Sunday, December 10, 2017

Governors Make it Three Straight at Rapid Invite

This past Friday and Saturday, the Governor Wrestling program headed west to compete at the Rapid City Invitation following a disappointing fifth place finish at the Watertown Dual Tournament last weekend. Having set the tournament team point record in 2015 (and then exceeding it last year), uncertainty abound as to whether Pierre had the horsepower to compete with the best teams in the region.  Despite both entering the tournament tied for third in the team rankings, Pierre and Rapid City Steven would battle back and fourth every round until the final HWT matches.  A pin by Pryce Dyk in his seventh place match helped closed the deal for Pierre helping them earn their third straight Rapid City Invitation team title.  After the second round, the Governors found themselves in third place with 72 points just 9.5 behind Stevens.  However, as the quarterfinal round concluded the team garnered the lead with 114 points generated from five Governors advancing into the semifinals (Bench-Bresher, Turman, Turman, Lusk and Senger).  Although matched-up closely with Stevens who also had five semifinalists, the Governors were successful in advancing four into the finals compared to only three for Stevens.  However, twelve Stevens' wrestlers secured wins to ensure a top 8 finish compared to only nine Governors allowing them to take a 197 to 194 lead going into the final round.  As the dust settled, the Governors produced enough wins stemming from bonus points (tournament high of 29 pins) to win 214 to 211, and maintain their reign as tournament champions.  When reflecting on the victory over the weekend head coach Shawn Lewis noted "This week our kids were more mentally prepared.  They had a chip on their shoulder after last weekend and wanted to prove to themselves and everyone else that this team has what it takes in order to make a run at a state title.  Couple that with getting a few kids healthier, and the result speaks for itself." 

The Pierre Governor Wrestling team takes their place on the award stand after winning their third straight Rapid City Invitational.

Lincoln Turman won his third straight Rapid City Invitation with a 3-0 victory over #2 ranked Jacob Moore from Aberdeen.  In route to the finals, Turman pinned Centore (Douglas) and Bissonnette (Hot Springs) in the opening rounds and concluded with a major decision over Bauder (Mitchell), and a close 1 point victory over Powell (Chamberlain) in the semifinals.  The win over Moore resulted in Lincoln becoming the first Governor wrestler to win three individual championships at this event.  "Lincoln becoming the first Governor to win three RC titles is something that I never thought about," said Lewis.  "You just don't have time to think about that stuff when you embrace the one match at a time mentality.  That is something that Lincoln does very well.  He makes sure he is prepared to go into battle each and every time out there and in every position.  As offensive as he is, he is even harder to score on.  Mentally and physically, no one is more prepared than Lincoln." 

Lincoln Turman ties up Aberdeen's Jacob Moore as time expires in their championship match.  Turman went on to win 3-0 and earned his third straight tournament title. 

Immediately following Lincoln's victory at 120lbs, William Turman earned his second Rapid Invite title with a close 4-3 victory over returning state champion Spencer Stockman.  Turman had previously won this event in 2014 at 106lbs, but lost to three time North Dakota state champion Kyle Burwick (Hettinger, ND) the past two years.  Similar to his brother, William earned twenty-nine team points including 2 pins in the opening rounds, a major over Morrison (RC Central), and a 9-5 win over Lemus (Laramie, WY) in the semifinals.   

William Turman secures a reversal over Spencer Stockman (Stevens) during their championship match.  Turman finished the match with a 4-3 victory. 

Two other Governors advanced to the finals on Saturday including Michael Lusk who has previously ended his last two RC Invites on top of the podium.  In route to the finals, Lusk defeated Hagen (Hot Springs) and Preble (RC Central) in the opening rounds before earning the major decision over Jacobs (Sturgis) in the semifinals.  Despite taking the lead early in the finals match against #1 North Dakota ranked Devin Steidler (Bismarck, ND), Lusk fell behind 4-3 on a takedown late in the third period and was unable to garner an escape to tie the match as time expired.  Jace Bench-Bresher retained his undefeated season into the finals coming in as a sixth seed in the tournament.  He racked up bonus points in his first three matches with two pins and a major decision before defeating Williams (Lennox) 7-2 in the semifinal bout.  Bench-Bresher faced unseeded Reese Osborne (Sheridan, WY) in the final, but lost 6-2 to finish in the runner-up position.  Osborne had pinned his way into the finals having knocked off the #3 and #4 rated wrestlers in South Dakota.

Michael Lusk works to take down Kody Hagen (Hot Springs) in their opening match.  Lusk earned the 8-6 victory and finished as runner up at the event. 

Austin Senger also advanced to the semifinals where he faced off against Briggs Havlik (Mitchell) where he lost a 3-1 decision resulting from a takedown by Havlik as time expired in the third period.  Despite the loss, Senger returned in the consolation side of the bracket and finished his final two matches with pins over Scheett (Legacy HS, ND) and Durham (St. Thomas More) to add to his three previous pins at the tournament.  Overall, Senger generated ten bonus points for the Governors over the two days, and matched company with Spencer Sarringar to become only the second Governor to place five times at this event.  When reflecting on the slight setback for two of his seniors, Travis Heasley, assistant coach, stated "Michael and Austin will be right at the top at the end of the year.  They are both ruthless competitors and know what it takes to win.  Losses this weekend will just fuel them for the rest of the season." 

