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State Wrestling: Heads held high

ST. PAUL -- Things were going well early for Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. The fourth-seeded Falcons got out of the first round of Thursday's Class A state team wrestling tournament with a 42-22 victory over Badger/Greenbush-Middle River. And ACGC m...

ACGC's Ramzee Molinaro grapples with Badger/Greenbush-Middle River's Avery Augustson in Thursday's Class A quarterfinal match at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Jake Schultz / Tribune
ACGC's Ramzee Molinaro grapples with Badger/Greenbush-Middle River's Avery Augustson in Thursday's Class A quarterfinal match at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Jake Schultz / Tribune

ST. PAUL - Things were going well early for Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

The fourth-seeded Falcons got out of the first round of Thursday's Class A state team wrestling tournament with a 42-22 victory over Badger/Greenbush-Middle River. And ACGC managed to get off to fast starts in matches against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove.

Closing things out was a tougher task for the Falcons as they finished fourth after losing to top-seeded LPGE/Browerville in the semifinals (31-22) and second-seeded TMB/WWG in the third-place match (38-26).

"Things didn't turn out the way we had planned," said ACGC head coach Mike Amsden. "The thing that made us such a tough team throughout the regular season - not giving up pins and all that good stuff - it didn't quite happen today. We have up a lot of bonus points. ... It didn't work out for us."

The Falcons looked strong out of the gate with a 27-0 lead over BGMR, winning the first six matches. The first three matches produced 15 points as Cole Holien had a major decision at 106 pounds, Brady Holien got a pin at 113 and Kelvin Andrade-Ponce picked up a tech fall.

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"We all just have a lot of fun with it," Cole said of the lightweights starting strong for ACGC.

Needing that in the semifinals against LPGE/Browerville, Cole started the match with a 4-0 decision against fourth-ranked Cael Lorentz.

It was the second time Cole got a win over Lorentz after beating him in a dual meet back in December.

"I just had to keep my head up and don't get balled up underneath him," Cole said about his strategy against Lorentz.

The Wolves struck back with a major decision at 113 to put the match at 4-3 with eighth-ranked Andrade-Ponce against seventh-ranked Justin Crandall. Andrade-Ponce avenged an early-season loss to Crandall by scoring a reversal late in the match for a 9-8 decision.

Between the three matches, ACGC's first four weights had a combined record of 9-3.

"Our MO all year is our little guys setting the tone and getting a big lead," Amsden said.

Down 19-6 after 152, there was plenty of opportunity for the Falcons to claw back with several toss-up matches and three ranked wrestlers left to go. However, the Wolves kept winning and cemented their finals berth with a pin at 170 pounds by Gabe Pesta in 29 seconds.

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"We lost 45, 52, 60, 70 ... that (170 match) was a killer," Amsden said. "I think we could have pinned out if we would have had to. That 170-pound match was the one that put the icing on the cake (against) us."

It was much of the same in the third-place match as TMB got a win by pin at 132 and proceeded to win the next seven matches.

"Through the middle, none of those guys could come up with wins for us," Amsden said. "That's what held us back."

With just one senior on this year's squad, the Falcons' future appears to be plenty bright. Plus, they'll have 12 wrestlers in the Class A individual tournament to focus on starting Friday.

"I told the boys, hey, things didn't work out the way we all talked about and planned," Amsden said. "But we have to hold our heads high because we came away with some hardware and it's a great learning experience."

Third-Place Match

TMB/WWG 38,

ACGC 26

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106: Cole Holien, ACGC, maj dec Devin Carter 16-2

113: Ayden Horner, TMB/WWG, dec Brady Holien 2-0 (OT)

120: Kelvin Andrade-Ponce, ACGC, pin Jayden Torgeson 3:17

126: Ramzee Molinaro, ACGC, maj dec Luis Perez 14-3

132: Dereck Ellingson, TMB/WWG, pin Hayden Straumann 3:36

138: Tyler Vandendriessche, TMB/WWG, dec Jake Mortensen 3-0

145: Anthony Axford, TMB/WWG, pin Skye Powers 3:39

152: Sawyer Schwartz, TMB/WWG, dec Chase Arndt 7-3

160: Austin Axford, TMB/WWG, maj dec Jaxon Behm 13-4

170: Jace Paplow, TMB/WWG maj dec Taylor Fester 14-4

182: Trevor Eisfeld, TMB/WWG, pin Logan Sherwood 0:55

195: Travis Willhite, TMB/WWG dec Jesus Cardenas 3-1

220: Travys Lawver, ACGC, pin Caleb Nordsiden 0:29

285: Tanner Berghuis, ACGC, pin Sam Bauer 0:51

Semifinals

LPGE/B 31,

ACGC 22

106: Cole Holien, ACGC, dec Cael Lorentz 4-0

113: Carter Meiners, LPGE/B, maj dec Brady Holien 9-1

120: Kelvin Andrade-Ponce, ACGC, dec Justin Crandall 9-8

126: Landon Gode, LPGE/B, dec Ramzee Molinaro 7-6

132: Mason Gode, LPGE/B, dec Hayden Straumann 12-5

138: Nye Becker, LPGE/B, dec Jake Mortensen 5-0

145: Ted Stacey, LPGE/B, dec Skye Powers 5-3

152: Riley Thom, LPGE/B, dec Chase Arndt 6-2

160: Austin Carr, LPGE/B, dec Jaxon Behm 8-2

170: Gabe Pesta, LPGE/B, pin Taylor Fester 0:29

182: Caleb Pesta, LPGE/B, dec Jesus Cardenas 8-3

195: Logan Sherwood, ACGC, pin Isiah Gorder 5:30

220: Travis Lawver, ACGC, pin Levi Line 0:39

285: Tanner Berghuis, ACGC, maj dec Adam Lindquist 8-0

First Round

ACGC 42,

BGMR 22

106: Cole Holien, ACGC, maj dec Tony Olson 10-2

113: Brady Holien, ACGC, pin Jaxon Janousek 1:15

120: Kelvin Andrade-Ponce, ACGC, tech fall Brogan Beito 16-0

126: Ramzee Molinaro, ACGC, dec Avery Augustson, 12-11

132: Hayden Straumann, ACGC, pin Garrett Undeberg 5:18

138: Jake Mortensen, ACGC, dec Brandon Pries 1-0

145: Owen Novacek, BGMR, maj dec Skye Powers 12-2.

152: Andy Dostal, BGMR, pin Chase Arndt 3:06

160: Caleb Vacura, BGMR, maj dec Jaxon Behm 15-3

170: Taylor Fester, ACGC, dec Joe DeZelar 9-5

182: Logan Sherwood, ACGC, pin Ethan Waage 1:05

195: Jacob Bergsnev, BGMR, maj dec Jesus Cardenas 13-1

220: Dominik Vacura, BGMR, maj dec Travis Lawver 11-1

285: Tanner Berghuis, ACGC, pin Zach Evans, 3:30

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