The Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestling team traveled to Barrett for the Grant County Invitational Tournament Saturday, Dec. 10.
The Tigers were fresh off a big win against Benson and knew that the competition was going to be a bit stiffer than their first tournament in Belgrade. They left with one champion, Tim Ostby at 152 pounds, nine other place winners, and a third-place team trophy.
The goal was to compete and compete they did. Despite a slightly slow start the Tigers cranked it up in the following rounds to put six wrestlers in the semi-finals. Only one made it to the championship, but everyone kept wrestling. In the end, the Tigers had three third-place finishers, two fourth-place finishers, two fifth-place finishers, and three sixth-place finishers.
Tim Ostby started his championship run with a :48 pin over Darius Erlandson of Ottertail Central. In the quarter finals he pinned Coby Ellingson of Border West in 1:00. In the semi-finals he defeated Matthew Sheffler of Browerville-Eagle Valley by pin in only :12 catching him in a throw off the opening whistle. Ostby then dominated in the championship match defeating Matt Laughan of Fergus Falls 8-4 with four solid take downs. Ostby remains undefeated for the season.
The 285 weight class was another exciting one for the Tigers. After a couple of opening round wins, Zach Gibson, ranked No. 5 in the State, met No. 4 ranked Brandon Schmidt of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley. This would be a rematch of last year's section championship won by Schmidt. The winner got a chance to meet the No. 1 ranked, Class A defending Champion, Alex Yeager of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River. After going scoreless in the first period, Schmidt got an escape to go up 1-0 in the second. Gibson then got an escape to tie it up 1-1 and it appeared the match would go into overtime. Gibson then tried a throw toward the end of the third period that failed and Schmidt won. Schmidt was then defeated by Yeager in the Championship match. Gibson went on to claim third place. Gibson will probably meet Schmidt again Tuesday when the Tigers travel to D-B/LQPV.
The biggest surprise of the day came as the point totals were being announced. Tiger coaches, wrestlers and fans were so focused on the matches, they didn't realize that their success was vaulting them in the point totals. When the final numbers were read, the Tigers were ahead of all the teams but two, including some very good local teams in a field of 12. The Tigers finished third with 133 points. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River finished first with 212.5 and the Tigers next duel team opponent, D-B/LQPV finished second with 195.0.
Grant County Tournament - Point Totals
1. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 212.5
2. Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley 195.0
3. Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta 133.0
4. Border West 127.0
5. New York Mills 122.5
6. Fergus Falls 114.5
7. Browerville/Eagle Valley 102.5
8. Ottertail Central 92.0
9. Mille Lacs 91.0
10. Alexandria 76.0
11. West Central Area/Ashby 55.0
12. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 53.5
Other Tigers placing in the tournament:
106: Mitchell Ascheman placed 6th
132: Dillan Johnson placed 4th
138: Myles Smith placed 6th
145: Seth Nelson placed 4th
160: Jordan Thooft placed 6th
170: Connor Metzger placed 5th
182: Wade Ehlers placed 5th
220: Joel Harrison placed 3rd
285: Zach Gibson placed 3rd
Others wrestling for the Tigers:
113: Travis Ostby went 0-2
120: Max Feuchtenberger went 0-2
195: Alec Gausman went 0-2