ST. PAUL -- The Bemidji High School wrestling team met its match at the Class 3A state tournament on Thursday.
The unseeded Lumberjacks lost 38-31 to No. 2 seed St. Michael-Albertville in the opening round, then 40-27 to unseeded Waconia in the consolation semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“We had two close, competitive duals,” BHS head coach Rance Bahr said. “We’re at the state tournament. Everyone here is pretty tough, and things didn’t quite work out like we would have liked them to today. … But no lack of effort by the kids, certainly. They put forth a good effort and just came out on the wrong end of both those duals.”
The Knights assumed a 23-0 lead to start the tournament before Joe Hudson got Bemidji on the board with a 13-7 decision at 132 pounds. Dane Jorgensen (145 pounds) and Thade Osborn (152) added pins soon after for a 27-15 deficit, but STMA closed out the win with a decision and two major decisions over the next three matches.
Justin Nelson (pin at 195 pounds), Caleb Bahr (9-1 MD at 220) and Chase Smith (pin at 285) added wins to the Jacks’ tally in the final three bouts.
“We lost a close match at 170 that went the other way, and we lost some bonus points early in the match,” coach Bahr said. “That probably caused that dual to not go the way we wanted it to.”
Against the Wildcats in the consolation semis, a slow start again plagued BHS. Waconia jumped ahead 17-0 through four matches, but Bemidji climbed back within two points off an ensuing pin from Hudson, a 2-0 decision from Seth Newby and a pin from Jorgensen.
The Lumberjacks took their first lead at 21-20 off Darren Roth’s pin at 160, which grew to 27-25 with a Clay Olsen pin at 182. However, the Wildcats answered back with a decision win and two pins to close out the match.
“We wrestled really well, and it’s disappointing that our season ends on that note,” coach Bahr said. “But it certainly wasn’t by any lack of effort or performance. We wrestled very, very well, we just ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.”
BHS doesn’t have much time to sulk, though. Six individuals -- Newby (138 pounds), Osborn (145), Colton Hinrichs (160), Roth (152), Olsen (182) and Smith (285) -- will return to the Xcel Energy Center Friday, Feb. 28, for the individual state tournament. Action begins at 9 a.m.
“Right now, everyone’s getting some rest and recuperating from already a long weekend,” coach Bahr said. “We’re back at it right away tomorrow morning. We’re hoping to turn some things around in the individual portion of it and get some kids through there.”
St. Michael-Albertville 38, Bemidji 31
106: Landon Robideau (STMA) over Brody Castonguay, Fall
113: Caleb Thoennes (STMA) over Coy Olsen, TF 23-7
120: Jed Wester (STMA) over JD Kondos, Fall 0:57
126: Isaiah Mlsna (STMA) over Seth Sisneros, Fall 0:52
132: Joe Hudson (BHS) over Travis Smith, Dec 13-7
138: Cole Becker (STMA) over Seth Newby, MD 9-1
145: Dane Jorgensen (BHS) over Jimmy Heil, Fall 2:47
152: Thade Osborn (BHS) over Jon Mlsna, Fall 5:54
160: Carl Leuer (STMA) over Darren Roth, MD 13-5
170: Hayden LeMonds (STMA) over Colton Hinrichs, Dec 8-7
182: Wyatt Lidberg (STMA) over Clay Olsen, MD 11-3
195: Justin Nelson (BHS) over Owen Vike, Fall 1:08
220: Caleb Bahr (BHS) over Fletcher Nesbit, MD 9-1
285: Chase Smith (BHS) over Toby Dehn, Fall 4:22
Waconia 40, Bemidji 27
106: Alex Torres (WAC) over Hunter Heim, Dec 5-1
113: Andrew Torres (WAC) over Coy Olsen, Dec 7-2
120: Riese White (WAC) over JD Kondos, TF 16-0
126: Bradee Dwinell (WAC) over Seth Sisneros, Fall 1:07
132: Joe Hudson (BHS) over Josh Wagener, Fall 1:50
138: Seth Newby (BHS) over Alex Riley, Dec 2-0
145: Dane Jorgensen (BHS) over Gavin Willis, Fall 0:28
152: Gage Mueller (WAC) over Thade Osborn, Dec 7-4
160: Darren Roth (BHS) over Ryan Dvorak, Fall 4:31
170: Max McEnelly (WAC) over Colton Hinrichs, TF 21-6
182: Clay Olsen (BHS) over Kyle Tenor, Fall 3:16
195: Bram Fitzsimonds (WAC) over Justin Nelson, Dec 7-3
220: Sam McEnelly (WAC) over Caleb Bahr, Fall 4:56
285: Bennett Weber (WAC) over Thomas Paquette, Fall 1:12