BEMIDJI – A sign of a team on the rise is being able to win despite not performing at its best. And, according to Bemidji wrestling coach Rance Bahr, that is what the Lumberjacks did Thursday when they defeated Grand Rapids 36-27 at the BHS gym.
“We were a little flat Thursday but we did enough positive things to pull out the win,” Bahr said. “Overall I thought we looked good and any win over Grand Rapids is a good win. We haven’t beaten them in six years.”
Most of Thursday’s matches were close but the Jacks found a way to prevail most of them. Each team forfeited one weight class but in the matches that were held BHS owned a 7-5 edge.
“I don’t feel there were any major upsets,” Bahr said. “I expected many close matches and tonight we came out on the right side of most of them.”
Among those close battles were Robert Treuer’s win at 145 and Gannon Strain’s victory at 152. Treuer worked an escape in the final 30 seconds to snap a 2-2 tie and defeat Brady Hartje 3-2.
In the next bout Strain and Austin Nelson battled back and forth in the most entertaining match of the night. The combatants exchanged three reverses in the first period and at its conclusion Strain led 6-4.
After a scoreless second period Nelson took a 7-6 lead with a near fall but with 39 seconds to go Strain recorded a reverse and a few seconds later was awarded a stall point. Leading 9-7 late in the match Strain yielded an escape but the Lumberjack freshman hung on for an exciting 9-8 victory.
The wins by Treuer and Strain gave BHS an 18-12 team lead and first-period pins by Drew Peterson at 160 and Kade Johnson at 170 upped Bemidji’s cushion to 30-18.
The visitors drew within 30-27 with a forfeit win at 182, a decision at 195 and a pin at 220 but the Thunderhawks forfeited at heavyweight to seal Bemidji’s win.
In the lighter weights Brian Maas posted a 9-7 triumph at 120, Dylon Sauceda earned a 3-1 decision at 126 and Logan Crosby collected a second-period fall at 132.
Bemidji returns to duty today and Saturday at the 35-team Big Bear meet hosted by Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena in Cass Lake. Some of the Lumberjacks will be moving to a lighter weight for that event so Thursday they were wrestling out of position.
“Everyone from 113 pounds to 152 pounds will be wrestling a weight lighter (during the Big Bear) and I think some of those kids might have been a little flat for Grand Rapids,” Bahr said. “But, overall, I think we’re wrestling very well so far this season.”
Bemidji 36, Grand Rapids 27
106: Jones (GR) pin T.Maas, 1:56
113: Palik (GR) dec. O’Beirne, 10-5
120: B.Maas (Bem) dec. Brended, 9-7
126: Sauceda (Bem) dec. Schlader, 3-1
132: Crosby (Bem) pin Erickson, 3:43
138: Schauer (GR) dec. C.Maas, 4-2
145: Treuer (Bem) dec. Hartje, 3-2
152: Strain (Bem) dec. Nelson, 9-8
160: Peterson (Bem) pin Mendoza, 0:13
170: K.Johnson (Bem) pin Nelson, 1:44
182: Evans (GR) won by forfeit
195: Rusch (GR) dec. Dreyer, 4-0
220: Miller (GR) pin Brody Wilander, 4:51
Hwt: A.Johnson (Bem) won by forfeit