State Wrestling: Shane Novak Class A 113 state champion
ST. PAUL - Shane Novak used the method he has all tournament and leaves St. Paul the Class 1A 113-pound state champion by a 4-1 decision over James Goman of Trinity at River Ridge.
Throughout all of Novak's matches at this year's tournament he attacked and shot for a leg against every opponent. He scored early and held on to that lead for the duration of each match.
Novak was in control of the finals, as well. He took a 4-1 lead into the third period and hung onto Goman's right leg with both arms for a scoreless third.
Whistles at 44 seconds to go and 23 seconds to go put both wrestlers back in the middle of the circle but to the same result thanks to a tenacious attack from Novak.
The final whistle stopped wrestling with three seconds remaining. Novak was able to evade Goman untouched to take home the title with relative ease.
Novak scored a takedown with :42 to go in the second period to put up the three-point advantage. Goman got his only point by way of an escape thirty seconds into the second period.
After a scoreless first minute in the opening period, Novak got his first takedown and made the two-points stick for the duration of the second minute.
Novak backed up his state No. 1 ranking and finishes his junior season on top with a record of 45-1. The victory was his 151st, having eclipsed the 150 career win mark in the semifinals.
ST. PAUL - No. 1-ranked Shane Novak's quest to return to the state final was reached with a dominating 8-3 decision over No. 5 Louie Sanders of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Saturday morning in the 113-pound semifinals.
"It was my goal to win it," Novak said.
Novak lost last year's state final by one point and found himself trying to score late to even the match. This year, Novak has made sure in every state match to get a lead and keep it.
The victory was also Novak's 150th win of his career.
"It's pretty awesome," said Novak.
Novak was a shooter in this match, as has been his strategy much of the tournament. He got a quick takedown in the first and rode Sanders to a 2-0 lead after one period.
In the second, Novak again dove early for a leg, got it and worked it into a near fall and a big 7-0 lead. Sanders escaped and rallied late but was unable to score more than the one point.
"Just keep the lead," Novak said.
Novak started down in the third and escaped. Sanders scored a late takedown, but the match was in Novak's control the entire six minutes.
Novak will wrestle James Goman of Trinity at River Ridge tonight for the state 113-pound championship. Goman needed overtime to get past No. 4 Mitch Steffens, of Wadena-Deer Creek, in the other semifinal spoiling what could have been a Highway 10 battle for the state crown. Goman won the match 2-0.
Goman is a short and stalky wrestler with a decent build who will contrast with Novak's wiry frame. Novak's quickness has been a key to this state run and will pose an interesting contrast to Goman in the state final.
"Anybody's beatable," said Novak.
Goman is 36-6 and ranked No. 7 in Class A. Top-ranked Novak holds a record of 44-1.
The state finals begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.