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Section 3AA Wrestling: WHS one win short

GRANITE FALLS — After pulling off one impressive victory, the Worthington Trojans wrestling team could not manage another one at the Section 3AA team tournament.

Worthington lost to Quad County 38-30 in December, but eased to a 38-16 victory Friday in the first round of the section tourney. In the finals, however, Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley/Montevideo United rolled to a 42-19 win, ending the Trojans’ season one win short of a state tournament berth.

"It hurts not to reach that goal, but we’re pretty proud of the kids. They came a long way in two years," WHS  head coach Mark Prunty summed it up.

Worthington posted a 13-8 record in duals this winter.

The Trojans won the first two weight classes against Quad County with Hser Eh Pwae securing a fall at 106 pounds and Hser Moo Pwae winning by major decision at 113.

Defending state champ Anthony Luft won at 126 pounds while teammates Jeffrey Comacho and King Blanchette won at 132 and 138. After losing the next three matches, the Trojans turned aside all doubt as Zach Kempema (170), Blake Schroeder (182), Peter Abraham (195) and Carson Hagen (220) went into the win column.

Worthington got off to a poorer start in the finals against United, ranked No. 9 in the latest Class AA poll. Hser Eh Pwae and Hser Moo Pwae lost their matches at 106 and 113 to opponents both who’ve won more than 20 matches this season. United won the match at 120 pounds, too, as Jordan Bothun — ranked No. 8 at 120 pounds individually — beat Worthington’s Ethan Pavelko by technical fall.

Another win by Luft at 126 pounds was followed by five consecutive United victories.

Kempema scored a 17-7 major decision over Wyatt Ireland at 170 pounds and Schroeder won 4-3 over Joe Weeding at 182. The Trojans’ Carson Hagen pinned Markus Kranz in 3:10 at 195. But United won the last two matches to close out the night.

"They’ve been ripping teams apart all year long," Prunty remarked about United.

Even so, he was pleased at the way his wrestlers performed Friday as a team, especially in the Quad County match.

"Our kids did everything they could. We had several kids reverse losses into wins. They just did everything they could to get to the finals," he said.

Worthington 38, Quad County 16

106: HE Pwae (W) pin Roiger 1:49; 113: HM Pwae (W) MD Odegard 12-3; 120: Thein (QC) MD Pavelko 10-1; 126: Luft (W) dec. Specht 8-4; 132: Comacho (W) dec. Friese 12-11; 138: Blanchette (W) pin C.Hatch 2:27; 145: Winston (QC) dec. Michelson 9-7; 152: D.Johnson (QC) dec. Riley 4-0; 160: W.Hatch (QC) dec. Rogers 9-7; 170: Kempema (W) pin Billareal 1:42; 182: Schroeder (W) MD Johnson 13-2; 195: Abraham (W) pin Juarez 1:04; 220: Hagen (W) by forfeit; HWT: Fisher (QC) dec. Veen 6-2.

United 42, Worthington 19

106: Mortenson (U) dec. HE Pwae 7-6; 113: D.Bothun (U) dec. HM Pwae 5-0; 120: J.Bothun (U) TF Pavelko 24-9; 126: Luft (W) pin Eickhoff 2:00; 132: Sulflow (U) pin Comacho 3:46; 138: Knoshal (U) dec. Blanchette 10-3; 145: Mi.Kwilinski (U) dec. Michelson 3-2; 152: Abraham (U) MD Rogers 9-1; 160: Ma.Kwilinski (U) pin Riley 1:57; 170: Kempema (W) MD Ireland 17-7; 182: Schroeder (W) dec. Weeding 4-3; 195: Hagen (W) pin Kranz 3:10; 220: Nelson (U) dec. Abraham 4-1; HWT: Lehmann (U) pin Wietzema 4:52.