Individual wrestlers represent area well at state tournament

By : 
Bill Bentson
Wheelin’ With WEB

So, it’s Thursday morning, March 7, and a blizzard warning has already been posted for Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10. Don’t you just love modern technology? Remember when we used to have to wait for the storm to actually be here and then start making preparations for cancellations and postponements? I didn’t really care for the rush, but it sure was exhilarating!

As most everyone probably knows, I write the sports for Chatfield and Fillmore Central. All of my teams, and individuals (wrestling) have completed their winter seasons. I’m in the process of finishing up season wrap-ups, and am done with Chatfield girls’ basketball, Chatfield wrestling and Fillmore Central girls’ basketball. I will wrap-up my wrap-ups (is that a double-double?) this coming week with Chatfield boys’ basketball, Fillmore Central boys’ basketball and Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton (FCLMC) wrestling. It just seems like the seasons go by faster and faster every year. Is it just me, or is everyone else feeling that too?

Last week I drove down to Pillager for the Husky boys’ basketball season finale against Crosby-Ironton. I hooked up with Devon Krueger for the radio broadcast. It’s always a treat for me to put on the headset and visit with Devon, while doing a game. For those of you back in southeast Minnesota, he is doing fine with R and J Broadcasting, and seems to like his job. His boss, Jim Birkemeyer, has a great format for his stations up in northwest Minnesota (Ada, Mahnomen and Fosston) and Devon is busy replicating that format on the stations in the Brainerd-Aitkin-Baxter area. He’s busy, but that also gives job security, right?


Congratulations to all the Reader-area wrestlers that competed at the state meet. In Class A, we had somebody in every weight class except 160 pounds, including three fourths, two fifths, two sixths and four state champions.

Here is a complete list of all our Class A wrestlers: Cohen Wister (GMLOS), Tucker Ginther (Caledonia/Houston), Cael Bartels (Chatfield, fifth place), Ross Herber (Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, fourth place), Seth Goetzinger (Chatfield), Gable Speltz (Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson), Jackson Hale (Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland, state champ), Taylor DeFrang (Dover-Eyota, fourth place), Mark Buringa (St. Charles, state champ), Kyle Cavanaugh (Caledonia/Houston, state champ), Isaac Denstad (Caledonia/Houston), Marcus Otomo (Dover-Eyota, sixth place), Payton Schott (Caledonia/Houston), Logan Wendt (St. Charles, fourth place), Michael Nelson (Dover-Eyota, state champ), Noah Herber (Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, fifth place), Nick McCabe (Caledonia/Houston, sixth place), Alec Francis (Caledonia/Houston) and Clayton Luthe (Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland).

In the AA class, we had three wrestlers, with two of the three picking up medals (sixth place or better): Carter Marx (Plainview-Elgin-Millville, fifth place), Colton Jorgenson (La Crescent-Hokah) and Logan Wingert (Plainview-Elgin-Millville, second place). Kasson-Mantorville had nine wrestlers in the individual tournament and Simley had ten. Only nine of the 28 individual wrestlers advancing to the state meet were from schools other than Simley or K-M. Great job, guys!

Boys basketball

All of the sections, all classes, have had a least one round of games. By the end of this week (March 9), most everybody will be down to four teams, and some will be down to the final two.

Final Class 1A rankings

1. Minneota 23-2

2. Springfield 23-2 

3. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 22-3 

4. BOLD 21-3

5. Cass Lake-Bena 25-1

6. North Woods 23-2 

7. Henning 24-1 

8. Ada-Borup West 24-1 

9. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 23-1

10. New Ulm Cathedral 19-6 

11. Parkers Prairie 21-4 

12. Mountain Lake/Comfrey 22-3

13. Cedar Mountain 20-6

14. Hayfield 22-4 

15. Randolph 23-2 

16. Ortonville 19-2 

17. Christ’s Household of Faith 20-5 

18. Cromwell-Wright 21-3 

19. Spring Grove 19-4 

20. Pine River-Backus 22-4

Of the top 20 teams, the only one that has been knocked out is Cedar Mountain (20-7). They were matched up against New Ulm Cathedral (20-6) and lost by nine points in the sub-section quarterfinals.

Section One has three ranked teams left, Spring Grove (No. 19, 21-4), Hayfield (No. 14, 24-4) and Randolph (No. 15, 25-2). Spring Grove and Hayfield played Saturday (March 9) and Randolph was matched up against Rushford-Peterson (18-10). I never count the Trojans out of the race, until they are beaten. Tom Vix may be gone from R-P, but R-P is still there. Current common-knowledge says the road to state in Section 1A goes through Rushford-Peterson. Everyone may not agree with me, but that’s my opinion “and I’m stickin’ to it!”

