Lemnus comes through in Hi-Liners' win over Fargo South
The Valley City High School wrestling team isn't exactly known for its lower weight wrestlers.
Once you get to 138-pound class, you get into the state contenders, but the 106 to 132 pounders tend to be more inexperienced.
"We're really young down there," Valley City coach Brandon Larson said. "We've got some junior high kids going out there."
But in Tuesday's 40-33 dual win over Fargo South at the Hi-Liner Activity Center, it was a younger wrestler who came through.
Freshman 126-pounder Jackson Lemnus picked up a first round pin in his match with Logan Rhode that helped start to turn the score in Valley City's favor and ultimately played a part in a close match.
Larson called the match the "big key" in the win and said Lemnus dropped 14 pounds to make the weight class.
"He got his weight down to 126 pounds, went out there and got a pin," Larson said. "To me, that was the dual."
The Hi-Liners fell behind early after losses by middle schoolers Jakob Ashline, Cole McGough and Cody Peterson at the 106, 113 and 120 pound weight classes put the Hi-Liners down 15-0 early.
Lemnus' pin and a forfeit win for Mark Miller put the Hi-Liners back it it at 15-12.
The next two matches the Hi-Liners lost narrowly.
At 138-pounds, 8th grader Jordan Magnuson 5-2 in triple overtime to Michael Bell. The two were scoreless until the 3rd period, which each of them had two-point reversals.
The two went scoreless in the first two overtime periods until Bell scored three in the final period to win it.
"He's an 8th grader. He's used to wrestling junior high periods which are one (minute), one and a half, one and a half," Larson said. "He went eight minutes. It was a great match for him and his development."
Reed Beckman narrowly lost at 145. He trailed 10-4 early in the 3rd period, but had five points in the final minute and a half to narrow it 10-9 at the end.
Shane Undem, wrestling two classes up, got a pin at 152, Zach Doty won by major decision at 160, and Stephen Radermacher got a pin at 170.
Noah Kaber won by forfeit at 195, which ended up being the clinching points in the dual to put Valley City up 34-27.
The match finished with a 12 second pin win by Brandon Larson at 220 pounds to go up 40-27.
Heavyweight Steven Horner lost the final match of the night, being pinned by Josh Schlicht, the only returning state placer at the weight class.
The match lasted only 70 seconds, but the two wrestlers went back and forth and were tied 4-4 when Schlicht got the pin.
Larson was pleased with the match despite the outcome.
"Horner was this close to pinning the number one seed (in the state tournament)," Larson said. "He's just got to put that guy away."
Larson was pleased with the win and said it payed off to have a wrestler in each weight class.
"We didn't wrestle particularly well, but when you're wrestling a full squad and can put a guy out there at every weight you can afford to miss a match here and there and still come away with the win," he said.