RAPID CITY-For the second year in a row, Mitchell High School has two wrestlers in tonight's Class A state finals. There is also a Max in the finals for the second year in a row.
Kernel senior Carter Max advanced to the 220-pound finals after defeating Spearfish's Evan Hehr by decision, 9-3, in the semifinals a year after twin brother, Carson, won at 195.
Max (39-3) has been dominant throughout the tournament, but he faces Brookings' Gus Miller (42-3) for the state title. The pair have met on three previous occasions this year, with each being decided by two points or less, although Max holds a 2-1 advantage.
"We've got to get on offense and stay in position," MHS head coach Travis Carpenter said. "If we do those two things, I think we'll do all right."
Meanwhile, freshman Beau Foote (35-9) entered the tournament as the sixth seed at 285 and took down Aberdeen Central's Kaden Johnson by major decision, 8-0, to move on to the finals, where he will face Chamberlain's two-time defending state champion Nash Hutmacher.
Foote avenged three prior losses to Johnson, including a 1-0 decision last Saturday in the Region 3A semifinals. Now he meets the Hutmacher, who has not only won his last 113 matches, but all 32 of his matches this season have resulted in pins, with 31 coming in the first round.
"We want to work on position and be smart with what we're doing and give ourselves a chance," Carpenter said. "All we have to do is try to keep it close. I think he's pinned everybody this year, so hopefully (Foote) can be the only that doesn't and give him a run."
Hutmacher won't be the lone Cub in the finals, though, as Collin Powell (32-5) toppled Lennox's Riley Williams 1-0 in 126-pound semifinals and is set to face Aberdeen Central's Jacob Moore (26-5).
Chamberlain senior Max Donovan's quest to defend his state championship at 113 came up short after a 6-3 decision to Rapid City Stevens' Landen Fischer in the semifinals. Donovan (33-4) went on to beat Sioux Falls Lincoln's Alex Mentzer in the consolation semifinals to compete for third place. Gabe Skustad (30-9) will also compete for fifth place at 132.
Mitchell freshman Brock Sparks went 1-1 during the morning session and will face Harrisburg seventh-grader Logan O'Connor in the 106 fifth-place match. Max Schoenfelder wrestles Tea Area's P.J. Parmelee for seventh at 182.
Place matches begin at 5 p.m. Central time and the championship rounds begin at 7:30 p.m. Central time.