FARGO — Lisbon needed every last point in order to claim its third straight duals championship at the North Dakota Class B state wrestling tournament on Saturday at the Fargodome.
The Broncos won the championship dual over Region 1 rival South Border 33-33 thanks to tiebreaker criteria F: the team giving up the least number of forfeits.
The first five tie-breaker criteria weren’t enough to decide the dual. Neither side was penalized points for flagrant misconduct, each side won seven matches and each side won four by fall, including the forfeit. Because the Mustangs opted to forfeit their match at 182 pounds to create favorable matchups in other weight classes, Lisbon won.
“My heart is racing as much, I’m sweating as much as if I was working out out there,” Lisbon coach Rich Lacina said. “Brainwise — for an idiot like me trying to do the math in my head, that was the chaos in that moment. Do we win on criteria or not? What’s going to happen? We knew every point mattered.”
The Broncos went into their final match trailing 33-27 and needed a pin to win the dual. Luckily they had a hammer in their back pocket in the form of undefeated 152-pound state champion Boeden Greenley. The Lisbon sophomore only needed 24 seconds to pin Baxter Sand’s shoulders to the mat and claim the crown for his team.
As quickly as he got Sand’s shoulders to the ground, Greenley sprung up even faster and jumped into a crowd of celebrating teammates.
“I wasn’t really thinking about (the pressure),” Greenley said. “That move just came, but I was just trying to wrestle my match. I wasn’t too concerned about the bonus points. I just had to wrestle my match.
“That was the move I was planning to use. I figured he was going to stand up like that because I’ve done that to him before. I knew I wanted to roll that way with it.”
Lisbon senior 170-pounder Jordan Sours was excited to get to face the Broncos' Region 1 rivals one more time in the state championship. They split regular-season meetings with the Mustangs; South Border won the first matchup and Lisbon was victorious in the second.
The Broncos and Mustangs met in the state championship dual last year, too. And South Border was the last team to win a title before Lisbon’s current streak of three in a row.
“All my years, it’s always been South Border,” Sours said. “Even on the individual side, I always had a tough kid from South Border. Over all the years, it’s awesome to conquer them one more time.”
As big as all seven wins were for the Broncos, they got crucial performances in losses. Carter Wallner, Mike Nelson and Simon Sveum lost at 126, 132, and 145, respectively, in the midst of a four-match win streak for South Border. Each of those Lisbon wrestlers came up huge to lose by less than eight points and not concede the bonus point associated with a major decision.
“That was amazing. Mike Nelson and all of them — man that was awesome,” Greenley said. “That was a battle all the way through. There were ups and downs and that was fun.”
Wallner trailed Matthew Wolf 12-4 after a takedown in the final minute of the third period at 126 pounds. Wallner managed to get a reversal in the final seconds just before time expired to cut his deficit down to 12-6 and save the point.
In the next match, 132-pound state runner-up Marshall Lindgren took a 12-6 lead over Lisbon’s Mike Nelson, who placed fourth at 132, with about a minute to go. He had the better part of a minute to score one more takedown and earn a bonus point, but Nelson fought him off.
The Mustangs took their first lead of the dual 30-27 after Jace Nitschke pinned Levi Sveum in 2 minutes, 43 seconds at 138 pounds. Lisbon 145-pound senior Simon Sveum entered the dual’s penultimate match knowing that as long as he didn’t allow any bonus points, Greenley would have a chance to win it for the Broncos.
Shockley took an 8-2 lead with a takedown and a Sveum escape with 30 seconds to go. He shot multiple times to get the takedown that would clinch the dual, but Sveum survived and only lost by six.
“I’m having a hard time not tearing up, (Wallner’s) my stepson,” Lacina said. “Scoring that reversal at the end and saving that bonus point — it came down to criteria and a tie, every point matters. You can’t have a favorite on the team, but it’s hard not to love that kid.”
Lisbon 120-pounder Blaze Reinke was one second away from rendering all of the drama that followed his match null and void. He stuck Tristan Lepp’s shoulders to the mat just as time ran out in the second period. The referee’s hand hit the mat to call for the fall at seemingly the exact moment the clock struck 0:00.
The fall was waived off and the bout continued into the third. Reinke won 10-5 and gave his team a 27-18 lead. Those three points he missed out on would have made the final five matches much calmer for the Broncos.
“At the time it hurt (to lose those points),” Lacina said. “Lepp is a good wrestler. Watching him for years now, he scraps. Wrestling is a game of inches. It comes down to did he get the shoulders down or not, did the clock come down or not. It all comes down and it all matters.”
The Broncos ran out to a big lead early. Jaden Schmidt, the 160-pound runner-up in the individual tournament, won a 6-2 decision over James Schumacher. The undefeated 170-pound state champion, Jordan Sours, pinned Daniel Schumacher. Averey Dick won by forfeit at 182. And Gabe Lyons won an 8-2 decision over Shane Nitschke at 195 to make it 18-0 Lisbon.
The Mustangs got back-to-back pins at 220 and 285 from 220-pound state runner-up Ashton Petreson, and Nathan Schauer, the 195-pound state champ who bumped up to heavyweight.
Lisbon’s Kashdon Wadeson got a pin at 106 pounds and South Border’s Brody Hoffman followed with a pin at 113.