Clutch victories give WCA-A-B-E Knights third place in Class A MSHSL Team State Tournament
WCA-A-B-E goes 2-1 at 2022 MSHSL State Team Tournament and finishes 3rd.
ST. PAUL - Down 31-29 with two matches to go, the West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville Knights had a chance to top the Dover-Eyota Eagles and finish third in Class A in the 2022 MSHSL Team State Wrestling tournament.
Senior Colton Lindquist (ranked No. 4 at 220 in Class A by The Guillotine) and freshman Justin Blascyk (285) got the job done for the Knights and gave them the 35-31 win on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Lindquist defeated Jackson Duellman 7-4 and Blascyk defeated Addison Honsey 5-2. The Knights won the last four out of five matches against the Eagles, with a technical-fall victory by junior Anthony Sykora (ranked No. 4 in Class by The Guillotine) and a decision by Beau Robinson.
The Knights started off the dual with pins by 7th-grader Owen Gruchow (0:46) at 113 and sophomore Carter Lohse at 120 (2:16). Freshman Hunter Gruchow (ranked No. 7 in Class A at 132) also earned a pin (3:31). Sophomore Solomon Wales found his way into the win column with a 5-0 decision.
WCA-A-B-E topped its outing from the 2017 Team State Championships (the last one it qualified for). WCA-A-B-E finished fourth in that year’s championship.
Lindquist’s clutch win to give his team the lead in the third place dual was not his first clutch win on Thursday.
He picked a big overtime win to start the day, which gave WCA-A-B-E, the No. 5 seed, the win over the No. 4 seed, Kimball Area.
With his team down 33-31, Lindquist got a takedown in sudden victory to win 3-1 over Kimball’s Ace Meyer to win the dual 34-33.
Prior to that match, the Cubs had won the last three (two majors and a pin).
The Knights recorded four pins in the opening round dual with Owen Gruchow at 106, Adam Lohse at 120, Hunter Gruchow at 132 and Sykora at 170. All four of those pins came in the first period.
Wales and Swanson also recorded wins in the dual.
In the semifinals against top-seeded Jackson County Central, WCA-A-B-E trailed by just two points, 23-21. But the Huskies earned three pins in the final matches to win the dual 41-27 to advance to the finals.
Jackson County Central went on to beat Royalton-Upsala, 45-23 in the championship.
Jackson County Central’s 14-point win over WCA-A-B-E was the smallest margin of victory it had in its three duals on Thursday.
Owen Gruchow, Richter and Lindquist all had pins. Swanson, Danner and Sykora all had decision wins for the Knights.
Eight Knights are set to battle in the 2022 MSHSL State Individual Tournament, which begins on Friday at 9 a.m.
A full list of opening-round WCA-A-B-E matchups, as well as wrestlers from other area schools, can be found at this