Update: Quarterfinals and Wrestlebacks
After day one of the Minnesota State Wrestling Individual tournament, on Friday, Mar. 3, one wolf and one tiger remain.
Kyle Boeke beat up on his quarterfinal opponent to move to the final four in the 106-pound weight class. Meanwhile, Neil Hanson was stopped in a nail-biting quarter, but can still place after winning in wrestlebacks.
Boeke (33-4) backed up a strong first round with an equally impressive, 7-2, quarterfinal victory. His opponent, Jerry Simes (23-13) of Litchfield, grabbed a single leg early and lifted it high in the air, but Boeke got out with a quick kick and hip swivel. He then got a single leg, himself, and finished it off as a double to take a 2-0 lead after the first period. Like the first round, he followed it up with a Granby roll into a double-leg takedown, giving him a 4-0 advantage at the beginning of the second period.
Simes soon escaped, but surrendered a point for face slapping to continue Boeke’s four-point lead starting the third. He would improve it to a five-point lead after capitalizing on a desperation throw attempt to nullify an escape.
Neil Hanson (33-3) gave Travis Capelle (24-7) of Stewartville two crucial penalty points during a 4-3 loss. After a scoreless opening period, Capelle escaped in the second to take a 1-0 advantage into the third. Hanson then got a Granby switch to tilt the lead, but was called for fleeing the mat when he pushed an escaping Capelle out of bounds to try and save a point. With the score now at 2-2 and 55 seconds left, Hanson allowed an escape to try and get the decisive takedown.
He had a chance to convert, lifting his opponent above to shoulder height on a double-leg. He moved out of bounds, though, and dropped Capelle after the whistle for another penalty point. With just 25 seconds remaining, Capelle yielded a stall, but kept Hanson from a comeback. It was a tough loss for the senior captain.
“No ones got as much heart as Neil. He wanted it more than anybody.” Milaca coach Mitch Vedders said. “He wrestles that guy again he wins, but he left it all out on the mat.”
Hanson rebounded with a 6-2 win in wrestlebacks against Nate Schutz (30-15) of Totino-Grace.
Gage Thomas-Ferry lost his wrestleback, 6-1, against Cade Mueller (32-7) of Waconia.
Jon Hall, Tim Bialka, Jesse McClay and Colton Hellman did not get a chance to wrestle back.
Hanson will wrestle in the consolation quarterfinals at 9:00 am, Saturday. After consolation quarters are complete, Boeke will follow in the championship semifinal against Matthew Petersen (37-0) of Byron.
First Round Report
After one round of the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament, two local wrestlers still have a chance to be state champion.
Kyle Boeke and Neil Hanson advanced with decisive wins in the first round, while Jon Hall, Tim Bialka, Colton Hellman, Gage Thomas-Ferry and Jesse McClay wait to find out if they can wrestleback after losses.
Boeke (32-4) kicked off the action at 106 against Bryce Golden (27-14) from Bemidji. The eighth-grader proved too fast for Golden, slashing for ankle-pick in the opening ten seconds and a Granby roll to start the second period for a 4-0 lead. Boeke consistently shot in deep and picked up takedowns for an 11-3 win.
Neil Hanon (32-2) had a scoreless first period with his opening-round opponent, Chizaram Azonwu (32-8) of St. Paul Johnson. He quickly sent his opponent to his back in the second, though, for a 5-0 lead. Then he went to work on top with three tilts to finish off his opponent, 13-0.
Tim Bialka (35-4) suffered a rough loss. He was beating Istvan Tifan (23-2) of St. Paul Highland Park, 4-1 after the first period. Then, he was caught in a fireman’s carry and taken to his back to flip the lead, 5-4. After escape, Bialka took back the lead with a takedown to end the second, 7-5. To begin the final period, Bialka had locked hands while riding and Tifan earned an escape to tie up the match, 7-7, with 1:30 left.
40 seconds later, Tifan caught Bialka in another fireman’s carry, Bialka escaped quickly and got in deep on a shot, but failed to finish, so Tifan ended with another takedown against the tired senior, 11-8.
At 126, Jon Hall (25-11) suffered a heartbreaker, too. The three-time state qualifier was up 5-1 heading into the third period, but got pinned in the third. He was looking for his third takedown against Ezra Kaping (37-6) of Litchfield, but was Whizzered and rolled to his back for the loss.
At 138, Jesse McClay (29-12) led for most of the way in his first career state match, but Dylan Fudge (30-3) of Perham earned a takedown late in the second period to take a 2-1 lead into the final period. Fudge recorded another takedown and had McClay on his back at the edge of the circle, but an illegal hold gave McClay new life. Trailing 7-2 with about 20 seconds remaining, McClay created separation with a sit-out and had his opponent on his back with a headlock when the buzzer sounded for a 7-4 loss.
Gage Thomas-Ferry (17-15) faced the two-seed at Class AA 160, Sakai Kelly (37-5) of Henry Sibley-Mendota Heights. Thomas-Ferry battled hard, but gave up seven takedowns in a 15-6 defeat against a bit faster and stronger opponent.
Colton Hellman (34-5) finished off the session at heavyweight, getting pinned by Jared Welch (14-3) of Wabasco-Red Rock Central. Welch earned a reversal on a switch to start the second for a 4-0 lead and bowled over the junior with a half-nelson soon after.
The quarterfinals begin at 4:00 p.m. Hanson wrestles Travis Capelle (23-7) of Stewartville and Boeke wrestles Jerry Simes (23-13) of Litchfield. If their first round opponent wins in the quarterfinals, the other five wrestlers will move on to wrestlebacks at 7 p.m. If not, they are eliminated.