February 3, 2015

Wrestlers place seven at East/West Tourney

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

The Watford City wrestling team had a busy week as the Wolves hosted Hettinger/Scranton in a dual meet on Thursday and then competed in the East/West Tournament in New Salem on Friday and Saturday.
This week, the Wolves will be hosting New Salem/Almont in their final home dual of the season on Thursday. They will then travel to Hettinger on Saturday to take part in the Region IV Dual Tournament. The Wolves will most likely receive the number two seed in the dual tournament, which sends the top two finishing teams to the state tournament.

Watford City 24, Hettinger/Scranton 54
In a matchup between the top two rated dual teams in Region IV. Hettinger/Scranton got the better of the Wolves on Thursday as the Nighthawks defeated the Wolves, 54-24.
Clay Jorgenson and Jackson Faller each picked up forfeit wins for the Wolves, while Coleton Jore and Mason Wagner each pinned their opponents.
“I wasn’t disappointed with our efforts at all tonight.” stated Mitch Greenwood, Wolves’ head coach. “We had three starters out of the lineup for various reasons and we could have bumped a few kids around to get better matchups. But we went after their best kids, and in a few of those situations we got beat. We’ll have a different strategy the next time we meet up with them.”
106: Liam Shannon pinned by Kyle Burwick, 3:52.
113: CJ Thacker decisioned by Cale Schalesky, 19-4.
120: Dakota Garmann pinned by Chauncey Hughes, 1:23.
126: Hettinger won by forfeit.
132: Logan Gumke decisioned by Alec Andress, 7-6.
138: Hettinger won by forfeit.  
145: Coleton Jore pinned Logan Lachowitzer, 2:37.
152: Clay Jorgenson won by forfeit.
160: Justin Schwartzenberger pinned by Ethan Anderson, 0:31.
170: Carlton Turnquist pinned by Issac Anderson, 2:39.
182: Mason Wagner pinned Andrew Sulzman, 1:09.
195: Hettinger won by forfeit.
220: Jake Belland pinned by Colbey Steeke, 5:19.
285: Jackson Faller won by forfeit.

East/West Tournament
It didn’t take the Wolves long to bounce back as they traveled to New Salem on Friday to take part in the East-West Tournament, a 24-team event that is widely considered the top Class B Tournament in the state, aside from the state tournament itself.
Watford City had 11 participants competing and seven of those wrestlers went on to become place winners.
Liam Shannon competed at 106 pounds and lost his first bout before bouncing back to pick up a major decision in the wrestleback round. Liam dropped his third match of the tournament which eliminated him after going 1-2 overall.
At 113 pounds, CJ Thacker had a tough draw as he matched up with the second ranked wrestler in the event and was pinned in the first period. He dropped a 10-6 decision in the wrestleback round to be eliminated from the event.
At 120 pounds, Dakota Garmann picked up a first period pin to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament. In the quarterfinals, he lost a 3-2 decision in overtime to Bishop Ryan’s Wyatt LeDoux. Ledoux went on to win the 120-pound championship in the event. Garmann picked up a pin in his next match to guarantee himself a spot in the placing rounds. In his fourth match, he was defeated, 2-1, by Napoleon’s Jacob Bitz. Garmann got his offense working in the seventh place match as he pummeled Oakes’ John Brummond to the score of 18-3.
“Dakota is kind of hitting his stride right now, and this is the right time to do it,” stated Greenwood. “He’s lost a handful of matches over this past month by one or two points to some of the very best wrestlers in the state at his weight class. If he can find a way to score one or two takedowns against these kids, he could be looking at placing at the state tournament.”
Jade Hepper, wrestling at 126 pounds, picked up two technical falls in his first two matches. In the semifinals, he matched up with Oakes’ Grayson Roney where he ground out a 2-1 win to advance to the championship. In the finals, it was a match-up of the number one and two-rated wrestlers in the state as Hepper took on Standing Rock’s Tyler Keener.
This was the fourth matchup between the two, with Hepper winning the first two and Keener winning the third.
After two scoreless periods, Hepper took a third period lead with an escape. Keener came back to score a takedown with just 15 seconds remaining, but was penalized a stalling point in the waning seconds of the match to tie it at two points apiece.
With two one-minute sudden death overtimes still producing no winner, the match went into a final “Ultimate Tie-breaker” period. Hepper started in the bottom position with 30 seconds to score and win the match. If he did not score in 30 seconds, Keener would be awarded a point and win. The two scrambled on the mat the entire period, but when the clock hit zero, Hepper was still under Keener’s control and Keener was awarded the championship.
Hepper was not the only wrestler to face a familiar opponent in this tournament, as Logan Gumke, wrestling at 132 pounds, would navigate his way through the bracket all the way to the fifth place match.
Gumke started with a first round pin, before losing to the eventual tournament champion in the quarterfinals. He then rattled off a pair of wins to reach the consolation semi-finals, where he battled Velva’s Jeseb Mogen in a rematch from last week’s Levi Wisness Classic championship match. Mogen came away victorious for the second straight week, but the match was much closer the second time around. The fifth place match-up would pit Gumke against Hettinger’s Alec Andress. The match would be the fourth meeting for these two this season, with Gumke winning the first matchup and Andress winning the second and third matches, including a last second, come-from-behind win in Thursday night’s dual.
Gumke would avenge that loss on Saturday as he controlled the match from the onset, by scoring four takedowns and a pair of escapes for a 10-8 win.
Coleton Jore started hot, winning his first match by technical fall and his second by pin, before dropping a quarterfinal matchup against South Border’s Andy Nolz. Jore bounced back pinning LaMoure’s Jacob Heyd to reach the placing rounds. He lost his next match, which sent him to the seventh place match against Beulah’s Tyler Erickson, with Jore emerging with a 4-0 win.
Clay Jorgenson made short work of his first opponent getting a pin in the first minute of the match. Jorgenson, the sixth-seeded wrestler in the event, then dropped a 5-1 decision to Rugby’s Reid Mundahl. He then battled back against familiar opponents as he defeated Beulah’s Damian Eslinger and picked up an overtime win against Hettinger’s Ethan Anderson. Jorgenson lost his consolation semifinal match to Velva’s Mason Brudevold, but bounced back in the fifth place match to beat Bishop Ryan’s Konner Beeter, 10-4.
At 182 pounds, Mason Wagner dropped his opening contest, but earned a pin in the second round in just 18 seconds. Wagner was eliminated in the third round when he was defeated by pin in the second period.
Connor Dennis moved up to 195 pounds and upset the eighth-seeded wrestler in his bracket in the first round. He then lost to the top-ranked wrestler, Oakes’ Jed Bopp, in the quarterfinals. Dennis would receive a medical forfeit in the next round and then lost his final two bouts to finish in eighth place overall.
Jake Belland went 3-2 in the tournament by winning his first match, then losing in the quarterfinals. He picked up a 59-second pin to reach the placing rounds, but the was defeated and moved into the seventh place match where he decisioned Bishop Ryan’s Nathan Lee, 5-1.
Jackson Faller, wrestling at heavyweight, lost his opening bout to Standing Rock’s Steven Harrison. In the second round, Faller was decisioned by Rugby’s Spencer Koehmstad, 5-3, to be eliminated from the tournament.
The Wolves finished in 10th place overall as a team in the East-West Tournament with seven individuals placing.
“I hope that we can keep the ball rolling and use this as positive momentum going forward,” stated Greenwood. “The postseason is right around the corner and these kids have been working so hard all year. They deserve to continue their winning ways.”