February 26, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
OMAHA — Wolfpack senior Ryan Pelster gave wrestling fans a tournament to remember, competing at the Class D State Wrestling Championships which wrapped up Saturday afternoon.
“It was something I’ve always dreamed of,” Pelster said of wrestling for a state championship. “It definitely was the most exciting point in my life so far.”
Pelster capped a career where he reached close to 100 victories, by wrestling in the 145-pound championship match at the CenturyLink. Fans there, and those surrounding TVs across the state, watched Pelster “go the distance” before coming out on the short end of a 7 to 4 score against champion Devon Walker of Elm Creek.
The final was a rematch from earlier this year, at the Burwell Invite, where Walker defeated Pelster 10 to 9. Coaches and wrestlers on both sides of the mat knew this would be a tough match and it was.
Walker scored two points on a takedown to take the early lead, Pelster then registered an escape. Pelster registered an escape and a takedown in the third period, but it was too little, too late as Walker prevailed.
The finals match capped a busy tourney for Pelster who came into Omaha riding high after winning the D2 District title.
“I’m still trying to soak it in,” Pelster said Monday morning. “Looking back, I’m proud of myself and what I accomplished.” He said he experienced an adrenaline rush like never before when he participated in the “Parade of Champions” just before his championship match. Being nervous is nothing new for the wrestler who has been competing for 13 years. “You learn to get used to it,” he said about that feeling right before a match begins.
Pelster was ready for battle when the state tournament began with a confidence gained from winning the district title the previous week. In his first match Thursday, Pelster faced Marshal Holtzclaw of Thayer Central. With a 26-18 record, Holtzclaw fell behind early and proved to be no match for the Wolfpack senior. Pelster took the lead in the first period and never trailed as he claimed an 8 to 1 decision.
In the quarterfinals Thursday night, Pelster faced Matthew Sweet of Franklin. Sweet had pinned his first round opponent, but there would be no pin against Pelster. Pelster only allowed Sweet one point on an escape, winning 4 to 1.
By virtue of his two victories Thursday night, Pelster took a 33-9 record into the semi-finals Friday against Dawson Trampe of Amherst. Trampe entered the match with a 22-5 record. Early in the second period, Pelster got a reversal on Trampe to take a 2 to 0 lead. In the third period, Trampe was awarded one point as Pelster was called for stalling. Still, Pelster prevailed in the match, leaping into Coach Mike Zegers arms knowing that he was going to wrestle for a state championship the next day.
“There was no room for error,” Pelster said about his semi-final match. He said the match, the closest one he has competed in, was the most physically draining as everything was “riding on the line.”
“I get more tired in six minutes than after my mile or two-mile runs in track,” said the senior. “It really toughens you up for life.”
Head Coach Doug Jones said defeating Trampe was no easy task. “He (Trampe) was a tremendous ‘rider’ and was very strong. He was tough to get away from,” Jones said. That’s why the reversal was so important in the match. He said he was concerned about being called again for stalling. “There’s the challenge of staying aggressive, going for the fall, but you don’t want to get careless,” Jones said.
Pelster capped his senior season with a 34-10 record, a district championship and a silver medal for finishing second at state.
O’NEILL — The Wolfpack will play in the C2-10 championship game Thursday night (tonight).
On Tuesday, the Wolfpack won their opening round game against Ainsworth by the score of 69 to 33. Jenna Parks led EPPJ with 21 points and nine rebounds, Jordan Mescher added 12 points.
Tonight’s championship game will tip-off at 7 p.m. at O’Neill High School.
ELGIN — Wrapping up three games in a four-day stretch, the Wolfpack girls returned to their winning ways with a 42 to 38 victory over Clarkson/Leigh.
Snapping a four-game losing streak, the Wolfpack need a victory heading into postseason play and that’s exactly what they got — but it wasn’t easy.
Elgin Public-Pope John took a seven-point lead after three quarters, then had to hold off a late run by the Patriots.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Wolfpack junior Jordan Mescher sank a trey to give the Wolfpack a 12-point lead, 36 to 24. However, from that point till less than a minute to play, the Wolfpack managed just one point as the Patriots chipped away at the lead. Maddie Cerv nailed a trey to spark a rally by the Patriots, cutting the lead to 38 to 31 with 1:31 left in the game.
After a free throw by Liz Selting bumped the lead back up to eight points, Patriot Shelby Paprocki nailed a trey with 52 seconds left to cut the margin to 39 to 34.
Hannah Kasik then made a two-pointer to close the margin to 40 to 36.
The Patriots would only score two more points in the game and the Wolfpack got some cushion when freshman Allyson Wemhoff made two of four free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Jenna Parks led the Wolfpack (17-7) with 18 points, Wemhoff added 11.
Two key statistics in the game: The Wolfpack shot 32 free throws, making 19 while the Patriots made just one of three free throw attempts. Rebounds helped keep the Patriots in the game as they pulled down 44 compared to 30 for the Wolfpack.
Wolfpack 42, Patriots 38
Patriots……………………….7 11 2 18 — 38
Wolfpack……………………10 12 5 15 — 42
Wolfpack — Liz Selting 1-8 2-4 4, Jenna Parks 5-14 6-8 18, Lydia Behnk 0-0 0-0 0, Calli Krebs 1-3 0-0 2, Paige Meis 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Mescher 1-5 0-1 3, Jill Schindler 0-0 0-0 0, Baylee Wemhoff 1-5 2-4 4, Ally Wemhoff 1-6 9-15 11, Katie Polk 0-1 0-0 0. Team totals: 10-42 19-32 42. Clarkson/Leigh team totals: 16-45 1-3 38.
