Wrestling Wolves fall to Nighthawks
By Neal A. Shipman
It was a battle of the unbeatens in Region IV wrestling last Thursday as the Nighthawks of Hettinger/Scranton took on the Watford City Wolves this past Thursday night.
The Wolves spotted the Nighthawks 30 points in forfeits, which made it very unlikely that the dual score would be close. However, in the eight contested weight classes, each team came away with four wins.
Logan Gumke and Coleton Jore each picked up pins in the dual for the Wolves. Gumke moved up from 126 pounds to 132 to take on Devin Faller. His pin came right at the buzzer of the second period.
Jore, who has competed primarily at 145 pounds most of the season, moved all the way up to 160 pounds for the dual to take on Logan Lachowitzer. After a few flurries of action in the first period, Jore settled down and took control in the second period to secure a pin.
Also notching wins for the Wolves in the dual was Jade Hepper, who moved up a weight class to 126 pounds, and Clay Jorgenson at 138 pounds.
Jorgenson’s win came over Trevor Abrahamson, an opponent who had defeated him twice previously this season. Abrahamson placed seventh at the Class B State Tournament last season.
“Clay finally pulled the trigger in this match,” stated Mitch Greenwood, Wolves’ head coach. “We’ve been telling him all year that if he wants to win against good competition, he has to go on the attack more and initiate the action, instead of waiting for the other guy to do something and then trying to react.”
The loss to Hettinger/Scranton leaves Watford City with an even 4-4 record on the season. However, it was the first Region IV loss for the Wolves who sport a 3-1 record against regional opponents.
Hettinger 54, Watford City 18
106: - Liam Shannon pinned by Kyle Burwick, 1:10.
113: Double forfeit.
120: Dakota Garmann pinned by Cale Schalesky, 3:59.
126: Jade Hepper, decisioned Alec Andress, 15-9.
132: Logan Gumke pinned Devin Faller, 4:00.
138: Clay Jorgenson decisioned Trevor Abrahamson, 7-3.
145: Watford City forfeit.
152: Watford City forfeit.
160: Coleton Jore pinned Logan Lachowitzer, 3:23.
170: Watford City forfeit.
182: Watford City forfeit.
195: Watford City forfeit.
220: Watford City forfeit.
285: Jake Belland pinned by Brandon Ehlers, 3:21.
The Wolves also competed in the annual East/West Tournament in New Salem this past weekend. The East/West Tournament features 24 of the 32 teams in North Dakota’s Class B ranks, including all seven Region IV teams, all nine Region III teams, three teams from Region II and five of the Region I squads. The field included the top-ranked team from all four regions and four of the top five-ranked teams in the state.
The Wolves finished in 14th place as they were paced by three individual place winners.
Jade Hepper led the way with a fourth place finish in the tournament at 120 pounds. It was the second consecutive season that he finished fourth. Hepper was the second-seeded wrestler entering the tournament. However, he was defeated in the semifinals by Minot Ryan’s Aaron Sandy. Hepper bounced back to win his consolation semifinal match against Hillsboro’s Mark Hastings, but then lost the rubber match against Bowman County’s Matt Carlson in the third/fourth place contest. It was the third meeting between these two this season and they had each won once before the match on Saturday.
Clay Jorgenson, the seventh-seeded wrestler at 138 pounds and Coleton Jore, the eighth seed at 152 pounds each wrestled exactly to their pretournament rankings.
Jorgenson kicked off his tournament with a pin over Colin Kraft from Rugby, before losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual tournament champion, Jonathan Grunefelder of Napoleon. In the wrestleback rounds Jorgenson notched a 6-0 win over Killdeer’s David Arthur. It was Jorgenson’s third win over Arthur this season, but the previous two were both 1-0 matches. LaMoure’s Wesley Wendel got the best of Jorgenson in his next match, knocking him into the seventh place match against Lisbon’s Derek Rotenberger. A strong performance from the top position helped propel Jorgenson to a 7-2 win.
Jore took a very similar route to the seventh place match. He won a competitive first round match over Killdeer’s Dane Larsen, but then ran into eventual champion Billy Holtan of Carrington in the quarterfinals. Holtan proved too good on his feet as he picked up a number of takedowns on his way to a technical fall. In the wrestlebacks, Jore squared off with Beulah/Hazen’s Tristan Miller. After an action-packed first period, Jore was able to take control from the top position in the second period and picked up a pin. Minot Ryan’s Corbin Manley knocked Jore into the seventh place match after a very tight match. Then Rugby’s Bennie Mygland bested Jore 6-3 to claim seventh place.
Liam Shannon, Dakota Garmann, and Jake Belland each contributed to the team score as well, as all three won matches for the Wolves, but came up just one win shy of reaching the placing rounds.
Carrington ran away with the team title with six finalists, four champions, and all 14 of their wrestlers placing in the tournament.
The Wolves will travel to Killdeer on Thursday, Jan. 30, for their final Region IV Dual competition of the season. A win for the Wolves against Killdeer will mean that they finish in second place in the Region IV standings. The top two teams from each region qualify for the Class B State Dual Tournament in Bismarck.
The Wolves will also travel to Minot Ryan on Friday in their final regular season event of the season for a dual against the top-ranked team in Region III.