3 straight pins give Midgets 4th straight win
The Dickinson High wrestling team hasn't had much luck the last couple of years against Turtle Mountain.
The tide turned in the No. 9-ranked Midgets' favor on Thursday night thanks to back-to-back-to-back pins.
Dillon Clark, Clayton Tangen and Michael Cherwinski grabbed three straight pins to help Dickinson defeat the No. 5-ranked Braves 36-31 in a West Region dual at the DHS gymnasium.
"We had to get a little mentally tougher in our middle to upper weights," Dickinson co-head coach Pete Dobitz said. "I think we saw some of that tonight. It's mental toughness in not getting pins and getting pins."
Cherwinski put an exclamation point on the dual in the 160-pound match against Turtle Mountain's Geraldo Fox. The junior was ahead 7-6 in the second period and got the pin at the 3-minute, 7-second mark.
"I didn't know going in that I needed a pin," Cherwinski said. "I was excited after I pinned him, because I knew we won the dual."
The Midgets stayed perfect in West Region with dual wins over Minot, Bismarck St. Mary's and Williston.
Clark (145) defeated the Braves' Damon Silveria in 2:27, while Tangen (152) got a pin over Tanner Bickford at 4:50. The three straight pins gave Dickinson a 12-point lead going into the final two matches.
"It's a big win," Clark said with a smile. "We haven't beaten them in a few years, but it's always been close. It feels great to come out on top."
All Dickinson's Aaron Bernal (195) had to do was make sure he didn't get pinned.
The junior dropped a 14-4 major decision against Ron Azure. Jace Dukart (182) ended the match with a 10-3 loss to Brandon Rodriquez, who is ranked No. 2 in Class A at the weight class.
"Aaron wrestled one heck of a match," Dobitz said. "He battled, but he did not get pinned and that was a deciding factor in the match."
The dual started at 195 pounds and, after three matches, the Braves led 12-3. Chris Sickler (220) scored Dickinson's lone three points with a decision.
The Midgets, however, were just getting to their bread and butter.
Dickinson eighth-grader Caden Haugen (106) got an 8-6 decision over Thayne LaRocque. Freshman Jaret Lee scored Dickinson's first pin of the dual at 2:42. Lee pinned Turtle Mountain's Chris Longie. That tied the match 12-12, but the Braves weren't done yet.
Turtle Mountain's Terry LaVallie, who is ranked No. 2 in the state at 120 pounds, made quick work of Antonio Burkey. LaVallie got the pin in 10 seconds.
Grant Laducer (126) followed up with a 13-6 decision over Austin Hutzenbiler and the Braves retook the lead, 21-12.
"My hat is off to Dickinson," Turtle Mountain head coach Derrick Dixon said. "They wrestled extremely tough."
Dickinson had its own fire power with Devin Berger (132) pinning Richard Champagne in 47 seconds.
Turtle Mountain's Eugene Fleetwood handled Matt Berg at 138 in an 8-4 decision.
The Midgets begin the two-day Dickinson Classic tournament at 1:30 p.m. today. Cherwinksi said it's safe to say everyone is riding a wave of confidence after the win.
"We are all fired up," he said with a smile. "Everyone knows we can do well. I hope it goes well."
106: Caden Haugen, D, dec. Thayne LaRocque 8-6. 113: Jaret Lee, D, pin. Chris Longie 2:42. 120: Terry LaVallie, TM, pin. Antonio Burkey :10. 126: Grant Laducer, TM, dec. Austin Hutzenbiler 13-6. 132: Devin Berger, D, pin. Richard Champagne :47. 138: Eugene Fleetwood, TM, dec. Matt Berg 8-4. 145: Dillon Clark, D, pin. Damon Silveria 2:27. 152: Clayton Tangen, D, pin. Tanner Bickford 4:50. 160: Michael Cherwinski, D, pin. Geraldo Fox 3:07. 170: Ron Azure, TM, dec. Aaron Bernal 10-3. 182: Brandon Rodriguez, TM, dec. Jace Dukart 10-3. 195: Waylon DeCoteau, TM, pin. Jacob Brooke 1:23. 220: Chris Sickler, D, dec. Jesse Rodriguez 3-2. HWT: Tyson Keplin, TM, pin. Ashton Schatz 3:37.