Despite a 1-3 record last week, Hayden Shaffer excelled in his second weekend in the Governor singlet placing fifth overall.  After a bye in the opening round, Shaffer lost to #1 ranked Eli Fischer (Milbank) and proceeded to win by pin or major decision into the final round.  By tournament end, Shaffer had racked up nine bonus points resulting from four pins and one major decision.  Heasley noted "Hayden has not had it easy, over half of his matches this year have been against top five kids.  In practice we have been working on some small things to get him better on his feet, and I felt this weekend we saw him trying some of those things.  When he is on top he is great at breaking them down and looking for a pin.  Hayden is a kid every coach wants on their team because he constantly wants to get better.  He is always asking how to do something better and will drill it until he's got it.  He will just keep getting better and better." Jack Van Camp also produced a number of significant wins at the tournament including a second round victory over #5 ranked Daynon Huber (Huron).  Following a loss to eventual champion Kyle Burwick (Hettinger, ND) in the quarterfinals, Van Camp added an additional pin to his first round win and a major decision before losing 4-2 in the fifth place match to Dylan Anderson (Natrona, WY).

Jack Van Camp scores the reversal late in his match against #5 ranked Daynon Huber (Huron) to secure an 8-4 victory.  Van Camp went on to finish 6th at the event. 

Finishing out the placers for the Governor's include Barry Browning (152lbs) and Pryce Dyk (285).  Browning was defeated 7-3 against Nate Allen (Stevens) in the second round, yet returned with two pins and a 9-6 decision over Colton Jackson (Douglas) before facing Nate Allen again in the wrestle-backs.  After a 4-2 loss, Browning secured 7th place with a 3-1 victory over Tanner Skaare (RC Central).  Dyk opened the tournament with a pin over YellowWolf (SF Washington), but fell to Kaden Johnson (Aberdeen) as time expired in sudden victory 3-1.  Dyk returned to pin Caleb Dagel (Roosevelt) and concluded the tournament with a second round pin over Marcus Glick (Thunder Basin) to lock the team victory for the Governors with the win and bonus points. 

Despite not placing at the event, the team title would have been unattainable without individual points earned by the remaining Governor wrestlers.  Cade Hinkle won by fall over his first two opponents before going 2-2 at the event.  Gage Gehring also won by pin in the opening round before losing to the top North Dakota wrestler at his weight (Kaylor - Legacy).  In the wrestle backs he generated a pin, before losing to Evan Hehr (Spearfish) in the third round.  Freshman Maguire Raske advanced to the quarterfinals with two opening round pins, before losing in the closing seconds of that match to Isaac Anderson (Hettinger, ND).  In the wrestle-backs Raske lost his final match 9-1 against Riley Mitchell (Thunder Basin-Gillette, WY).  At 220lbs, Gunnar Gehring won in the opening round before losing to Shraiber (Natrona, WY).  In the wrestler-backs he generated bonus points with a pin before suffering his final loss to Waylon Marshall (Todd County).  Finally, James Lees competed at 182lbs for the Governors going 0-2 on Friday.  Three additional Governors competed as unattached wrestlers including Will Van Camp (0-2), Lee Snyder (2-2), and Logan Meyer (2-2).

Cade Hinkle locks in a front cradle against Chance Davis (Legacy) in the wrestle-backs on Saturday.  Hinkle finished 2-2 at the tournament. 

When reflecting on the promising elements from the team's performance Lewis noted " Hayden Shaffer placing 5th as an 8th grader was great to see.  He has had a gauntlet of matches to start the year.  Jace Bench-Bresher making the finals.  He just keeps improving and his offensive attacks on his feet are strong." This coming weekend the Governors will travel to Elk Point where they will compete against the top Class B talent in the state, including a loaded Canton team that is currently rated #1 in that class.  The tournament will produce a number of significant match-ups including #1 ranked William Turman and Caden Lamer, both of whom have generated three state championships over the past three years. Overall performance for each Governor wrestler this past weekend includes:
  • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - 5th (5-2)
  • 113 - Jace Bench-Bresher - 2nd (4-1)
  • 120 - Lincoln Turman - 1st (5-0)
  • 126 - Jack Van Camp - 6th (4-3)
  • 132 - William Turman - 1st (5-0)
  • 138 - Cade Hinkle - DNP (2-2)
  • 145 - Michael Lusk - 2nd (4-1)
  • 152 - Barry Browning - 7th (4-2)
  • 160 - Austin Senger - 3rd (6-1)
  • 170 - Maguire Raske - DNP (2-2)
  • 182 - James Lees - DNP (0-2)
  • 195 - Gage Gehring - DNP (2-2)
  • 220 - Gunner Gehring - DNP (2-2)
  • 285 - Pryce Dyk - 7th (4-2)

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