ST. PAUL – All three Bemidji High School wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state wrestling tournament Friday at the Xcel Energy Center by posting first-round victories.
In the 113-pound division Brian Maas battered Brandon Moen of Owatonna 17-2.
At 126 pounds Logan Crosby blanked Grant Boldan of White Bear Lake 5-0 and teammate Kade Johnson won Friday’s opener at 170 pounds as he blistered Jackson Graham of Apple Valley 14-4.
Maas continued his success in Friday night’s quarterfinals as the sophomore posted an 8-3 decision over Austin Braun of Woodbury.
That victory advanced Maas into today’s 113-pound semifinals against Sam Bennyoff of Mound-Westonka.
Maas will take a 39-3 record into the match while Bennyhoff is 36-5.
“In the first round Brian faced the No. 6 ranked kid in the state and we anticipated a close match,” said Lumberjacks coach Rance Bahr. “But Brian dominated from the beginning. That win was a good start for him.”
Crosby won his opener but fell in Friday’s quarterfinal round, losing 8-0 to Nick O’Brien of Wayzata.
That loss dropped Crosby into the wrestleback round where he regained his winning ways with a pin of Ferhan Abdisa of Osseo in 3:59.
If Crosby was nervous in his state meet debut he didn’t show it as the senior wrestled a smart match and was rewarded with the 5-0 win over Bolduan.
“Logan controlled the match and earned the win,” Bahr said. “I think he probably had some nerves because this is the first time he ever wrestled in front of 8,000 people. But Logan did very well in his opening match.”
Crosby is in the consolation quarterfinals and will meet Dakota Wangsness of Albert Lea today.
Johnson had no trouble disposing of Graham in his state opener as he coasted to a 14-4 win.
In his second match Johnson fell 8-3 to T.J. Ohara of Tartan but he bounced back to hammer Robert Tait of Faribault 14-3 in the wrestlebacks.
In today’s consolation quarterfinals Johnson will meet Ethan Loosbrock of Chaska.
“Kade wrestled very well and now he has to keep it going,” Bahr said.
“Actually, all three of our wrestlers are wrestling well and to go into the third day with all three still alive in the tournament is a great accomplishment.
“They all have tough opponents on Saturday but I’m confident that they will be in all of the matches,” Bahr added.
The three state entrants representing Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena all lost their opening matches Friday.
At 106 pounds Andrew Nissen dropped a 14-2 decision to Austin Anderly of LeSueur-Henderson. Daven Staples fell 12-1 to Mitch Lange of Royalton in the 160-pound class and Tanner Templin was edged 3-1 in overtime by Jacob Peterson of Atwater in the 195-pound division.
Nissen remained alive in the wrestlebacks as Anderly defeated Cordell Peterson of New Richland in the quarterfinals but the other two BCLB wrestlers did not gain the wrestlebacks and saw their state meets end with 0-1 records.
Nissen met Peterson in the wrestlebacks late Friday and pasted his opponent 22-7. That victory vaulted Nissen into the consolation quarterfinals and a match today against Jared Goldsmith of Chatfield.