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Wrestling Roundup: Alexandria goes 2-1 in Eden Valley-Watkins quad, Knights pick up big win, Osakis drops close duals

Alexandria went 2-1 in duals Thursday, while WCA-A-B-E picked up a win over a top 12 team and Osakis dropped to closely-contested duals

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Alexandria senior Mason Teaser raises his hand after getting a win in a dual on Dec. 23 against Moorhead. Teaser went 3-0 in duals on Jan. 14, 2022 at Eden Valley-Watkins. Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

EDEN VALLEY – Alexandria junior Blaze Nelson (No. 8 at 138 pounds in Class AA by The Guillotine) is on a roll. With three pins Thursday, he increased his winning streak to 13 and his overall record to 18-4.

He led the Cardinals to a 2-1 record at the Eden Valley-Watkins quad Thursday.

“I’m really proud of the guys for their ‘Team First’ mentality,” Alexandria head coach Aldon Struchen said. “All the teams were pretty balanced, which required a lot of lineup jockeying. No team left the gym undefeated by the end of the event.”

Alexandria defeated Eden Valley-Watkins 45-33 after jumping out to a 36-12 lead. Alexandria had a similar start in the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) dual, as it jumped out to a 24-6 lead after six matches. Alexandria held on to beat Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, 40-27.

The story flipped in the dual against Pierz, as Pierz earned a 27-12 lead with six matches to go. Alexandria won four out of the last six matches down the stretch of the dual. But it wasn’t enough as Pierz held on to win 45-31.

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Nelson wrestled a combined total of three minutes with just one of his matches (against Eden Valley-Watkins) surpassing the one minute mark.

Sophomore Mason McGrane (ranked No. 8 at 113 in Class AA by The Guillotine) dominated as well. McGrane picked up a pin in less than 35 seconds in the Eden Valley-Watkins dual and the Pierz dual.

He also shut out Noah Johnson (KMS) in a 4-0 decision.

Alexandria junior Kelly Johnson (152 and 160) earned wins in all his matches as well, winning by decision, major decision and a fall.

Senior Mason Teaser (170) and freshman Luke Maanum (220) stood out as well.

Maanum picked up three first period pins while Teaser earned a 24 second pin against Pierz and two decisions in the other duals.

Alexandria (8-3) hosts the 50th Annual Big Ole Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Anthony Sykora’s big win helps Knights win top 12 clash against Minneota

MINNEOTA – Two top 12 Class A foes took center stage in Minneota. No. 6 West Central-Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville earned a 33-31 win over No. 12 Minneota.

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WCA-A-B-E junior Anthony Sykora (No. 3 at 170 in Class A), earned the biggest win of the night. He knocked off No. 1 Jonah Gruenes with a 5-4 decision.

The bout at 170 was one of two bouts between top 10 wrestlers Thursday. At 132, WCA-A-B-E freshman Hunter Gruchow (No. 10) defeated No. 9 Kade Lozinski by a 7-1 decision.

The Knights clinched the victory with two quick, big pins at the end of the duals.

Junior Beau Robinson earned a pin (182) in the first period against Minneota’s Branden Johnson, which put the Knights ahead 27-25 with three matches to go.

Colton Lindquist, the second-ranked wrestler in Class A, pinned Minneota’s Kyler Lozinski in 20 seconds for the Knights’ final points on the night.

Minneota’s Hudson Scholten defeated WCA-A-B-E’s Justin Blascyk in the final match of the night 5-3, but it wasn’t enough to get the team the win.

The Knights move to 12-0 on the season and head to New York Mills for a triangular (along with United North Central) Tuesday. Wrestling begins at 5 p.m.

Osakis drops two close duals at Border West

BORDER WEST – The Osakis Silverstreaks came so close to capturing its second win of the season, but it wasn’t meant to be. Osakis came within five points of beating Benson and within 12 of beating Border West.

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Benson is the only team that Osakis has beaten this year as they met on Dec. 7.

Osakis won the first four out of six matches in the Benson dual, all of which were pins or wins by major decision. But Osakis would lose the next five out of six weight classes, including forfeits at 195 and 220. Benson defeated Osakis 41-36.

Both teams had three forfeits on the night, giving their opponents a total of eight points.

West Border won the last two matches wrestled with first period pins, giving it the 42-30 win over Osakis.

Osakis’ top performers Reggie George (ranked No. 6 at 106 in Class A) and Jacob Taplin (ranked No. 4 at 120 in Class A) both had strong performances.

Both picked up a bonus point victory in the Benson dual, Taplin with a pin and George with a major decision. George finished the night with a pin over Border West’s Gunner Hennessey (5:32). Taplin capped off his night with a decision over Border West’s Cole Sykora, 12-8.

Osakis is back in action Tuesday for a triangular with Belgrade-Brooten-Elros and Eden Watkins-Valley. Wrestling begins at 7 p.m. in Belgrade.

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