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ABERDEEN -- After advancing all eight of its wrestlers past the first round -- getting seven pins in the process -- the Wagner wrestling team moved five of eight into the semifinals, while sitting in second place after the first day of the Class B state wrestling tournament Friday in Aberdeen. "That was a nice first round, and we've traditionally had a good first round," Wagner head coach Ernie Valentine said.
ABERDEEN -- After the first round of the Class B state wrestling tournament, the defending champion Wagner Red Raiders are in first place by one point over Redfield. Wagner had all eight of its qualifiers advance to the quarterfinals, and while doing so, the team racked up 28 points. Getting pins for Wagner was Alex Kocer (119), Derek Dickerson (125), Mitch Breen (135), Robert Kokesh (160), Steven Holzbauer (171) and Mavrick Hill (215). The only Red Raider not to pin his opponent was Dackery Gieman at 130 pounds, who won 9-6. Bon Homme is sitting in third place with 22 team points.
Mitchell's 171-pound Jordan Reiner is perfect. At least his record is. Every time Reiner has stepped on the mat this season, his hand has been raised following the completion of the match. A perfect 27-0. Reiner leads the Kernels into the Class A state wrestling tournament today at the Civic Arena in Watertown. The junior, who took third place last season at 145 pounds, has been ranked No. 1 for the entire season at his weight class and is shooting for a state title. "I think it's extremely important to him to get to that championship match," Kernels' head coach Travis Carpenter said.
Anchoring the Tigers all season, Dan Noonan, Bradyn Neises and Francis Ruml lead the Howard wrestling team into the Class B state tournament that starts today in Aberdeen at the Barnett Center on the Northern State University campus. The Tigers are sending a total of 10 wrestlers to the state tournament, which, along with Burke/Gregory, is the third-most of any team represented at the tournament.
Wrestling is the most individual team sport there ever was and ever will be. When a kid steps on the mat during a team dual, he knows his match can easily sway the entire outcome of the team score by avoiding a pin or working for the major instead of a decision. So why is the state wrestling team title won by the most successful individuals at the state tournament?
AVON -- Avon's Matt Dykstra stepped on the basketball court for the first time this season last Friday and made his presence known. The towering 6-foot-7 center, who signed to play with Dakota Wesleyan's basketball team next year, was sidelined for most of the season after a shoulder injury in the Pirates' 9A state football championship game. He returned to action Friday night off the bench against Freeman, scoring 31 points and hauling in 10 rebounds, both team highs. "I didn't really know what to expect," said Dykstra, who has played varsity basketball since the eighth grade.
MILLER -- Wagner's 215-pound Mavrick Hill walked on the mat as the last Red Raider wrestler Saturday in Miller at the 3B Regional tournament. He was in the title match, and with his team neck-and-neck with Burke/Gregory, he knew he had to get a win. During the second period of Hill's match, Burke/Gergory's Brock Sinclair pinned Jacob Andersen of Lyman. Sinclair also was the last wrestler for B/G, which was down only 5½ points after the 171-pound weight class. Hill, the only senior on Wagner's roster and ranked No.
Good luck to any 160-pound wrestler in Region 3B today whose name is isn't Robert Kokesh, Josh Schieffer or Zane Nightingale. The top three 160-pound wrestlers in Class B will all be in attendance in Miller today at the Region 3B tournament, and only the top four place-winners get to the state finals. Providing there isn't a major upset during the day, after those three, that leaves only one place available to get to Aberdeen. Kokesh, the No. 1-ranked, undefeated wrestler from Wagner, is easily the favorite to win the district and state titles.
On a night set aside for seniors, Mitchell senior Brett Young dropped 29 points on Yankton. He finished 5-of-5 from behind the arc, 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and jump started the Kernel offense with 18 points before the half. Young and Mitchell snapped Yankton's three-game win streak Friday night at the Corn Palace, 62-51, and wrapped up a first-round home district playoff game in the process. "Brett's a good shooter," Kernels head coach Gary Munsen said.
Mitchell wrestler Justin Greenway set a goal for himself this season, and he's sticking to it. Despite missing almost the entire season with a cast on his broken leg, the 135-pound freshman said still hopes to place in the state tournament next weekend now that he's returned to the mat healthy. First, he has to get through Saturday's regional tournament. On Dec. 6, the Kernels were at the Watertown tournament, and in an overtime match against Aberdeen Central's Lance Habeck, Greenway broke his leg near the edge of the mat, handing him his only loss to date this season.