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Bismarck High powers to state dual title

Bismarck High powers to state dual title

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Following Friday's achievements -- a state tournament points record and seven individual titles -- the Bismarck Demons wrestling team was due for a letdown.

The anticlimax never happened.

Bismarck made a shambles of Saturday's Class A dual tournament, outscoring three opponents 185-39 to capture the school's 17th dual championship.

BHS co-head coach Jeff Schumacher gave the Demon wrestlers a lot of credit for maintaining their killer instinct for three days at the Fargodome.

"It really was amazing. We are pretty fortunate. We do have high-quality kids this year. ... Our five seniors had three championships, a third and a sixth. That's a lot of points that are leaving the team."

The Demons saved the best for last, winning 13 of 14 bouts to rout Valley City 70-6 in the Saturday afternoon dual tournament finale. Nine BHS wrestlers racked up pins against the Hi-Liners. They closed the dual with successive pins by Wilfried Tanefeu, L.J. Araujo, Juan Flores, Tyrus Jangula, Parker Benz and Isaac Peterson.

"That was a heck of a score. We were really pumped up there. It was phenomenal. The kids wrestled really well. Unbelievable," said Schumacher, who shares head coaching duties with Mark Lardy.

Benz, a senior, was wrestling up a weight at 145 when he engineered an 18-second pin. He said once the pin frenzy began, it just fed off itself.

"I just think after everybody on the team was winning and pinning I felt like I had to do the same thing," he said. "Once you see your teammates getting pins you want to go out there and get a pin, too."

Benz said the blowout win in the finals was something of a surprise.

"That doesn't happen often in the dual finals. ... I honestly thought we would lose more than one match," he observed.

BHS reached the championship match via a 62-7 win over West Fargo Sheyenne in the quarterfinals and a 54-15 triumph over Jamestown in the semifinals. The Demons finished the season 15-0 with 33 straight dual victories.

Bismarck finished the day with 22 pins, including three each by seniors Wilfried Tanefeu and Brandt Kringlie and junior Isaiah Huus.

Benz said the outstanding three days in Fargo is what's expected of BHS wrestlers.

"Winning is a tradition. It's always been a part of the Bismarck High program. We work hard during the season and we want to come out on top," he said. "Coming into the season we knew we had a pretty tough team. ... We came into the season with a lot of confidence."

Jamestown eked out a 39-36 win over Century in the third-place match. St. Mary's romped past Devils Lake 55-20 for fifth.

St. Mary's 132-pounder Reece Barnhardt was named the outstanding Class A senior wrestler at the conclusion of the tournament. He won his fourth straight individual championship with a perfect 27-0 season.

"I accomplished most of what I wanted to accomplish," Barnhardt said in retrospect.

Barnhardt lost only one match in his final three years of varsity wrestling, but he said his emphasis over the years has been on championships. He said his focus has been on four titles since his freshman year.

"That was the plan that I had. Going into the state tournament (as a freshman) I was thinking that," he recalled.

Class B

Lisbon built a 36 1/2 point cushion while winning its fifth straight Class B individual tournament title Thursday and Friday.

That was not to be the case on Saturday. The Broncos won their third straight dual championship by the narrowest of margins possible.

Lisbon and South Border battled to a 33-33 standoff in the Class B dual final at the Fargodome, leaving the outcome up to the criteria used for such cases.

It appears a forfeit at 182 pounds was what sank the Mustangs. Several steps down on the tie-breaking criteria is a provision assigning the victory to the team with the fewest forfeits. Lisbon sent a full lineup to the mat for the championship match.

South Border led 33-27 with one bout remaining. Boeden Greenley, a two-time state individual champion, pulled Lisbon even by pinning South Border's Baxter Sand in 24 seconds.

Both teams romped into the finals. South Border took care of Hettinger 45-21 and Carrington 40-27 in the upper bracket. Lisbon thumped Northern Lights 60-15 and Pembina County North 56-19 in the bottom bracket.

The teams split a pair of duals earlier in the season, South Border winning 34-30 in January and Lisbon prevailing 37-24 earlier this month.

Carrington claimed third place with a 47-30 victory over Pembina County North. Fifth place went to New Salem-Almont, a 39-21 winner over Velva in the consolation final.

 Lisbon's Jordan Sours was named the outstanding senior Class B wrestler in the post-tournament awards ceremony. Dave Wolding of New Salem-Almont took home coach of the year honors.

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