - Bryon Forstner, who holds the No. 10 spot at 132 pounds in Class A, wrestled up a class and defeated River Valley's Gerritt Meidl via a 15-0 technical fall to help lead the Madelia/Truman/ Martin Luther Jayhawks to a 48-24 nonconference dual-meet victory on Thursday night in Madelia.
Forstner got help from teammate Cole Pietsch, who took an 11-2 major decision victory over Conner Bertram in the 113-pound match.
Jake Kortuem pinned Triston Johnson at 170, while Jake Denn won a 9-7 decision in the 182-pound match for the Jayhawks.
Jeramiah Colon, Jon Whitney, Brandon Eager, Jesus Lopez and Jeremy Blakesly each received forfeits in the 120-, 145-, 152-, 160- and 220-pound matches.
Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther wrestles in the Maple River Invitational at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Mapleton.
River Valley 24
106: Devin Johnson (RV) pinned Grant Koehler, 0:43.
113: Cole Pietsch (MTML) major dec. Conner Bertram, 11-2.
120: Jeramiah Colon (MTML) won by forfeit.
126: Sam Baier (RV) pinned Jerson Castro, 0:59.
132: Double forfeit.
138: Bryon Forstner (MTML) tech. fall Gerritt Meidl, 15-0.
145: Jon Whitney (MTML) won by forfeit.
152: Brandon Eager (MTML) won by forfeit.
160: Jesus Lopez (MTML) won by forfeit.
170: Jake Kortuem (MTML) pinned Triston Johnson, 1:32.
182: Jake Denn (MTML) dec. Tim Krueger, 9-7.
195: Issai Ramirez (RV) won by forfeit.
220: Jeremy Blakesly (MTML) won by forfeit.
285: Lance Briard (RV) won by forfeit.