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Fight to the finish: Mandan wins final match of dual to break tie, defeat Dickinson

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Mandan senior Jered Keller, right, makes a move on Dickinson freshman Dillon Clark during their dual-deciding 132-pound match on Thursday night at the Dickinson High School gymnasium. Keller won by a 9-4 decision to lift Mandan to a 36-33 West Region win.

The Mandan wrestling team knows what it's like to lose close duals. On Thursday, the Braves made sure it didn't happen again.

Despite giving up 12 points in forfeits and falling behind 21-3 because of them, the Braves battled back to edge Dickinson High 36-33 in a West Region dual at the DHS gymnasium.

"We've lost too many of the close matches up to this point," Mandan head coach Ben Beckler said. "Tonight we pulled a couple of them out, so that helped get the win for us."

Tied at 33 going into the final match, Mandan senior Jered Keller held off a dynamic effort by Dickinson freshman Dillon Clark with a 9-4 decision that gave the Braves the win.

"It's just a tough loss," Dickinson head coach Bruce Heppner said. "The boys wrestled tough. It's too bad."

Dickinson had just three wins outside the three Mandan forfeits, but it scored a pair of third-period pins to bump up its score.

Jade Dirk, having just secured at least a technical fall over Mikael Fetch on his fourth takedown at 170 pounds, scored the pin with 49 seconds remaining.

At 220 pounds, sophomore Chris Sickler gave the Midgets a much-needed boost. Trailing 7-2, he reversed Mandan junior Trex Opp and got the pin in 5:05.

"I had to wrestle hard," Sickler said. "I knew I had to pin my kid. I had to stick him and be done with it."

That gave the Midgets a 27-15 advantage, but the elation gained from Sickler's pin was washed away when Mandan freshman Trevor Peterson pinned eighth-grader Ashton Schatz at 5:33.

The Braves controlled the lower weights, winning four of the next five matches. Dickinson's lone victory was a forfeit at 120 pounds.

Mandan sophomore Curt Zachmeier, the No. 2-ranked 113-pounder, pinned Austin Hutzenbiler in 2:48.

Keenan Ternes, a senior ranked No. 1 at 126, blanked eighth-grader Bryton Brien with a 5-0 decision to tie the dual.

"It was a pretty wild night," said Dickinson senior captain Alec Lindsey, who opened the dual with an 11-4 decision over Adam Stein at 138 pounds. "Everybody really tried as hard as they can. We just didn't come out on top this time.

"It was some really minor mistakes some of us were making that were getting us in bad positions and giving the other team points. Basically just not following the basic stuff, getting in bad position and giving the other team free pins and points."

The Midgets don't have to wait long to try and get back on their feet, however. They host Jamestown at 6:30 p.m. today.

"It should be a good one," Sickler said. "I'm hoping to beat them and come out strong right away."

106: Brandon Zachmeier, M, dec. Jaret Lee, 8-2. 113: Curt Zachmeier, M, pinned Austin Hutzenbiler, 2:48. 120: Devin Berger, D, forfeit. 126: Keenan Ternes, M, dec. Bryton Brien, 5-0. 132: Jered Keller, M, dec. Dillon Clark, 9-4. 138: Alec Lindsey, D, dec. Adam Stein, 11-4. 145: Clayton Tangen, D, forfeit. 152: Michael Cherwinski, D, forfeit. 160: Konnor Peterson, M, dec. Jace Dukart, 4-1. 170: Jade Dirk, D, pinned Mikael Fetch, 5:11. 182: Alex Spillman, M, pinned Thomas McCarty, 2:56. 195: Benaiah Simburger, M, forfeit. 220: Chris Sickler, D, pinned Trex Opp, 5:05. HWT: Trevor Peterson, M, pinned Ashton Schatz, 5:33.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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