Five pins, three minor decisions and a forfeit in the first nine matches propelled United North Central to a 57-18 victory over Park Rapids in a Section 8A quarterfinal wrestling match at Sebeka on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
UNC, the No. 3 seed, jumped out to a 45-0 lead against the No. 6-seeded Panthers to advance to the semifinals.
Aaron Lake opened the match by overcoming a takedown by Park Rapids’ Robby Sherk with a reversal in the first period and a takedown and a nearfall in the third period for a 7-2 minor decision at 106 pounds. The Warriors followed with four first-period pins by Reid Pinoniemi in 41 seconds at 113, Ethan Hendrickson in 1:11 at 120, Hunter Skaro (who had six takedowns and a nearfall in building a 14-5 advantage) in 1:43 at 126 and Dylan Rasmusen in 43 seconds at 132 in building a 27-0 lead. Hendrickson was rated No. 4 at 113 in the latest state Class A poll.
After Gabe Hendrickson received a forfeit win at 138, Collin Olson built an 18-6 lead behind six takedowns and a nearfall before recording a pin at the 3:50 mark at 145. UNC followed with a pair of minor decisions as Eion Ness edged Joe Klein 5-0 at 152 and Dakota Meech topped Kaden Safratowich 10-7 at 160. Ness used a first-period takedown along with an escape and a takedown in the second period for his win while Meech used a takedown and an escape in the first period, a takedown in the second period, and an escape and a takedown in the third period to edge Safratowich, who had a reversal in the first period and a pair of escapes in the second period. Ness (who had been rated most of the season at 152) fell out of the state rankings while Meech was rated No. 10 at 160.
Harley Wellman ended the Warriors’ run with a pin in 4:34 at 170. Wellman used a takedown and a nearfall in the first period, two takedowns in the second period and a reversal in the third period to build an 11-4 lead before giving the Panthers their first win of the match.
Vince Dailey’s pin in 34 seconds at 182 and Torrey Carlson’s forfeit win at 195 extended UNC’s lead to 57-6. Dailey entered the match rated No. 10 at 170 in the state Class A poll.
The Panthers ended the meet with Joe Stachowski’s pin in 1:16 at 220 and Hunter Carnell’s pin in 23 seconds at 285. Stachowski had a takedown and two nearfalls in taking an 8-0 lead before recording his pin.
UNC, which defeated the Panthers 60-18 in the season opener on Dec. 5, improved to 15-7 in dual meets while Park Rapids ended its dual season at 7-12.
In the other section tournament matches, No. 8 Mahnomen/Waubun eliminated No. 9 Red Lake County Central 48-34 in a first-round match, No. 1 Frazee defeated Mahnomen/Waubun 57-9, No. 2 Badger-Greenbush-Middle River ousted No. 7 Fertile-Beltrami 57-16 and No. 5 Fosston/Bagley edged No. 4 Crookston 36-34.
The Warriors faced Badger-Greenbush-Middle River and Frazee met Fosston/Bagley in the section semifinals on Feb. 14.
The Section 8A individual tournament will be held at Crookston on Feb. 21-22.