Section 2A has six ranked teams left (BOLD, New Ulm Cathedral, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, Mt. Lake Area/Comfrey and Springfield), and had seven (Cedar Mt.) ranked teams going into the post-season.

Section 3A only has Minneota ranked in the top 20, but Southwest Minnesota Christian (21-5), Edgerton and the defending state champion, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (17-7), are still alive as of this writing. Section 4A has Christ’s Household of Faith (20-5) left. Did you know that there are no traditional public schools in Section 4A? The top four seeds in 4A are CHOF (1), Avail Academy (2), Liberty Classical Academy (3) and West Lutheran (4).

Section 5A, which has only played their play-in games, has two ranked teams, Cromwell-Wright (21-3) and Pine River-Backus (22-4).

The teams of Henning (24-1), Parkers Prairie (21-4) and Ortonville (19-2) are still going in 6A.

Up in 7A, North Woods, 24-2, (which includes Cook) is the only team ranked and 8A has Cass Lake-Bena (25-1) and Ada-Borup/West (24-1) still in the running.

A lot will happen in the next two days (Thursday and Saturday) in all of the sections around the state. Hopefully the weather will co-operate and all the games scheduled will be played. It will really put a lot of pressure on the teams if they have to play an extra game next week (March 11-16).

Final ranking for Class 2A

1. Minnehaha Academy 23-2

2. Minneapolis North 18-9

3. Perham 25-1

4. Breck 20-5

5. Lake City 22-2

6. Jordan 21-3 

7. Maranatha Christian 21-5

8. St. Croix Prep 20-6 

9. Melrose 22-4 

10. Caledonia 21-5 

11. Spectrum 22-4 

12. Osakis 25-1

13. Albany 21-5

14. Holy Family Catholic 15-11 

15. Hawley 20-4 

16. St. Cloud Cathedral 19-7 

17. Cristo Rey Jesuit 19-7 

18. Crosby-Ironton 22-4 

19. St. Peter 19-6

20. Pine City 23-3

All of the AA top 20 are still alive. Section One has two teams, Section Two has two, none in Section Three, three in Section 4AA, four in 5AA, five in 6AA, one in 7AA and three in Section 8.

Esko is the top-seeded team in 7AA (SS1), but is not ranked. Crosby-Ironton is the number-two seed in 7AA (SS1) and is ranked over Esko in the poll. I really like the way 7AA sets up their section bracket. They put two, three, six and seven from SS1 in with one, four, five and eight from SS2 in the top half and one, four, five and eight from SS1 with two, three, six and seven from SS2 in the bottom half. That means if the top two teams are in SS1, or SS2, they will meet in the finals of the section, not in the finals of the sub-section.

In Class AAA, 17 of the top 20 are still left. All of the AAA schools are down to just four teams, but then they only had eight to begin with (that could be another whole article, but I won’t go there now). Red Wing is still going in Section 1AAA with just four wins.

In Class AAAA, just like in AAA, 17 of the top 20 teams are still winning. The most competitive sections are 2AAAA, all four of the teams left are ranked in the top 20; 4AAAA, 6AAAA and 8AAAA, all have three teams left that are ranked. Section 3AAAA has no ranked teams in their final four, while 1AAAA and 7AAAA have just one ranked team remaining.

The “No Respect” award goes to Rochester John Marshall. Their record is 21-6, which is, as many, or more wins, than 14 of the top 20 ranked teams. Ouch! However, they probably have the best player in the state on their team in Matthew Hurt. He should win the Mr. Basketball Award and the Bob McDonald Award. Wouldn’t it be great if John Marshall could get to the state and everyone else in the state could see him play!

Speaking of the Mr. Basketball Award. The five finalists are Isaac Fink (Springfield), Matthew Hurt (Rochester John Marshall), Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins), Tyrell Terry (DeLaSalle) and Tyler Wahl (Lakeville North). I haven’t seen anything lately on the McDonald Award, but I do know that the five Mr. Basketball finalists are in the McDonald semi-finalist list.

Girls basketball

The gals will be deciding their state tournaments this weekend. Lyle/Pacelli takes on Goodhue in Class A for Section One, Cotter and Caledonia are in AA, Northfield and Austin are in AAA and Farmington and Lakeville North are in AAAA.

I’ll be at the girls’ state tournament next week and will be posting updates from the games on my site.

Thanks to Melissa and all the sponsors. Don’t forget the Minnesota Basketball Hall of Fame Induction on March 26. I have four tickets, free, for the first callers. Hey to my lovely wife, (love your new hair-do) Carol, the Great 8 and my Fab 4 . . . you are the greatest. Have a great week, one day at a time. Hasta la vista, my friends. Later. WEB