Monday, January 22, 2018

Governors Knock off #1, #3 and #4 at East vs. West Duals

Over the past seven years the East vs. West Dual Tournament has produced a number of exciting match-ups making it worth the price of admission for wrestling fans in central South Dakota. In route to their second state Class A title in 2013, the Governors faced a loaded Rapid City Central team designed for dual wins and escaped with the victory following an overtime win by Dylan Bennett.  Fast forward three years and the Governors faced a similar challenge, needing a win at HWT which was eventually secured by Levi Stoltenburg in a come-from-behind victory.  There are plenty other examples of key dual team match-ups made possible by this tournament, but to date, the field of teams has never been so impressive.  From the first whistle on Saturday morning fans were exposed to six of the top ten ranked team in the state as they squared off against each other to determine what can be described as the informal Class A Dual team championship.  The Governors went head-to-head with Sturgis (#3), Rapid City Central (#4) and Rapid City Steven (#1) in consecutive duals with a goal of establishing themselves as one of the most formidable dual teams over the past seven years. As the tournament concluded late on Saturday evening, the Governors concluded their three duals with a 3-0 record, ensuring the seventh straight year without a dual loss at this difficult event. "Success at East vs. West Duals has happened because of many different reasons," said head coach Shawn Lewis.  "Being in our gym and having the home crowd behind us is one that is easily overlooked but cannot be forgotten.  Taking the approach of one position, one match, and one dual at a time is something that our kids have really bought into over the years.  Lastly, East vs. West Duals was the equivalent of a Dual State Tournament.  Our kids have always wanted to prove that along with our ESD Duals and this event that we have beaten the best teams in the state."

Michael Lusk works to free himself from Wren Jacobs during the Sturgis dual.  

The Governors began action with #3 ranked Sturgis, and from the opening weight class, the Scoopers began making a number of line-up changes in an effort to generate early team points.  At 106lbs Hayden Shaffer lost an overtime to Olson, as Sturgis bumped #1 ranked Wood up to face Jace Bench-Bresher.  However, the 113lbs match took an extra period before Wood secured a 4-2 victory in overtime.  Lincoln Turman then earned a major over #3 ranked Permann who also bumped up from 113lbs, and then Jack Van Camp generated important bonus points with a pin over #5 ranked 120lber Shae Owens.  At 132lbs, William Turman won by tech fall over Burnham to generate a 15-6 lead for the Governors, which was further extended following wins by Cade Hinkle and Michael Lusk.  The Scoopers closed the gap slightly when #2 ranked Brengle defeated Barry Browning 3-0, but then the Governors secured two straight pins by Austin Senger and Maguire Raske, and then two back-to-back major decisions by Garrett Leesman and Gage Gehring to establish a 41-9 lead.  Number one ranked Carpenter pinned Gunnar Gehring at 220lbs, and then Pryce Dyk returned with a pin at 285lbs to finalize the dual with a commanding 47-15 victory.  "In this dual, they bumped their weights down low," noted Lewis and "this ultimately backfired a bit on them as we limited any bonus that they thought they may be getting and got some bonus of our own in return."

William Turman attempts to pin Justin Burnham during their 132lb match. 

For the second dual of the day, the Governor's began shifting early at the lighter weights against Rapid City Central, having Kahlor Hindman fill the 106lb spot against #2 ranked Larson where he lost by tech fall in the second period.  Hayden Shaffer shifted up a weight class and defeated Thompson in overtime before Thibeault defeated Jace Bench-Bresher 7-6 as he filled in for Lincoln Turman at 120lbs.  "Matchups were very important," indicated assistant coach Travis Heasley, "but even more important was for everyone to do their jobs.  We have a great group of kids who never complain about bumping up to face someone.  They all love competition and it shows when they go out and compete like they did this weekend."  Those would be the last points generated by Central for some time as Jack Van Camp and William Turman both secured decisions against Kraye and Morrison, to be followed by a pin for Cade Hinkle against Filipek.  The Cobblers forfeited to #1 ranked Michael Lusk at 145 and Barry Browning and Austin Senger picked up to decisions to extend the Governor lead to 27-8.  Bridger Kraye (#3 ranked at 182lbs) dropped down to fill a gap for the Cobblers at 170 and defeated Maguire Raske 11-3, and then Leesman lost a close 9-7 battle against Smith bringing the dual within twelve with three matches to go.  However, Gage Gehring locked up the dual with a pin over LaRoche, as Gunnar Ghering lost to #3 ranked Thompson by major decision.  Pryce Dyk closed out the dual with a pin over Olson resulting in a 39-19 victory.

Garrett Leesman attempts to maintain control over Smith from Rapid City Central during their 182lb match. 

Saving the best match-up for last, the Governors closed out the dual against the #1 ranked Rapid City Steven. Hayden Shaffer opened the dual with a 9-0 loss to #4 ranked Darien Malone, which was followed by a 7-2 victory for Jace Bench-Bresher over Declan Malone.  Back into the line-up, Lincoln Turman won by pin over Landen Fischer in the first period, before Jack Van Camp lost to #2 ranked Cody BeVier by 3-0 decision.  William Turman extended the Governors lead further with a first period pin over Logen Fischer in the first period producing a 15-7 lead.  Despite a very valiant effort by Cade Hinkle over #1 ranked Sharkey at 138lbs, he fell short when Sharkey secured a takedown late in the third for a 6-5 victory.  Michael Lusk then defeated Voorhees 5-2, and Stevens countered with an 8-3 victory by Allen over Barry Browning bringing the dual score within 5 for an 18-13 lead for the Governors.  Austin Senger generated needed bonus points with a pin over Fuegen, and Maguire Raske defeated Brink 3-0 to extend the gap with a 27-13 lead.  At 182lbs, the Governors inserted James Lees to wrestle #1 ranked Colicheski who lost by fall and shifted Garrett Leesman up to 195 to face off against Anthony Knodell.  Leesman secured a late takedown and back points to win a 5-1 match and Gage Gehring move up to 220lbs to compete against #4 ranked McMath who he also defeated with a late scoring opportunity 5-4.  With the victory sewn up, Pryce Dyk defeated Patterson 8-3 to further extend the gap with a 36-19 victory.  The shifts made by the Governor coaching staff certainly paid off as Leesman and Gehring were both able to secure victories that during previous match-ups this season did not occur.  When considering the amount of shifting that was necessary by all teams Lewis noted "It is always a bit of a gamble bumping kids out of their weight class and up into another.  As a coaching staff, you have to determine the risk versus reward of the move.  You also have to have the confidence in your kids to make such a move.  You only make the move if you think the match-up turns favorable toward your team."

Jace Bench Bresher attempts to free himself from the bottom during his match against Jacob Wood during the Sturgis dual. 

This coming week the Governors travel to Brookings on Friday for another important ESD dual and then will remain there on Saturday to compete at the Brookings Invitational.  Over the course of the three duals, the individual performance for Governor wrestlers included:
  • 106 - Hayden Shaffer - (1-2)
  • 113 - Jace Bench-Bresher - (1-2)
  • 120 - Lincoln Turman - (2-0)
  • 126 - Jack Van Camp - (2-1)
  • 132 - William Turman - (3-0)
  • 138 - Cade Hinkle - (2-1)
  • 145 - Michael Lusk - (3-0)
  • 152 - Barry Browning - (2-1)
  • 160 - Austin Senger - (3-0)
  • 170 - Maguire Raske - (2-1)
  • 182 - Garrett Leesman - (2-1)
  • 195 - Gage Gehring - (3-0)
  • 220 - Gunner Gehring - (0-2)
  • 285 - Pryce Dyk - (3-0)

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