Perham wrestlers defeat Fergus Falls 40-22
PERHAM - The Fergus Falls wrestling team is a far tougher opponent than their 2-13 record portrays and they won six of 14 matches Thursday evening in a close loss to No. 8-2A Perham 40-22.
The Yellowjackets led by six points with two matches to go and the heavies, Cody Nylander and Jesse Bucholz, pushed the final gap to 18 points with two dramatic pins.
Nylander recorded his 100th win as a Yellowjacket and 152nd of his career over Otter senior Tommy Weaver by fall at 2:45. Nylander is ranked No. 3 in the state.
"This was Cody Nylander's night," Perham Head Coach Robb Moser said. "Cody has had a very good year and to get your 100th career win (in Perham) on your last home match is pretty cool."
Bucholz pancaked Andrew Tysdal at 1:43 to put a stamped finale on Parents' Night and Senior Night.
182-pound Gio Garcia had the match of the night defeating No. 10-2A Gus Makovsky 3-2.
Garcia had a leg on Makovsky multiple times in the match and finally got a takedown with 40 seconds remaining in the match as both wrestlers sparred for points via escapes.
Garcia's win put a 12-point advantage up on the board at 28-16.
"Gio had a great match. Last year, he only won one of the three times that they wrestled. This is a great match to get him going into sections."
Abram Aho pinned Perham's Jesse Klatt at 1:34 in the 195-pound match to set it up for Nylander and Bucholz to seal the match for the Yellowjackets.
Besides Nylander and Garcia, six seniors wrestled their final matches on the home mat.
No. 9-ranked Luke Sailer pinned Joe Wedll at 1:01, the fastest stick of the night.
Josh Werner won a 12-1 major decision over Ben Schindler.
Otter 152-pounder Dane Rinquist defeated Brady Sazama 9-2 and Tyler Giza, ranked No. 6 at 120 pounds defeated Perham's Jacob Guehna 8-4 in the 126-pound match.
"It was a good match for our seniors. All of them wrestled well and our team got a big win against a good section opponent. Jacob Guehna has come a long way in two months. He has been a wonderful addition to this team this year."
Werner's win tied the match at 10-all. Perham did not trail the rest of the way.
Other Perham victories included Colin Nietzke who won by fall at 1:29 over Jake Antrim. Back-to-back pins from Sailer and Nietzke put Perham up 22-10.
Cole Schmitz defeated Kevin Carr 6-1 in the 160-pound match. Sam Pirrotta won by forfeit at 113-pounds.
Fergus Falls' Abbot Aho, ranked No. 3 at 113, wrestled up at 120 and won a major decision over Chase Curtis 15-4.
Perham finishes the season undefeated in Section matches at 5-0. The Section 8AA tournament will be held in Thief River Falls next Saturday, Feb. 16.
"I think we feel pretty good going into next weekend. This was very much like a post-season match tonight. We had a great crowd and our kids looked good."
Perham should wrap up the top seed. Seeding will be announced next Monday.
"I cannot see any reason why we wouldn't be the No. 1 seed in the section but Saturday starts a whole new season. We are excited about the opportunity."
The top team at Sections will advance to the state tournament. Perham is looking for back-to-back team appearances at state.
A number of teams have a shot at the section title.
Pequot Lakes/Pine River-backus is 13-3 overall and 4-1 in the section.
Detroit Lakes is 20-5 and 9-2.
Thief River Falls is 10-5 overall and won six of nine section matches.
Perham, 19-6 overall, defeated all three teams this season.
The Yellowjackets defeated PQ/PR-B 42-27; TRF 48-26 and DL 35-27.