State Wrestling: Shane Novak advances to semifinals
ST. PAUL - No. 1-ranked Shane Novak (39-1), a state runner-up last year, had no problem advancing to the second round of the Class A state wrestling tournament at 113 pounds. Novak jumped out to leads of 4-0 after the first period and 11-0 after the second en route to an impressive 12-2 victory over Andrew Schmidt (25-10) of Lake City.
Novak has a rough draw as he advances to face No. 2-ranked Quinten Berres (39-1) of Kimball Area. The winner will face either Bryce Bruner (33-10) of Minneota or Louie Sanders (34-5) of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial.
The No. 3 and No. 4 wrestlers at 113 pounds will also square off in the other side of the bracket. No. 3 Mitch Steffens (22-4) takes on Tyler Berghuis (36-6) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.
No. 8 Tyler Keller (35-7) of Medford or No. 7 James Goman (32-6) of Trinity School at River Ridge will take on the winner of the Steffens/Berghuis match.
Novak defeated Berres 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Novak led throughout the match and weathered a late flurry from Berres trying to get a takedown to tie up the score.
"I expected to be here," Novak said. "My coaches always tell me to keep the lead and don't give it up and that's kind of what I did."
Novak will face No. 5 Louie Sanders of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in the semifinals Saturday at 11:15 a.m. In the other semifinal, No. 3 Steffens will take on James Goman.
At 126 pounds, Tyler Ehnert (23-20) faced an uphill battle against undefeated Andy Poster (35-0) of Royalton/Upsala. Poster turned it on in the third period. The match was close in the first two periods with Poster holding on to a 2-0 lead. Poster added two more takedowns in the third to win 6-0.
Ehnert faces Mitchell Watkins of Zumbrota-Mazeppa in wrestlebacks after 8 p.m. Friday night.
Tanner Rohlik, of Wabasso/Red Rock Central, (32-9) scored consistently to take out Maison Roberts (29-7) by a score of 8-3. Roberts was down 8-1 in the third and scored a late takedown to tack on two points.
No. 9 Roberts will face Jackson County Central's Keegan Moore in wrestlebacks. Moore is ranked No. 6 in the state.
At 285 pounds, Max Carlson was tossed around by No. 6-ranked Dominick Platow, a senior from Paynesville Area. Platow led 6-1 in the second period before taking the match by fall at 3:14.
Carlson will take on Jarrod Grunklee of Blooming Prairie in wrestlebacks for a shot at the consolation quarterfinals.