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Top-seeded Fighting Saints surge past LCWM, 40-21

Tyler Carlson of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg wins a key match at 112 pounds, a 7-2 decision over Branden Schutlz of Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial in the Class A quarterfinals Thursday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

ST. PAUL -- The No. 1-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints are like a power-hitting baseball team hiding a half-dozen clean-up hitters at the bottom of the order.

The Fighting Saints trailed Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 21-15 after nine matches Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Advancement to the Class A semifinals was at stake for two programs not accustomed to this stage: it's the first-ever trip for KMS (17-1) and the first state trip for the Knights since 2004.

So send the Saints' heavy lumber to the plate and let them swing away. The result was a 25-0 run to end the match in the Saints' favor, 40-21.

Kevin Steinhaus, a two-time state champion, tied the match 21-all with a pin at 160 pounds.

Mitchell Hagen's decision at 171 put the Fighting Saints in front 24-21, Joel Bauman's major decision at 189 against Tyler McMonagle made it 28-21 and Brad Kneisl's pin at 215 cemented the victory.

KMS heavyweight Adam Wentzel added a fall for punctuation.

But KMS coach Wes Haglund was more inclined to talk about the lower weights, where LCWM appeared to have the advantage.

"We won two of three against very good kids to start," said Haglund.

Kurt Timmons and Tyler Carlson, both juniors, won decisions for a 6-0 lead. Jason Rothers, only an eighth grader, lost only 4-3 to sophomore Spencer Yackel (23-8).

"He has really picked it up for us," said Haglund. "He was so nervous, he got off balance at times; otherwise, I think he would have won that match."

Medford (22-3) has eight individual qualifiers (KMS has five). The Section 2A champions are strong all the way, but especially at the early weight and in the middle.

"We've got to hang with them down low just like we did with Lake Crystal; (Medford) knows they will have to score well because they know what's coming," said Haglund.

KMS 40, Lake Crystal/WM 21

103: Kurt Timmons, K, dec Taner Trembley 6-4

112: Tyler Carlson, K, dec Branden Schultz 7-2

119: Spencer Yackel, L, dec Jordon Rothers 4-3

125: Dakota Yarger, L, maj Joey Paulson 17-4

130: Klinton Van Heuveln, K, pin Davantay Corey 3:16

135: Dylan Yarger, K, tcfl Aaron Doraska 23-8

140: Eric Hood, L, dec Jacob Engler 6-3

145: Aaron Zimmer, K, dec Aaron Hutchens 9-4

152: Cody Tibbetts, l, pin Trevor Mahlum 3:02

160: Kevin Steinhaus, K, pin Thomas Sandt 1:21

171: Mitchell Hagen, K, dec Denver Colin 9-6

189: Joel Bauman, K, maj Tyler McMonagle 11-1

215: Brad Kneisl, K, pin Nate Meixell :53

285: Adam Wentzel, K, pin Mathew Johnson 2:42