Class B's cool customer: Prolific Sinner endures onslaught to reach finals

Central Cass senior Andrew Sinner spent about 30 seconds of the third period of his match Friday on his stomach, with Minot Ryan's Ryan Christen bending Sinner's arm at a that's-gotta-hurt angle.

Central Cass senior Andrew Sinner spent about 30 seconds of the third period of his match Friday on his stomach, with Minot Ryan's Ryan Christen bending Sinner's arm at a that's-gotta-hurt angle.

Sinner's reaction afterward? That's wrestling.

"He had my arm barred up," Sinner shrugged after the match. "All I was thinking about was that he was going to have to break my arm off before I went over. I just blocked out the pain and made sure I didn't get turned over."

He never did. Instead, the top-seeded Sinner held off Christen for a hard-fought 2-1 victory in the Class B 145-pound weight class of the North Dakota state wrestling tournament at the Fargodome.

Sinner advances to today's championship match against Linton's Jon Schatz in search of his second straight state title. Sinner won last year's title at 135.


Despite Sinner's efforts, Napoleon leads team scoring at 122.5, with Carrington following at 106.5.

A varsity wrestler since eighth grade, Sinner placed fourth at 130 as a sophomore, third at 118 as a freshman and sixth at 103 as an eighth-grader.

"I can remember every match of my career, or at least all the ones at state," Sinner said. "You always try to remember the ones you win and forget the ones you lose."

Sinner has much to remember and little to forget. He takes a 171-21 career record into today's championship bout, including a 33-1 mark this year.

Sinner has defeated Schatz, the state tournament's second seed, once already this season. That was by an 11-2 score at the KQLX Tournament in Lisbon in mid-January.

Sinner, though, said that result has no bearing on today's match.

"You always expect tough matches at this time of the year. As the top seed everybody knows your moves and knows what to expect from you," Sinner said. "I'm used to the close matches. This is state. Everybody is at their peak."

Schatz defeated Carrington's Neil Veen 8-4 in the semifinals. Veen gave Sinner his lone loss this season, but Sinner said he wasn't looking toward a rematch.


"You don't think about those things too much. You might think, 'This is the guy who cost me a perfect season,' but that's about it," Sinner said. "You just worry about whoever you are wrestling, no matter how you've done against him before."

Pressure situation

Sam Partlow of Carrington is proud of himself for handling the pressure of being a top seed. Partlow, a sophomore, pinned Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg's Luke Rygg in 3:03 to advance to today's 103 final.

"When you come in as the No. 1 seed, it carries a lot of pressure. You're expected to win. I'm happy with myself that I was able to get to the finals as a No. 1 seed," Partlow said.

Partlow placed sixth at 103 a year ago.

"Last year I was kind of an underdog. You have nothing to lose," Partlow said. "As a top seed, everybody is gunning for you."

Partlow will face Linton's Jeremy Kuntz in the championship match. Kuntz, the No. 2 seed, has a 2-1 advantage against Partlow this season, including a 2-0 victory in the team duals Thursday.

"I want to even that out to 2-2," Partlow said. "If I do, I'll be a state champion."


Wrestling for Mom

Velva-Garrison's Matt Kittelson pulled off the upset of the day in Class B by defeating top-seeded Jon Amb of Mayville-Portland 9-6 at 171. Kittelson was the fourth seed.

Kittelson let out a whoop after the clock ran out in the third period.

"It was huge for me to beat the top-seeded guy," Kittelson said. "As the underdog, nobody expects you to do that."

Kittelson placed second in last year's state tournament, losing to Hettinger's Dusty Vliem in the semifinals. Vliem moved up to 189 this season and will also wrestle for a title today.

Kittelson said Friday's victory was made more special because his mother, Cindy Wiest, has been battling cancer.

"It's been tough. We found out during football season. She's doing better now, but it's been hard," Kittelson said. "I have to keep winning to keep my mom happy. She wants me to win and I have to keep pushing to do it for her."


Ty Bateman of Center-New Salem set a Class B career pins record at 112 when he won by fall in 5:48 over Rolla's Jon Tandeski in the semifinals. Bateman has 28 pins, breaking the record held by Mark Pazdernik of New Salem, who is currently Carrington's coach. ...Gary Mueller of Hillsboro advanced to the 189 final with a pin in 2:53 against Bowman's Ethan Seifert. Mueller, the No. 2 seed, will face top-seeded Dusty Vliem in tonight's championship.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike McFeely at (701) 241-5580

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