Bruins secure EDC: South collects its third straight conference dual title
Fargo South junior Luke Paper had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach Friday night. You know the feeling. It's the one that comes with bad news, or when a roller coaster ride doesn't agree with you. Or when you sit around for more than ho...
Fargo South junior Luke Paper had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach Friday night.
You know the feeling. It's the one that comes with bad news, or when a roller coaster ride doesn't agree with you.
Or when you sit around for more than hour with the knowledge that an Eastern Dakota Conference championship likely rests in your hands - and all you can do it wait.
But Paper pulled it off despite the pressure.
No. 4-ranked Paper edged feisty senior Jordan Braaten 3-2 at 152 pounds to help the Bruins capture a third consecutive Eastern Dakota Conference dual title with a 36-31 victory against rival Fargo North at the Spartandome.
"I was kind of thinking, 'Oh, crap, I'm going to be the last one,'" Paper said of his place in the lineup Friday. "It's going to come down to me. I kind of got a little nervous. I'm happy for it to be over."
With South clinging to a 33-31 lead following a massive North comeback, Paper held a 3-1 advantage over Braaten heading into the third period.
Braaten scored an escape with 1 minute, 27 seconds remaining to close the gap to 3-2.
Braaten then just missed scoring a takedown with 56 seconds on the clock.
"I think I played into his hands," said Paper, who scored a major decision against Braaten earlier this season. "... We talked about (winning the EDC title) a lot. We talked about it all day today. Maybe, I just got a little nervous."
South (15-0, 6-0 EDC) held a 33-12 advantage with five matches remaining when the Spartans stormed back.
North (10-6, 4-1) picked up consecutive pins from Trung Nguyen at 130 and Brandon Lee at 135.
A 12-2 major decision from No. 2-ranked Matt Sommerfeld against No. 5 Nick Larson at 140, and a 9-5 victory by top-ranked Preston Lehman at 145 closed the gap to 33-31 with one match remaining.
"Second best is all you can take from that," North coach Nick Magee said. "It's a match we should have won. We just didn't get it done tonight. ... But it was great duel. This is what you want from a North-South rivalry from a fan's standpoint and a coach's standpoint. The kids wrestled well."
Opening at 160-pounds, South earned wins in four of the first five matches.
The run included a 4-2 win by freshman Keith Fugleberg against No. 5-ranked Mike Larson at 171. Larson was returning from an eight-week layoff due to an elbow injury.
He re-injured the elbow during the second period, but finished the match.
"We knew it would be close," Paper said. "But we got some good wins."
103: Sheppard, FN, pinned Alexander, 1:29
112: Mehring, FS, pinned T. Walton, 1:06
119: Forde, FS, forfeit
125: Crissler, FS, dec. A. Walton, 3-0
130: Nguyen, FN, pinned Heuden, 2:39
135: Lee, FN, pinned Keller, 2:40
140: Sommerfeld, FN, maj. dec. N. Larson, 12-2
145: Lehman, FN, dec. Moderow, 9-5
152: Paper, FS, dec. Braaten, 3-2
160: Burke, FS, dec. Evans, 3-1
171: K. Fugleberg, FS, dec. Larson, 4-2
189: Lynnes, FN, pinned Jones, 4:31
215: Nagel, FS, pinned Santel, 2:34
285: G. Fugleberg, FS, pinned Swegarden, 3:36
Readers can reach Forum reporterHeath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.
Hotzler's blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com