Four Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestlers claim championship titles at the Tigers' own invitational tournament Saturday.
The Tigers had five wrestlers in the finals. Tim Ostby, Connor Metzger, Joel Harrison and Zach Gibson all claimed first-place honors, while Evan Nelson placed second.
The Tigers also had seven other place winners.
After corrections were made to the scoring, the Tigers found out they had finished in second place as a team with 165 points.
Kerkoven-Murdock-Sunberg took top honors with 241 points. Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus placed third with 164 points.
Evan Nelson started his trip to the finals at 120 pounds with a 16-0 technical fall over Dallin Sonenstahl of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus. Then he won by technical fall again, this time 15-0 over Ben Marx of Fosston-Bagley. In the finals he lost to Cody Peters of K-M-S 7-6.
Tim Ostby began his championship run at 145 pounds with a fall in 1:08 over Kyle McClung of Fosston-Bagley. In the semi-finals he defeated Derek Sonenstahl of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 14-2. In the finals against Jessie Engler of K-M-S, he came back from a 6-5 deficit to tie up the match and win it with a last-second take down 8-6.
At 170 pounds, Connor Metzger defeated Derek Nordick of Breckenridge by a fall in 2:17. In the semi-finals he beat Justin Mackenthun of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 10-4. In probably the most exciting finish of the invite, Metzger battled back from a 4-3 deficit in the last few seconds to reverse Nick Vig of Fosston-Bagely and put him on his back. The final score was 7-4.
Joel Harrison continued the excitement for the Tigers in the 220-pound championship. Harrison pinned Nick Kramp of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus in 1:09 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals he beat D.J. Reker of Luverne 3-0. The finals was a strategic battle against Ethan Supler of West Central Area. Neither wrestler scored in the first period and then both wrestlers gained an escape point. The match went into overtime tied 1-1. Harrison then scored a takedown in the first overtime to claim the title.
In the 285-pound weight class, Zach Gibson received a bye in the first round. In the semi-finals he pinned Kurt Kent of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus in 1:11. This led to the final match featuring Gibson and Isaac Froehlich of K-M-S. The two met in the finals of the Big Ole in Alexandria just last weekend with Gibson winning 2-0. This match was a lot more of the same. No one scored in the first period and the score was tied 1-1 at the end of the second period. Gibson then scored an escape and hung on for the 2-1 victory.
The Tigers have concluded their regular season and will now head to Lac qui Parle Valley high school for the team section tournament starting Tuesday night. The Tigers go into the tournament with a 7-3 record and received the No. 2 seed in the north half of the section. Dawson Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley is the No. 1 seed in the north half. The Tigers will receive a bye in the first round and will wrestle the winner of Montevideo and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. The winners Tuesday night will travel to Lamberton to face the south half teams to determine who will represent the section at the State Tournament.
Others placing for the Tigers:
106: Mitchell Ascheman 2-1, 3rd Place
113: Travis Ostby 2-1, 3rd Place
126: Dillan Johnson 2-1, 3rd Place
182: Wade Ehlers 1-1, 5th Place
195: Tyler Moser 0-1, 5th Place
106: Matt Munsterman 1-1, 6th Place
152: Seth Nelson 1-2, 6th Place
1. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 241
2. Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 166
3. Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta 165
4. Fosston/Bagley 146
5. Breckenridge 104
6. West Central Area/Ashby 76
7. Luverne 59.5
8. Ortonville 27