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Pressure off Frazee wrestlers

Even when it's supposed to be somewhat of a rebuilding season, Frazee's wrestling team still found a way to get the whole team to state. The Hornets upended Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 34-22 in last weekend's Class 1A, Section 8 team championship.

Even when it's supposed to be somewhat of a rebuilding season, Frazee's wrestling team still found a way to get the whole team to state.

The Hornets upended Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 34-22 in last weekend's Class 1A, Section 8 team championship.

The Hornets took second in last year's state dual tournament.

"It's a match we thought we could win, but we knew it would be close," Frazee coach John Barlund said. "We really finished the match strong. That was a huge turnaround."

BGMR had beaten the Hornets 40-27 in a dual on Jan. 11. The difference between that match and the section finals came at the end of the dual.

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On Saturday, Frazee trailed the Gators 22-15 with five matches to go. The Hornets won just two of those matches in January, but won all five in the section championship.

"We reversed some losses at the end of the match that we lost in the first dual," Barlund said. "We made some changes, and I thought we had a good chance of winning three.

"But when we won five it was like, 'Holy cow.' "

Four of the wins came from decisions, but freshman Kody Larenierer-Sorenson scored a pin at 189 - one of the weights the Hornets lost to BGMR in their earlier dual.

"To get them all, and get a pin along with it, that was very big," Barlund said.

The team looks a lot different from the one that took second in the dual tournament last season.

Andrew Lockrem - who is ranked second in Class 1A at 152 pounds - is one of only five seniors on the Hornets, and finished second at 145 pounds last year.

Junior Mike Lucero is the only other returning Frazee wrestler to qualify for state last year.

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"We have seven kids that had zero varsity experience at the start of the year, but they've been progressing very well," Barlund said. "We don't have those five, six, seven kids that everyone knows, but we have 10-to-12 kids that are pretty tough to beat."

Barlund said that the win in the team tournament should give the Hornets a shot of confidence entering this weekend's Section 8 individual tournament at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

"Now that we know the whole team is going, it takes some pressure off in that they can wrestle more relaxed in the individual tournament," Barlund said. "Sometimes, when you know you need to get into the top two just to get there, it can tighten a kid up."

Class 1A, Section 6 looks sharp

The state girls basketball tournament is a couple weeks away, but Class 1A hoops fans can still get a glimpse of some of the best teams in the state at the Section 6 tournament.

The tourney starts on Monday, and three teams ranked in the top seven of the Class 1A poll will be in that bracket.

Hancock (19-3) is ranked seventh in the state, but is only the No. 2 seed in its sub-section - behind unbeaten Battle Lake, which is 22-0 and ranked sixth.

Top-ranked Ada-Borup (22-1) is the top seed in the North sub-section, and has to be considered the team to beat. The Cougars won the section last year, but fell to then-Section 5 champ Hancock in the state semifinals.

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Readers can reach Forum sports writer

Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548 or kcollins@forumcomm.com .

Collins' prep sports blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com

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