PREP WRESTLING: Gorter defeats Phibbs in key 215-pound matchup
ST. PAUL -- All eyes were on Jon Gorter and Jordan Phibbs. With the other seven mats empty, Jackson County Central's Phibbs and Pipestone Area's Gorter were the center of attention in Friday's 215-pound match during the Class A individual state w...
ST. PAUL -- All eyes were on Jon Gorter and Jordan Phibbs.
With the other seven mats empty, Jackson County Central's Phibbs and Pipestone Area's Gorter were the center of attention in Friday's 215-pound match during the Class A individual state wrestling tournament.
"There were a lot of people watching and it was a big match," Phibbs said. "We've both been working for it."
Gorter, who is ranked No. 2 at 215, and Phibbs, who is ranked No. 1, had met earlier this season, with Phibbs getting the best of Gorter.
But on Friday, Gorter avenged the loss with a 4-2 victory.
"I just kept wrestling the same game," Gorter said. "I was just in better shape. In the beginning of the season, I was gassed right away. I just kept working hard throughout the season. I lost that one, but I said I'll get him at state. I'll beat him there. I kept working hard throughout the whole season and it pays off."
Both wrestlers advanced to the second round with falls. Gorter earned his in three minutes, 44 seconds, while Phibbs needed only 1:28 in the first round.
That set up a showdown between two wrestlers who have been friends since first grade.
"He was the first kid I ever wrestled," Phibbs said. "We've been texting after matches and before matches just to see how we were doing. We're good friends."
Before -- and after -- the match, the two were friends. But during, they were competitors.
"You get out on the mat, it's you against him," Phibbs said. "After the match, you're friends and before the match, you're friends. But on the mat, it's man versus man."
The match was scoreless after the first period, but Phibbs took a 2-0 lead in the second after a point was awarded for being pushed off the mat.
"I don't know what it was for," Gorter said. "That's just how I wrestle, aggressive. They called me for it and I asked him, 'What did I do?' He said I pushed him out. I was like, 'I was in on a takedown and I just kept driving. I tried keeping my feet in even.'"
However, Gorter was awarded a point after Phibbs left the mat to blow his nose.
"I had no idea," Phibbs said. "I looked at the ref and I had snot on my nose and I thought it would be OK. I didn't ask him."
The score was tied at 2-all after regulation, sending the match into overtime.
Neither wrestler could score early, and with 12 seconds remaining, the two were back in the middle.
"I was dead," Gorter said. "I didn't know what I was going to do. I just kept going. I just thought, what have I been working all this year for? I'm not going to quit now. There are 12 more seconds, I'm just going to keep going."
And he did, scoring a takedown with no time left.
"There couldn't have been even one second on the clock, it was right there," he said.
The referees had a conference, and awarded two points to Gorter.
"It was just like last year," said Gorter, who had the same heroics a year ago. "I can't stop, there were four seconds left on the clock, I still have to shoot, so that's what I did. It's just like last year, 10 seconds left, down by two and one the bottom, I got out, took him down and you just have to believe."
Now, Gorter advances to today's semifinals against Border West's Billy Connelly.
"It gives you confidence," Gorter said. "I'm 40-1 this year and (Phibbs is) my only loss. You just have to believe, anything can happen."
Phibbs won his wrestleback 5-2 and will continue his quest toward a third-place finish.
"It was pretty much the state championship at 215," he said of his match with Gorter. "Just in the quarterfinals."
JCC's Paden Moore lost in the first round and did not get a wrestleback at 125.
Meanwhile, teammate Bronson Steuber won 3-0 in the first round and earned a fall in 3:10 in the second to advance to the semifinals at 135.
PA's Jadon Evans scored two back points as time expired in his first-round match, but fell, 8-7. He won his wrestleback with a 4-3 decision at 145.
JCC's Cooper Moore won in the first round by technical fall (17-2), but suffered an injury and defaulted his next two matches, ending his quest at back-to-back state titles.
Arrow Dylan Kor lost in the first round, 1-0, at 171 and did not get a wrestleback. Teammate Tyler Evans (189) lost by fall in the first round.
The other JCC wrestler to advance to the semifinals was Darick Vancura at 145.
He won by a 7-1 decision in the first round before a fall in 3:29 sent him into the semifinals.
"Going out there, I knew that the kid liked to do throws and stuff," Vancura said. "I just had to get my stuff going and keep it going. I started breaking him down and he just kind of gave up.
"I had a Dan Gable, we call it. He used to do that move and I had that on him. I couldn't pin him, so I let him come back over and I'm really good at the bar, so I put the bar on him and finally pinned him."
Vancura will face Mille Lacs' Ryan Jones in the semifinals with a spot in the finals on the line.
"It means a lot to me," Vancura said. "I've been putting in two practices a day and long weekends. This is what pays off."