2/22/2019 10:45:00 AM North Branch wallops third seeded Como in first round
by CHUCK FITZER
Section 4AA Team Tournament North Brach 60, St. Paul Como Park 18 Seeding teams at the high school level – or at any level, for that matter – for postseason play is, to say the least, an inexact science. Case in point: The Vikings were seeded sixth in last Saturday’s Section 4AA team championship tournament, held at Mahtomedi High School. The St. Paul Como Park Cougars were seeded third. The teams met in the quarterfinals and it wasn’t even close. The Vikings crushed the much higher seeded Cougars 60-18, earning a trip to the semifinals to face the top team in Section 4AA, the Mahtomedi Zephyrs.
The Vikings won at the first five weights to take a 27-0 lead. Zach Wendel (106) opened with a 3-1 decision over his opponent and then Gage Krech (113), Ashton LaBelle (120), Brandt Bombard (126) and Josh Logan (132) all pinned their opponents. After the Vikings forfeited at 138, they won their next three matches by fall – from Austin Sonnek (145), Trevor Anderson (152) and Sam Sonnek (160) – to go up 45-6. Isaac Maki (182) pinned his opponent, Blake Olson (220) won a 4-3 decision and Brandon Swanson (285) won by forfeit to complete the Vikings’ domination of the Cougars.
Results: North Branch vs. St. Paul Como Park 106 – Zachary Wendel (NB) over Jorge Nieto (CP) Dec 3-1 113 – Gage Krech (NB) over Bleah Paw (CP) Fall 2:00 120 – Ashton LaBelle (NB) over Teet Soe (CP) Fall 1:41 126 – Brandt Bombard (NB) over Alonte Johnson (CP) Fall 5:33 132 – Josh Logan (NB) over Mu Ku Shi (CP) Fall 4:13 138 – Stone Frase (CP) won by forfeit 145 – Austin Sonnek (NB) over Laquan Burks (CP) Fall 0:30 152 – Trevor Anderson (NB) over Kaelyb Sears (CP) Fall 3:05 160 – Sam Sonnek (NB) over Somon Heck (CP) Fall 0:45 170 – Sullivan Lucy (CP) over Sean Harrington (NB) Fall 2:26 182 – Isaac Maki (NB) over Kyaw Oo (CP) Fall 1:51 195 – Thai Lee (CP) over Thomas Herrera (NB) Fall 2:38 220 – Blake Olson (NB) over Lucky Moua (CP) Dec 4-3 285 – Brandon Swanson (NB) won by forfeit
Mahtomedi 60, North Branch 10 At first glance, Mahtomedi’s 60-10 win over the Vikings in the semifinals of the Section 4AA tournament looks like just another blowout by the top-seeded team in the section. And make no mistake about it – the Zephyrs are the best team in the section and there was little doubt they would beat the Vikings to advance to the section championship match.
But some of the individual matches had implications for this weekend’s individual section championships. While Ashton LaBelle (120), Brandt Bombard (126) and Austin Sonnek (145) all lost their matches, each of those matches were close and each of them got some experience against wrestlers they will be battling for a spot in the state tournament. Josh Logan (132) topped off his excellent regular season with a 13-3 major decision over Owen Chow. And Brandon Swanson (285) finished off his incredible undefeated regular season (30-0) by pinning Elijah Heatherston after taking him down four times in the first round with a devastating assortment of moves. Swanson is currently ranked ninth in the state in Class AA. And Heatherston is no slouch, having been ranked in the top ten a month ago. Results: North Branch vs. Mahtomedi 106 – Lewis Pieper (MA) over Zachary Wendel (NB) Fall 0:00 113 – Ethan Carlson (MA) over Gage Krech (NB) Dec 8-6 120 – Hunter Wilsey (MA) over Ashton LaBelle (NB) SV-1 7-5 126 – Jake Fitzpatrick (MA) over Brandt Bombard (NB) Fall 4:00 132 – Josh Logan (NB) over Owen Chow (MA) Maj 13-3 138 – Bryce Fitzpatrick (MA) won by forfeit 145 – Ian Wilsey (MA) over Austin Sonnek (NB) Dec 9-6 152 – Reid Lawrence (MA) over Trevor Anderson (NB) Inj 0:00 160 – Nate Kujawa (MA) over Sam Sonnek (NB) Fall 0:00 170 – Collin Grandstand (MA) over Sean Harrington (NB) Fall 0:00 182 – Hunter Hall (MA) over Isaac Maki (NB) Dec 8-2 195 – Tony Kammerer (MA) won by forfeit 220 – Alec Zell (MA) won by forfeit 285 – Brandon Swanson (NB) over Elijah Heatherston (MA) Fall 0:00
Wrestling Notes The Section 4AA individual championships will be held this Friday and Saturday at South St. Paul High School. See the section tournament preview in this week’s version of the Press for an in-depth look at the state tournament prospects for several Viking wrestlers.