Wabasso/RRC falls short in bid to defend Section 3AA title
For the second season in a row the Section 3AA battle between Wabasso/RRC and Worthington would come down to the heavyweight match.
A year ago, the Bobcats (24-6) were able to escape with the win and the Section 3AA title. This time, the Trojans Nic Putnam was able to gut out a 3-2 win over the Bobcats Jared Welch to help the Trojans (20-4) advance with a 32-26 semifinal victory.
They then would go on to defeat Fairmont/MCW 34-25 for the Section 3AA title.
After defeating the Trojans 34-33 in early December, you knew this one had a good chance to go right down to the wire and that’s exactly how it would play out.
As expected, the Trojans took an early lead, winning the first five matches to go up 23-0.
Mason Irlbeck lost a tough 5-2 decision at 106, and the Trojans also picked up a pair of falls and two major decisions to grab the early lead.
Tyson Doubler got the Bobcats going with a 5-1 decision at 138 to start a five match win streak.
Jared Schroepfer earned a 9-1 major at 145, Cody Dudgeon needed just 26 seconds to record a fall at 152, Cole Werner earned an 8-0 major at 160 and Nick Altermatt battled Mason Byrne to a 4-1 decision at 170 to cut the overall deficit to 23-20.
State-ranked Vince Riley would stop the run for the Trojans with a fall at 182 to up the lead to 29-20.
With just three matches remaining, the Bobcats got a big 9-6 win at 195 from Mitch Fulton and Devan Liebl earned a huge 1-0 win over a good wrestler in Brandon Kempema to give the Bobcats a chance.
At heavyweight, a battle of state-ranked wrestlers would ensue, as Putnam and Welch would battle into the third period where an escape by Putnam would account for the winning point.
A decision by Welch would have tied the score at 29, but the Bobcats would’ve won on criteria (matches won).
Despite the loss, it was another strong season for the Bobcats who will now gear up for the Section 3AA individual tournament which gets under way Friday night (5 p.m.) in Redwood Falls and wraps up Saturday (10 a.m. start time).
The Bobcats have a number of wrestlers who could make it through to state including: Altermatt (30-2), Fulton (25-4), Liebl (28-3), Schroepfer (28-4), Cole Werner (22-9), Doubler (22-7), Irlbeck (23-10) and Welch (9-2).
106 - Artiga (Wor) over Irlbeck 5-2; 113 - Schultz (Wor) wbf over Johnson 4:44; 120 - Hennings (Wor) wbf over A.Schmiesing :50; 126 - Paw (Wor) maj. dec. Hesse 12-4; 132 - Prunty (Wor) maj. dec. Anderson 15-5; 138 - Doubler (W) dec. Pavelko 5-1; 145 - Schroepfer (W) maj. dec. Donkersloot 9-1; 152 - Dudgeon (W) wbf over Anderson :26; 160 - Werner (W) maj. dec. Neuberger 8-0; 170 - Altermatt (W) dec. Byrne 5-1; 182 - Riley (Wor) wbf over Wagner 1:59; 195 - Fulton (W) dec. Herrera 9-6; 220 - Liebl (W) dec. Kempema 1-0; Hwt. - Putnam (Wor) dec. Welch 3-2