Jackson Esping, right, of Minneota scores a takedown against BBE's Bryce Feuerhake on his way to a 3-2 decision at 285 pounds on Saturday.

Vikings fall to top-seeded BBE in 3A

Individual Section 3A tourney Saturday at Minnewaska Area High School

Minneota's dream of upsetting top-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the semifinals of Section 3A tournament was dashed as the Vikings fell 46-23 Saturday in Benson.
"I think going in we knew the flip was really going to matter to get the match-ups we wanted," said Minneota coach Matt Myrvik. "BBE has a very solid team and there is a reason they have been rated No. 1 in Class A all year long. Unfortunately, we did not win the flip, but I do feel we still had an opportunity to win a few matches to give us a chance in the end."
BBE then topped No. 2 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the championship to advance to the state tournament 45-17 at Xcel Energy Center. ACGC had advanced to the final with a 49-21 victory over No. 3 Minnewaska Area.
Minneota took a 6-0 lead over the Jaguars when Adam DeVlaeminck pinned Louie Tensen in 2:47 in the 106-pound match.
After BBE tied the match 6-6 with a pin at 113, Peyton Gillund gave Minneota the lead back with a 16-1 win by technical fall at 120 pounds.
BBE then won the next four matches to build a 24-11 lead it would not relinquish.
Eli Gruenes stopped the BBE string with a 1-0 win over Tanner Viessman at 152 pounds, but the Vikings would get just two more wins, a pin by Jonah Gruenes at 195 pounds and a 3-2 decision by Jackson Esping at 285.
"I thought our guys competed well and we had to make some moved with some of our younger wrestlers, and they handled it well," said Myrvik. "Asking a wrestler to go out in his first varsity match and wrestle the number one ranked wrestler at that weight is not always easy to do as a coach, but our kids never questioned it."
The Vikings battled injuries and other issues throughout the season, rarely able to put its top lineup on the mat.
"I am extremely proud how our wrestlers have handled all the adversity throughout the year," Myrvik said. "With all the injuries coming off a great football season, they have worked hard to get back in the lineup and give us our best lineup and chance to compete. Some of our wrestlers are maybe not back to full strength, but they are giving it everything they have for their team."
The Section 3A individual tournament will be held Saturday, Feb. 26 at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.

BBE 46, Minneota 23
106 - Adam DeVlaeminck, Min, pin Louie Tensen 2:47
113 - Brett DeRoo, BBE, pin Quinton Anderson :25
120 - Peyton Gillund, Min, techfall Ethan Mueller 16-1
126 - Ryan Jensen, BBE, pin Chase Johnson :51
132 - Wyatt Engen, BBE, dec Troy Van Keulen 10-3
138 - Walker Bents, BBE, pin Kade Lozinski 4:53
145 - Tyler Jensen, BBE, dec Zack Fier 3-2
152 - Eli Gruenes, Min, dec Tanner Viessman 1-0
160 - Blaine Fischer, BBE, pin Kyson Arndt 1:26
170 - Maximus Hanson, BBE, majdec Branden Johnson 14-0
182 - Carson Gilbert, BBE, pin Alex DePestel 1:58
195 - Jonah Gruenes, Min, pin Talen Kampsen 3:07
220 - Ethan Spanier, BBE, pin Hudson Scholten 5:42
285 - Jackson Esping, Min, dec Bryce Feuerhake 3-2

Section 5A
Quarterfinals at Belgrade
(Thursday, Feb. 17)
Jonah Gruenes recorded the 150th win of his career as Minneota routed Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 51-15 in the section quarterfinals.
Gruenes was one of five Vikings to win by a pin. Gruenes, moving up two weight classes to 195 pounds, pinned Masyn Olson in 1:53.
Trailing 6-0 after the first match, the Vikings quickly took control with a major decision by Adam DeVlaeminck at 113 pounds and a pin by Peyton Gillund at 120 for a 10-6 lead they would not relinquish.
Nolan Van Keulen followed with another pin at 126 pounds for a 16-6 lead. Chase Johnson then won a 12-9 decision at 132 and Kade Lozinski earned a 14-1 major decision at 138 for a 23-6.
KMS then won a decision at 145 to cut the Minneota lead to 23-9.
A 12-4 major decision by Zack Fier at 152 pounds and a third-period pin by Eli Gruenes at 160 boosted the Vikings' lead to 33-9.
A pin by KMS 170-pounder Coy Gunderson was the final win by the Fighting Saints as Minneota won the final four matches; a 1-0 win by Alex DePestel at 182, Jonah Gruenes' pin at 195, a pin by Hudson Scholten at 220 and a 5-1 win by Jackson Esping at 295.

Minneota 51, KMS 15
106 - Trey Gunderson, KMS, pin Quinton Anderson :37
113 - Adam DeVlaeminck, Min, majdec Cole Froehlich
120 - Peyton Gillund, Min, pin Noah Johnson :55
126 - Nolan VanKeulen, Min, pin Wyatt Rudningen :21
132 - Chase Johnson, Min, dec Taytan Nielsen 12-9
138 - Kade Lozinski, Min, majdec Logan Johnson 14-1
145 - Jett Olson, KMS, dec Brock Fier 8-2
152 - Zack Fier, Min, majdec Luke Froehlich 12-4
160 - Eli Gruenes, Min, pin Ely Johnson 7:00
170 - Coy Gunderson, KMS, pin Noah Gorecki :55
182 - Alex DePestel, Min, dec Owen Kidrowski 1-0
195 - Jonah Gruenes, Min, pin Masyn Olson 1:53
220 - Hudson Scholten, Min, pin Collin Johnson :57
285 - Jackson Esping, Min, dec Jason Jones 5-1

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