Wrestling roundup: D-B/LQPV/Montevideo United stand tall

Feb. 17—NEW LONDON — The biggest drama from the Section 3AA team wrestling championship came after the final match.

The sideline for Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley/Montevideo was in hysterics after Brady Rhode pinned Marshall's Andrew Cowden in 24 seconds. That clinched a 28-27 United win.

But amid the celebration, the referees convened after the Tigers' coaches argued that United had a wrestler with his singlet straps down on the mat. That would result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, tying the match. It would also give Marshall the victory by the first tiebreaker criteria.

"That would have been heartbreaking because I was the guy that made that happen (with the down straps)," said United senior Zach DeBeer. "That would have been horrible."

"I was down in like a catcher's stance and I was just praying," said senior Brady Rhode. "I don't have the words for it."

As the referees finished their deliberation, United wrestling coach Hank Ireland let out a loud "Yes" and ran over to celebrate with his bench.

The final result held: United 28, Marshall 27. United is back-to-back 3AA champion.

"It got a little dicey there," Ireland said after all the calamity. "But it was a heck of a comeback.

"Those kids work hard every day in practice and today shows their resilience."

United competes in the Class AAA team championship tournament on Thursday, Feb. 29 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Other teams in the Class AA field are: Kasson-Mantorville, Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran, Simley, Totino-Grace, Becker, Little Falls and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

United qualified for the finals with a 60-11 win over Luverne while Marshall made it following a 48-15 win against New Ulm.

Down 27-16 with three matches to go, there was no margin of error for United. But the team knows it has the skill at the tail end of the lineup to make up the 11-point deficit.

"I told Parker and I told Zach we couldn't lose one more match," Rhode said. "I told them if they gave me a chance, I was going to make it happen. If they gave me a chance, we're going again."

Parker Bothun avoided a near-fall in the third period to get an 11-7 decision over Marshall's Aidan Mattison at 189.

Next up was Zach DeBeer at 215 against Gavin Schaefer. Schaefer had a 32-7 record coming into Saturday's final four while DeBeer was at 28-9.

"I had to wrestle smart and not do any dumb moves or anything," DeBeer said of his strategy against Schaefer. "Staying in position, hand-fighting very well and taking the opportunity to score when I had the chance to score."

Down 1-0 after two periods, DeBeer took over in the third. Working from the down position, he tied the match with an escape, then got a takedown and two-point near-fall for the 5-1 decision. That cut United's deficit to 27-22.

"I knew if I did my job, Rhode had that in the bag," DeBeer said. "He was going to take that match and win it for us."

Before the start of the 285 match, the chants of "Rhode, Rhode" increased in volume as the senior heavyweight stepped up against Cowden.

Rhode, the second-ranked heavyweight in Class AA, got a quick takedown and pinned Cowden in 24 seconds. The comeback was complete.

The final result would take a little bit longer than anticipated. But United once again staked its claim as the section's top team.

"Huge wins by the big guys," Ireland said. "They knew what they had to do."

Said DeBeer, "It feels great; I'll sleep well at night, for sure."

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa flipped the script on Canby.

The Lancers won the regular-season dual against the Jaguars 38-29. In that match, Canby jumped out to a 27-0 lead after five matches. That result helped the Lancers secure the section's top seed while BBE dropped to second.

With the Section 5A championship on the line in Minneota, the Jaguars jumped on the Lancers right away. Noah Jensen won a decision at 107 pounds and Noah Welte won by first-period fall at 114 to make it a 9-0 BBE lead.

"We've been telling Noah Jensen since that night that you're going to flip that one; we know you can get that kid," BBE head coach Jordan Fester said. "They made a change at 114 and we pinned them this time. You could really feel the energy flip our way."

Then from 139 on, the Jaguars dominated on the way to winning their fourth straight section championship.

"We had kind of the same conversation we had last year," Fester said. "Canby beat us earlier this year and we used it as motivation."

The Jaguars won six of the final eight matches against the Lancers. Ryan Jensen (139), Ethan Mueller (160), Maximus Hanson (172) and Carson Gilbert (215) all won by fall.

BBE competes in the Class A state team championship tournament on Thursday, Feb. 29 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Class A field includes: Chatfield, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, Jackson County Central, LeSueur-Henderson, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie, Staples-Motley and United North Central.

Second-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa advanced to the Section 5A team championship by beating sixth-seeded Paynesville at Minneota.

Noah Welte (114 pounds), Tanner Viessman (152), Brett DeRoo (160), Ethan Mueller (172) and Maximus Hanson (189) all scored falls for the Jaguars. Ryan Jensen came up with a tech fall at 139.

Mason McNab (127) and Braydon Kierstead-Hahn (133) scored back-to-back falls for Paynesville that put the Bulldogs up 15-9 through five matches. Peyton Hemmesch added a fall in overtime at 215.

Fifth-seeded Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City lost to top-seeded Canby in the Section 5A team semifinals at Minneota.

The Falcons got bonus points in all five of their wins. Nolan Bierwerth (107 pounds), Luke Garvick (127) and Isaiah Renne (215) were all winners by fall. Jevon Williams had a tech fall at 172 and Edwyn Gonzalez won a major decision at 145.

Holding a 31-27 lead going into 285, the Lancers' Gavin Noyes locked up the victory with a 3-1 decision.