All eyes on Beach
BISMARCK -- There are a lot of teams at the Class B state wrestling tournament with more point-getters than Beach. However, only seven of those teams can say they have two wrestlers in the state finals and Beach is one of them. Senior Brad Steele...
BISMARCK -- There are a lot of teams at the Class B state wrestling tournament with more point-getters than Beach.
However, only seven of those teams can say they have two wrestlers in the state finals and Beach is one of them.
Senior Brad Steele and junior Damien Berger are no strangers when it comes to wrestling in state-title bouts.
Both hope to finally finish the job when the state finals kick off at 2 p.m. today.
"We may not have quantity, but we have quality," Beach coach Josh Heinemeyer said. "That's the benefit of those two having each in practice. It showed when it counts."
Steele, who went to the title match as a sophomore, topped LaMoure's Cody Gentzkow by 12-2 major decision and meets former state champion Ryan Heisler in the 125-pound finals.
"One more match," Steele said.
Steele lost to Hettinger's Luke Boxrud when he was a sophomore in the state-title match and has never faced Heisler.
"It's not a state final; it's just one more match," Steele said. "It's six minutes of my life. That is all it is."
Berger outlasted Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm's Sean Blumhardt, who is a former state champion and entered as the top seed at 130 pounds. Berger won by 3-2 decision.
He'll face off against LaMoure's Cole Gentzkow. Berger, who wrestled for Dickinson High last season, lost to Wahpeton's Justin Solberg in last year's Class A 119-pound title match.
Steele and Berger helped Beach to a team total of 43.5 points, which is 15th in the 32-team field.
Lisbon continues to run roughshod over opponents, putting four wrestlers in the state finals and helping the Broncos maintain their lead.
Lisbon's 120 team points are 25 better than current runner-up Oakes. Napoleon has three state finalists and is in third with 91 points while Hettinger (74) and Velva-Garrison-Max (73) round out the top five.
On the Class A side, Bismarck High has trumped the field thus far, scoring 117 team points for the second-day lead. The Demons aren't even close to done. They put an unbelievable 11 wrestlers in the Class A state finals.
West Fargo is second with 76 points while Fargo South (69), Grand Forks Red River (68) and Wahpeton (62) rounded out the top five.
Dickinson is in 16th place in the 17-team field with 29 points. The Midgets have three wrestlers remaining. Colton Schaeffer (112), Justin Brown (119) and Corbin Smith (125) can place if they win their first match today in wrestlebacks.
Beulah-Hazen put two wrestlers in the finals. Ben Maliske takes on Brady Lund at the 112-pound class after topping Napoleon's Jared Reis by 8-2 decision. Maliske's semifinal win was his first in three tries.
"It won't mean as much if I don't get the last (match)," Maliske said.
Beulah-Hazen senior Marshall Krebs also won his semifinal match, scoring an 11-8 decision over Hettinger junior Zach Morast. The Black Devils had five wrestlers in the semis, but put just one in the finals.
Hettinger 152-pound senior Eric Ormiston took V-G-M's Collin Kittelson down in the final seconds to come away with a 4-3 decision and a trip to the state finals against Linton-H-M-B's Drew Moch.
Ormiston has lost to Moch twice this season.
He placed seventh at last year's state tournament
"That shows what kind of kid he is," Hettinger coach Randy Burwick said of Ormiston's late takedown.
Burwick also said he's hoping to score more points in the consolation rounds.
"I didn't think Justin Wolff (140) wrestled his best match today," Burwick said. "I want to see what he has in the tank (today)."