December 15, 2010 at 8:36 p.m.

North Branch upends Chisago Lakes in county battle

North Branch upends Chisago Lakes in county battle
North Branch upends Chisago Lakes in county battle

In what turned out exciting and pivotal match of the North Branch-Chisago Lakes wrestling match, the Vikings' Justin Bergerson beat the Wildcats' Dylan Hoyt 5-4 at 215 pounds to give the Vikings an insurmountable 32-20 lead. The Wildcats' Joe Virga pinned the Vikings' Austin Niederkorn at 285 pounds to make the final score North Branch 32, Chisago Lakes 26. The match took place last Thursday, December 9 at Chisago Lakes High School.

The Vikings won three close but critical matches to help put them over the top - the 125 pound match between the Viking Jake Pilz and Wildcat Quade Zupko, the controver4sial 152 pound match that went into overtime between Viking Dalton Horak and Wildcat Eric Brown and the 215 pound match between Bergerson and Hoyt. And things got a little heated during a controversial forfeit at 152.

Wildcat Kyle Schoenecker opened the evening by dominating the Vikings' Arik Steele at 103 pounds. A takedown and a near fall in the first period gave Schoenecker a 4-0 lead, and he increased it to 7-0 with another near fall midway through the second period. Steele managed a reversal with ten seconds left in the second period to cut Schoenecker's lead to 7-2. Schoenecker scored on a reversal early in the third period. Steele scored on an escape and a takedown, but ran out of time. Schoenecker won 9-5 and the Wildcats had a 3-0 lead. The Wildcats did not field a wrestler at 112, so Aaron Senne won by forfeit and the Vikings led 6-3.

At 119, Viking Reid Johnson completely dominated his opponent, Wildcat Sean Hoyt. Johnson scored on several takedowns and near falls, letting Hoyt escape several times in order to build up the score or get a better shot at a pin. Johnson ended up winning 16-4, and the major decision increased the Viking lead to 10-3.

In the 125 pound match, Viking Jake Pilz threw Wildcat Quade Zupko five times in the first two periods, but couldn't turn any of the throws into a takedown. Pilz, starting on the bottom in the third period, scored the first point of the match on an escape with 1:45 left. He finally completed a takedown just 15 seconds later and led 3-0. Zupko escaped with 15 seconds left to cut the lead to 3-1. Zupko nearly managed a takedown in the last few seconds, but ran out of time. Pilz had a 3-1 win that increased the team score to North Branch 13, Chisago Lakes 3.

Wildcat Cody Fugleberg dominated the 130 pound match over Viking Mike Vogel. Fugleberg scored on three takedowns in the first period, letting Fugleberg up twice so he could take him down again. Fugleberg continued to dominate the match, winning a 15-3 major decision and cutting the North Branch lead to 13-7.

Viking Jake Kostik had to work hard to beat a tough Joe Virga at 135 pounds. Kostik scored on a first period takedown to go up 2-0. He scored on a reversal midway through the second period to give himself some breathing room. A takedown with 45 seconds left in the match sealed his 6-1 win and put the Vikings up 16-7.

Wildcat Bobby Sontag and Viking Jimmy Juntunen battled hard for the first period at 140. Sontag took down Juntunen with 10 seconds left in the period to go up 2-0. A takedown midway through the second period gave Sontag a 4-1 lead, and each wrestler had a reversal to make it 6-3 at the end of two. Sontag dominated the third period, winning 11-4 and cutting the Viking lead to 16-10.

At 145, Viking Patrick Mork scored on a takedown in the first period and a reversal in the second period to go up 4-0 over Wildcat Tyler Heckel. In the third period, Mork established a pattern of takedowns and allowed escapes, doing it four times and building a big lead. His final takedown of Heckel near the end of the third period gave him a 12-4 major decision. The Vikings now led 20-10.

At 152, Wildcat Eric Brown was supposed to wrestle Viking Dalton Horak. But the Wildcats pointed out that Horak was not listed on the certification sheet, so the Wildcats won the match by forfeit. Horak's certification work had been completed, but it was later discovered that someone at North Branch High School had neglected to submit it to the MSHSL, making Horak ineligible to wrestle at that point. The forfeit cut the Viking lead to 20-16.

More controversy came at 160. Wildcat Ben Hinderman scored a takedown in the first period to go up 2-0 over Viking Zack Sundly. Sundly was given a warning for stalling during the period. Sundly started on the bottom in the second period, and got an escape and takedown with 1:46 remaining to go up 3-2. Neither wrestler could budge the other in the second and third periods, and it looked like Sundly was going to get a 3-2 win. But Sundly was given a second warning with seven seconds left in the match. The referee appeared have forgotten about the first warning, so when the match ended seven seconds later, it looked like Sundly had won 3-2. But Wildcat coach Shawn Frederixon pointed out to the officials that it had been Sundly's second warning. So he was penalized a point for the second warning, and the match was tied 3-3 and going to overtime. 40 seconds into overtime, it looked like Hinderman had a takedown. But Sundly painfully kept his arm up in the air to deny Hinderman the win. Sundly reversed Hinderman's hold and got a quick takedown of his own to win the match 5-3. The Viking lead increased to 23-16.

At 171, Viking Andy Freel pinned Wildcat David Barwin at 1:03 of the first period to put the Vikings ahead 29-16.

Viking Stuart Frink got the first takedown in the 189-pound match with Wildcat Travis Kammerer. Three reversals later, the score was tied 4-4 at the end of the first period. But that was all the scoring for Frink. Kammerer dominated the rest of the match, scoring on near falls and takedowns. It looked like he would pin a tiring Frink in the third period, but Frink held on to avoid the pin. Kammerer won 13-4, and the major decision cut the Viking lead to 29-20.

The 215 pound match ended up being the pivotal match of the night. There wasn't a lot of action in the first two periods between Viking Justin Bergerson and Wildcat Dylan Hoyt. Bergerson managed an escape in the second period to go up 1-0. The excitement started with 1:16 left in the third period. Hoyt took down Bergerson to take a 2-1 lead. The seconds later, Bergerson went back up on top with a reversal. There were two more reversals in the next 20 seconds, putting Bergerson on top 5-4. Bergerson rode Hoyt for the rest of the match and hung on for the win. It put the Vikings up 32-20, giving them an insurmountable lead going into the 285 pound match.

In what was now and anticlimactic match, Wildcat Vince Virga dominated Viking Austin Niederkorn. Virga was leading 5-0 when he pinned Niederkorn with 24 seconds left in the second period, making the final score North Branch 32, Chisago Lakes 26.

See next week's Press for coaches' comments and other reaction.

103 - Kyle Schoenecker (CL) won by dec. over Arik Steele

112 - Aaron Senne (NB) won by forfeit

119 - Reid Johnson (NB) won by maj. dec. over Sean Hoyt

125 - Jake Pilz (NB) win by dec. over Quade Zupko

130 - Cody Fugelberg (CL) won by maj. dec. over Mike Vogel

135 - Jake Kostik (NB) won by dec. over Joe Virga

140 - Bobby Sontag (CL) won by dec. over Jimmy Juntunen

145 - Patrick Mork (NB) won by maj. dec. over Tyler Heckel

152 - Eric Brown (CL) won by DQ over Dalton Horak

160 - Zack Sundly (NB) won by dec. in OT over Ben Hinderman

171 - Andy Freel (NB) won by fall over David Barwin

189 - Travis Kammerer (CL) won by maj. dec. over Stuart Frink

215 - Justin Bergerson (NB) won by dec. over Dylan Hoyt

Hwt - Vince Virga (CL) won by fall over Austin Niederkorn.


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