Team statistics — Three-point shots - Wolfpack 3-15 (Jenna Parks 2), Patriots 5-20. Rebounds - Wolfpack 30 (Liz Selting 8, Jenna Parks 7), Patriots 44. Assists - Wolfpack 11 (Ally Wemhoff 4), Patriots NA. Steals - Wolfpack 3, Patriots NA.
ELGIN — Clarkson/Leigh made it close at the end, but they couldn’t overtake Elgin Public-Pope John Friday night as the Wolfpack posted a 58 to 56 victory.
In a game where each team seized momentum, the Wolfpack prevailed by making some clutch free throws in the game’s final moments.
Up by four points, 55 to 51 with just over a minute left to play, the Patriots fouled Chad Bode. A junior, Bode calmly sank two free throws to give the Wolfpack a six-point lead. Teammate Seth Schumacher then sank one of two free throws for a 58 to 51 lead.
With the game seemingly in hand, the Wolfpack managed to hold on as the Patriots scored five points in the last six seconds to cut the final margin to two points.
The Wolfpack controlled the action for much of the game. They would build leads of as many as seven points in the third quarter only to see the Patriots rally. A trey by Dylan Behnk gave the Wolfpack a 43 to 37 lead at the end of the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter the Patriots went on an 11 to five run to knot the score at 48-all with 4:14 left to play. EPPJ answered with points from Bode and Behnk to take a 51 to 48 lead, only to see Colby Becker sink a trey to tie the score at 51-all, setting the stage for the game’s frantic final moments.
In the first half the teams traded baskets. The Wolfpack led by one after the first quarter, then took a three-point lead at halftime, 27 to 24, thanks to a two-pointer from Austin Meis just before the buzzer.
Behnk led the Wolfpack with 18 points, Schumacher had 15 and Bode tossed in 13.
The victory improved the Wolfpack’s record to 10-11 heading into the last regular season game Friday night at St. Mary’s. EPPJ will begin subdistrict play on Tuesday night, Feb. 22, at O’Neill High School.
Wolfpack 58, Patriots 56
Patriots……..12 12 13 19 — 56
Wolfpack……13 14 16 15 — 58
Wolfpack — Dylan Behnk 7-10 0-0 18, Chad Bode 4-7 5-6 13, Kyle Kallhoff 2-5 0-0 4, Austin Meis 3-8 2-2 8, Scott Moser 0-3 0-0 0, Seth Schumacher 6-11 1-3 15. Team totals: 22-44 8-11 58.
Team statistics — Three-point shots 6-13 (Dylan Behnk 4). Rebounds - Wolfpack 35 (Chad Bode 10). Assists - Wolfpack 11 (Kyle Kallhoff 7). Steals - Wolfpack 5 (Dylan Behnk 2). Turnovers - Wolfpack 7.
TILDEN — Two Wolfpack wrestlers will be making a return trip to the State Wrestling Championships this week in Omaha.
Competing Friday and Saturday at the D2 District Wrestling Tournament at Elkhorn Valley High School, Ryan Pelster and Andrew Fangman earned another shot at state by virtue of their performance.
Pelster (29-9) won the 145-pound weight class. In the championship match he pinned Tanner Coufal of Howells-Dodge in 3:13.
This will mark Pelster’s third trip to the state championships.
Fangman (34-5) earned his fourth trip to state by finishing second in the 170-pound weight class. In the championship match, he lost a five to one decision to Elkhorn Valley’s Chris Peterson (39-3).
For sophomore Logan Henn, wrestling at 113 pounds, he came up one match short in his quest for a second trip to state. In the consolation semi-finals, with a state berth on the line, he lost a five-to-two decision to Cole Laible of Atkinson West Holt. Henn finished the season with a 27-13 record.
Wrestling at 120 pounds, EPPJ wrestler Geoffrey Carr dropped two matches against tough opponents to see his season come to an end. He finishes with a 4-18 record.
Individual results were:
113 pounds — Logan Henn (Elgin Public/Pope John) won by fall over Kaiden Mrsny (Pender) 31-20 (Fall 0:37); semifinal - Dominique Rickard (Plainview) 26-2 won by decision over Henn (Dec 6-3); cons. semi - Cole Laible (West Holt) 17-18 won by decision over Henn (Dec 5-2)
120 — Alex Schmit (Randolph) 26-22 won by fall over Geoffrey Carr (Elgin Public/Pope John) (Fall 1:29); cons. round 1 - Carr received a bye; cons. round 2 - Andrew Nelson (Plainview) 23-14 won by fall over Carr (Fall 1:39)
145 — Quarterfinal - Ryan Pelster (Elgin Public/Pope John) won by fall over Schuyler Sauser (Plainview) 22-16 (Fall 3:35); semifinal - Pelster won by decision over Noah Scott (Randolph) 33-16 (Dec 7-3); 1st Place Match - Pelster won by fall over Tanner Coufal (Howells-Dodge) 34-10 (Fall 3:13)
170 — Quarterfinal - Andrew Fangman (Elgin Public/Pope John) won by fall over Marcus Love (Scribner-Snyder) 11-24 (Fall 0:53); semifinal - Fangman won by decision over Ean Stacken (Creighton) 31-13 (Dec 6-5); 1st Place Match - Chris Petersen (Elkhorn Valley) 39-3 won by decision over Fangman (Dec 5-1)