Lisbon, Carrington earn wins; set to meet in Class B wrestling semifinals
FARGO—To be the Class B dual champion, No. 1-seeded Lisbon is going to have to beat the champion.
The Broncos rolled a 61-12 victory against Pembina County North in the dual quarterfinals Thursday, Feb. 16, at the North Dakota state wrestling tournament at the Fargodome.
Lisbon's victory sets up a matchup against two-time defending state dual champion Carrington in the semifinals, which are scheduled for approximately 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. The dual championship is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.
"They're the champs still," Lisbon head coach Joe Kern said of Carrington. "We have to come out to beat them."
No. 4-seeded Carrington cruised to a 53-28 victory against No. 5 seed Velva in Thursday's quarterfinals. No. 2 seed Hettinger-Scranton earned a 55-19 victory against Oakes, and No. 3 seed Minot Ryan rallied late for a 45-28 win against Bowman County-Beach in the other two quarterfinals. Hettinger-Scranton and Ryan are set to meet in the semifinals.
Carrington versus Lisbon is a rematch of last year's dual championship. The Cardinals scored a 57-12 victory to win the Class B dual crown a season ago.
"We've been looking for this matchup ever since last year when they beat us in the finals," said Lisbon junior Jordan Urbach. "It's nerve wracking, but exciting at the same time. To be able to compete with a good team like that, it's fun."
Lisbon and Carrington were set to dual in January during the regular season, but weather prevented that matchup from happening.
"We're going to have to win some of those swing matches," Carrington head coach Josh Kerbaugh said of facing Lisbon. "Our goal is to win both (dual and individual championships) and I know we have the guys to it. We've just got to overachieve a little bit and get that momentum going."
Carrington and Lisbon both grabbed the early momentum in their quarterfinal victories. The Cardinals scored pins in their first five matches to build a 30-0 lead against Velva.
Carrington senior Tyler Hoggarth pinned Velva freshman Michael Thomas at 145 pounds to cap that string of five consecutive pins to start the dual.
"We always go for the pin. If we get it, we get it," Hoggarth said. "It really helps to get people fired up and it falls into place from there usually."
The Cardinals finished with eight pins and one technical fall against the Aggies. Velva cut the Carrington lead to 36-28 after Aggies junior Kutter Blumhagen pinned Colton Buskness at 220 pounds. The Cardinals countered with the dual's final 17 points.
"We've been preaching it all through the postseason how important bonus points are," Kerbaugh said of the pins. "It doesn't matter if it is the individual tournament or the dual. ... If you smell blood, you (have) really got to go for it otherwise it's an opportunity lost."
Lisbon raced to a 25-0 lead against Pembina County North with pins in three of the first five matches. Urbach, ranked No. 1 in the individual tournament, earned a 9-3 decision against Pembina County North junior Austin Urlaub (No. 3 in the individual) at 170 pounds. Urbach's victory gave the Broncos a 34-6 lead.
"I think we kind of shocked ourselves with how well we wrestled, getting a whole bunch of pins," Urbach said.
The Broncos finished with seven pins and one technical fall against Pembina County North. Kern expected a closer outcome in the quarterfinals.
"We knew Pembina County was a tough matchup for us in a dual," Kern said. "The kids rose up to the challenge and they really got after it right away and kept feeding off each other."
Class B individual team race tight
Carrington, Hettinger-Scranton and Lisbon are in a virtual dead heat in the Class B individual championship race after the first day of three. Carrington and Hettinger-Scranton are tied for first place with 60.5 points and Lisbon is right behind with 60 points.
Carrington is the two-time defending state individual team champion.
"Overall, we're doing what we need to do to put ourselves in contention," Cardinals head coach Josh Kerbaugh said. "I think we're doing well."
Pembina County North is in fourth place with 53 points. Carrington, Hettinger-Scranton, Lisbon and Pembina County North all have five wrestlers in the semifinals.
"We're still in the mix," Lisbon head coach Joe Kern said. "I thought it was going to be a tight race and that's what it's shaping up to be. ... We've got to keep in the battle and hopefully we'll have a shot on the final day."
The individual semifinals are Friday with the championships matches on Saturday. There are also wrestleback rounds on Friday and Saturday.