BLUE EARTH - The Blue Earth Area Bucs wrestling team trailed by 11 points with two matches remaining in nonconference dual-meet action against the United South Central Rebels on Tuesday night in Blue Earth.
With the No. 2 seed in the Section 2A team tournament on the line, the Bucs' Kysten Zierke and Martin Granados needed a pair of pins to earn the team victory.
It took Zierke just 1:42 to twist the Rebels' Issac Hernandez to the mat for a fall during 220-pound action.
TURNING?POINT — Blue Earth Area wrestler Carter Hanson (top) attempts to turn United South Central opponent Seth Olson during 160-pound nonconference action Monday night in Blue Earth. Hanson went on to post a technical fall over Olson in 4:49. Photo by Leanna Becker
That left all the pressure on the shoulders of Granados, with his team trailing 33-28.
Granados took 45 seconds to clinch the win for the Bucs, pinning William Borkenhagen to give the home team a 34-33 victory.
"We thought it was going to be a close match and that was exactly what it was," said Blue Earth Area head coach Randy Wirtjes. "Getting that No. 2 seed is huge. Home-mat advantage is always helpful, and our fans will be there to cheer for us."
The Bucs jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead when Zach Buseman earned a 2-0 decision over the Rebels' Keenan Biddle at 106.
"I thought that our young guys did a good job in the lower weights for us," said Wirtjes. "Buseman had a big win for us, and other guys did a good job of staying off their backs and keeping the score close."
After the opening match was scoreless through the first six minutes, Buseman went for the takedown on the neutral start in sudden-death overtime, and was whistled for the win after scoring the two points.
The Rebels then went on a scoring run, claiming the next five matches to take a 24-3 lead.
Class A, No. 3-ranked 106-pounder Dominic Alger earned a 5-2 decision over the Bucs' Camden Bowers at 113 before USC's Adam Knutson claimed a 6-3 win over Matt Goodrich in the 120-pound match.
Jacob Gonsalez continued the Rebels' winning ways by pinning Jordan Stelter at 4:27 in the 126-pound match.
Class A, No. 4-ranked 132-pounder Dylan Herman and Class A, No. 5-ranked 138-pounder Derek Herman combined for back-to-back falls at 132 and 138, respectively, extending the Rebel lead to 24-3.
Dylan Herman pinned Mike Ankeny in 3:35 at 132, before Derek Herman put Jesse Alleven's shoulders to the mat in 52 seconds in the 138-pound match.
Blue Earth Area's Luke Schavey was able to stop the Rebels' winning roll, shutting out USC's Matt Harpestad in a 10-0 decision at 145.
David Franta followed with a pin of the Rebels' Corey Ehlert in 45 seconds at 152 to reduce the Bucs' deficit to 24-13.
Class A, No. 5-ranked 160-pounder Carter Hanson got the Bucs back within striking distance, claiming a 16-1 technical fall victory at 4:49 in the 160-pound match.
Gus Phillips earned 12 back-points through three periods as he nearly pinned USC's Travis Brown five separate times. Brown was able to hold off Phillips' pinning efforts, but the Blue Earth Area junior was able to take the 16-2 major decision victory at 170, making it 24-22 with four matches left.
Class A, No. 6-ranked 182-pound Colten Carlson won by forfeit for USC at 182, giving the Rebels an eight-point advantage with three matches remaining.
"We had to forfeit the 182-pound match. We knew that was our only chance at winning, and we were pretty confident we could get those pins," said Wirtjes.
The Rebels' Logan Sonnek was able to extend that lead even further for USC, defeating Chris Ramos in an 8-3 decision at 195.
"We talked a lot about bonus points - we didn't want to give them up and we were able to get some in our matches," said Wirtjes. "It was a close match and we thought every point would matter."
Blue Earth Area (22-4, 5-0 South Central) travels to New Ulm for the conference meet on Saturday.
Blue Earth Area 34,
United South Central 33
106: Zach Buseman (BEA) dec. Keenan Biddle, 2-0 in OT. 113: Dominic Alger (USC) dec. Camden Bowers, 5-2. 120: Adam Knutson (USC) dec. Matt Goodrich, 6-3. 126: Jacob Gonsalez (USC) pinned Jordan Stelter, 4:27. 132: Dylan Herman (USC) pinned Mike Ankeny, 3:35. 138: Derek Herman (USC) pinned Jesse Alleven, 0:52. 145: Luke Schavey (BEA) maj. dec. Matt Harpestad, 10-0. 152: David Franta (BEA) pinned Corey Ehlert, 0:45. 160: Carter Hanson (BEA) tech. fall Seth Olson, 16-1, 4:49. 170: Gus Phillips (BEA) maj. dec. Travis Brown, 16-2. 182: Colten Carlson (USC) won by forfeit. 195: Logan Sonnek (USC) dec. Chris Ramos, 8-3. 220: Kysten Zierke (BEA) pinned Issac Hernandez, 1:42. 285: Martin Granados (BEA) pinned William Borkenhagen, 0:45.