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Novak falls 9-2 in state championship final

Shane Novak's bid to repeat as a two-time state champion was thwarted 9-7 by Louie Sanders in the final. Photo by Robert Williams/FOCUS

ST. PAUL -- No. 2-ranked Louie Sanders, of Lake Crystal/Wellcome-Memorial, got up on New York Mill's No. 1-ranked Shane Novak early and stalled out late in the match for a 9-7 victory in the Class A 120-pound state championship match.

Sanders came out shooting and got a quick takedown and two-point near fall to lead 4-0 in the initial seconds of the match. Novak scored an escape and Sanders followed it up with another takedown for a commanding 6-1 lead after the first period.

Novak chose the down position to start the second period and commanded much of the two minutes scoring an escape and a takedown to head to the third period trailing 6-4.

Sanders chose down to start the third period and Novak eventually cut him loose 15 seconds in to give up a point. At the midway point of the third, Sanders shot and got a double leg scoring a takedown and a 9-4 lead.

Novak escaped and scored a late takedown but Sanders stalled out from the down position waiting out the final ticks of the clock.

Novak finishes the year with a record of 42-5 and a second runners-up finish at the state tournament. Novak won the 113-pound title last year, was runner-up in 2011, and had a fifth place finish in 2009. Novak, a senior, was a five-time state participant in his career.

To get to the final, Novak defeated: United South Central's Jacob Gonsalez by fall at 1:48; Landyn VanOverbeke, of Minneota, in an 8-2 decision and James Goman, of Trinity School at River Ridge, 10-7 in the semifinals.

Sanders, a sophomore, finished the season with a record of 39-4. He defeated Fertile-Beltrami's Mitchell Lundeen 13-2 in the preliminary round; Brandon Sullivan of Pierz 11-2 in the quarterfinals and Jordan Biehn, of Jackson County Central, by fall at 2:24 to advance to face Novak in the final.

Tyler Patron was the 195-pound third place finisher. After an opening round loss to Triton's Lucas Etchason 3-2 in four overtimes, Patron reeled off four straight wins needing three overtimes to take out Holdingford's Mitch Mesmaan and taking third place with a rematch victory over Etchason.

Tyler Ehnert was eliminated in the opening round of the 132-pound bracket by Sibley East's Austin Brockhoff 11-2.

At 152, Kacee Skoog met a similar fate after losing to Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's Lee Whitcomb 5-3. Whitcomb was eliminated in the next round by Chris Pfarr of LeSuer-Henderson. Whitcomb's loss denied Skoog a chance at wrestlebacks.

At 182, Noah Pesola was 0-2 in the tournament with losses to Colten Carlson - United South Central - 13-3 and a loss in wrestlebacks to Vince Johnson - Windom/Mountain Lake - 13-2.

Heavyweight Max Carlson was 1-2 at the tournament. He won his opening match 3-1 in overtime over Jordan Fester of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. Kenyon-Wanamingo's Nick Langer defeated Carlson in three overtimes 7-6. In wrestlebacks, Curtis Brisk, of Pierz, ended Carlson's season with a 5-1 decision.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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