Paynesville upset bid thwarted
ST. PAUL -- After pulling off an upset in the Section 5A championship, Paynesville nearly pulled off another one in the Class A state wrestling quarterfinals Thursday at Xcel Energy Center. But it took Zumbrota-Mazeppa a three-overtime decision at heavyweight to repel the Bulldogs 30-27 and advance into today's semifinals.
The Bulldogs (20-8) were un-seeded in the tournament, while being pitted against No. 3-seeded Zumbrota-Mazeppa (27-6).
Paynesville built a nine-point advantage at one point before it dissipated and the match became deadlocked 27-27 entering the heavyweight showdown between Z-M's Jordan Arndt, a state individual qualifier with a 31-8 record, and the Bulldogs' Dominick Platow, who sported a 24-12 record, but did not qualify individually.
Platow needed an upset win to also give his team an upset win. And the sophomore nearly did, battling Arndt, who won his quarterfinal individual opener by a fall on Wednesday. But Arndt eventually prevailed 5-3 in three overtimes to give the Cougars the victory.
After Josh Hiepler's pin at 135 pounds, Paynesville led 15-11. Zumbrota-Mazeppa came back with a major decision by Grant Kyllo at 140 to know the match 15-15, but the Bulldogs reeled off three straight wins for a 24-15 advantage with four matches remaining. During that stretch, Aaron Gehrke at 145 pounds, Justin Wendlandt 1t 152 and Matt Doom at 160 all won by decision for Paynesville. Doom, an individual qualifier, topped another individual qualifier with his 9-6 win over Colby Mehrkens.
But the Cougars won three of the final four matches, including pins by Chad Matthees at 171 and Ben Dahl at 189.
Andrew Moser's decision at 215 tied the match 27-27 to set up the final bout. Moser qualified individually at 189, but moved down and still beat Stu Raash, an individual qualifier at 21, by a 5-0 count.
Devin Meagher won a decision at 112 and Clay Spanier picked up a pin at 125 for the Bulldogs, who will now face Mille Lacs at 10 a.m. today in the consolation semifinals.
Zumbroata-Mazeppa 30, Paynesville 27
103: Hunter Prodzinski, Z, dec Trent Piepenburg 3-0
112: Devin Meagher, P, dec Mitchell Watkins 6-2
119: Nick Majerus, Z, maj Cole Woehler 11-0
125: Clay Spanier. P, pin Colton Stier 1:00
130: Keith Highet, Z, maj John Dorf 18-7
135: Josh Hiepler, P, pin Nate Bennett 4:31
140: Grant Kyllo, Z, maj Brent Schlangen 11-3
145: Aaron Gehrke, P, dec Brandon Klindworth 5-3
152: Justin Wendlandt, P, dec Ryan Anderson 11-5
160: Matt Doom, P, dec Colby Mehrkens 9-6
171: Chad Matthees, Z, pin Hayden Spaeth 4:55
189: Ben Dahl, Z, pin Michael Doom 1:03
215: Andrew Moser, P, dec Stu Raasch 5-0
285: Jordan Arndt, Z, dec Dominic Platow 5-4, 3ot