By PATRICK SLACK
Pierz encountered a tough draw at the Class A state wrestling team tournament, Feb. 28, dropping a pair of duals against the second and third seeds at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Pioneers opened the day against No. 2 Frazee, which entered with an unbeaten record.
Pierz’ chances at springing an upset were dashed early, as the Hornets swept a trio of swing matches in building a 25-0 advantage.
The Pioneers got on the board at 145 pounds with a 2-0 win from junior Jordon Goebel, followed by a 3-0 victory from senior Brad Meyer at 152 and a forfeit to eighth-grader Matt Kummet to trim the gap to 25-12.
Frazee got back on track in the final five bouts, though, earning a pair of close decisions and an overtime fall to come away with a 47-12 win.
Pierz dropped into the consolation semifinals with the defeat, matched up with No. 3 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (ACGC) after the Falcons were knocked off 30-24 by unseeded Sibley East.
Pierz looked to hand ACGC a second consecutive upset, but a crucial 18-point swing in the middle of the dual haunted the Pioneers in a 41-25 defeat.
Eighth-grader Brandon Ortman opened the action by powering his way to a fall in 57 seconds at 106.
ACGC came back with a late fall at 113 to even the dual, but Pierz regained the lead with a 5-1 decision by junior Brandon Sullivan at 120 and a 9-1 major decision from junior Chris Ortman at 126.
ACGC narrowed the gap to 13-9 with a 3-2 decision at 132, then took a 20-13 lead with a technical fall at 138 and a fall at 145 from a pair of top-three individual finishers.
Pierz had an opportunity to win each of the next two bouts, carrying leads into the second period at 152 and 160.
But instead of picking up three team points by earning wins, Pierz gave up six to ACGC with two pins, falling into a 32-13 hole it couldn’t recover from.
The Falcons extended their edge to 38-13 with another fall at 170 before seniors Nick Lochner and Travis Johnson delivered 11-5 and 8-2 decisions, respectively.
ACGC earned a 9-4 win at 220 from its second state individual champion before junior Curtis Brisk came back with a fall at 285 to close the dual.
Pierz finished the season with a dual record of 28-5.
Seniors on this year’s team included Meyer, Lochner, Johnson, Josh Lanners and Cody Weiss.
Frazee 47, Pierz 12
106: Reetz (F) 15-4. 113: Byer (F) F 3:37. 120: Jepson (F) 7-3. 126: Skillings (F) 1-0. 132: Sorenson (F) 4-0. 138: Lemon (F) F 1:09. 145: Jordon Goebel (P) 2-0. 152: Brad Meyer (P) 3-0. 160: Matt Kummet (P) Forfeit. 170: Ziegler (F) 7-3. 182: Van den Eykel (F) 12-3. 195: Gildersleeve (F) F 7:59 (OT). 220: Reurink (F) F 3:30. 285: Malstrom (F) 4-2.
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 41, Pierz 25
106: Brandon Ortman (P) F 0:57. 113: Rasmussen (A) F 5:28. 120: Brandon Sullivan (P) 5-1. 126: Chris Ortman (P) 9-1. 132: Berghuis (A) 3-2. 138: Peterson (A) F 3:13. 145: Bomstad (A) 16-1. 152: L. Whitcomb (A) F 4:44. 160: Mat. Whitcomb (A) F 3:36. 170: Mav. Whitcomb (A) F 1:22. 182: Nick Lochner (P) 11-5. 195: Travis Johnson (P) 8-2. 220: Damm (A) 9-4. 285: Curtis Brisk (P) F 4:57.