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Laker matmen have close call against M/W

Through Thursday's duel between the home team Detroit Lakes wrestling team and Mahnomen/Waubun Cougars, the visitors held the lead on the scoreboard for the vast majority of the time.

But the Lakers held it when it counted -- at the very end.

DL sophomore heavyweight Jon Tolbert registered his biggest victory in his young career when he pinned M/W's junior Brian Jasken with 12 seconds remaining in the first period to hand the Lakers a narrow 33-32 victory and push their duel record to 2-2 on the season.

Tolbert needed a pin and nothing else, because the Lakers were trailing by five points after senior Brent Eidenschink topped Cougar senior Jon Brunner 4-1 in the 215 bout.

"At heavyweight, you have to win matches like this," Tolbert said of his match-clinching win. "It's tough facing a defensive wrestler, since he was defending himself from getting pinned."

But Tolbert was able to crank the hefty Cougar heavyweight on his back on his second try -- just in time, since there was only 12 seconds remaining on the clock in the first period.

"I used a power half and messed it up the first time," Tolbert said. "So I tried it again and got him on his back the second time. It feels good, but this is a team game and everyone contributed in this win."

Tolbert's work in the practice room with volunteer coach Ron Peterson has already paid dividends and it looks as if it may continue this season.

"Jon has been working hard in the practice room with Ron and he's just getting better and better," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott. "He's learning to be more patient and he's really starting to come around."

The featured bout of the night came at 215, where the nation's fourth-ranked Eidenschink faced Brunner, who accumulated 33 wins last year.

The two dueled to a 0-0 tie after two periods, with Eidenschink finally earning an escape early in the third, then recording a take down for the 3-0 lead. A clasping call by the referee on Eidenschink cut the lead to 3-1, but an illegal toe hold by Brunner late in the period all but sealed it up for the Laker wrestler with a 4-1 lead.

"Brunner is a quality wrestler," Ullyott said. "He and Brent have wrestled many, many times before and each know each other so well. So they both know each other's moves so well.

"Brunner is strong and was able to hold his ground, but Brent remained patient and was able to pick up the win."

The Lakers, who are strong in the heavier weights, showed that by winning the last five matches (160 through heavyweight) to erase a 32-12 deficit.

Junior Alex Bosch kicked off the comeback with a 9-5 decision over Anthony Mertens to cut the deficit to 32-15 after the 160 slot.

Sophomore Jared Swiers recovered from a late injury in his 171 bout to hold on for a 15-8 decision over eighth grader William Hunt. Swiers held a commanding 11-3 lead after the second period, but Hunt rallied back to cut the lead to 12-6 before falling short.

At 189, the state's seventh-ranked Mike Griffin pulled off a pin on M/W's Victor Olson in 2:20 to bring DL to within 32-24.

"The team has improved tremendously from Tuesday (where DL went 1-2 in the Crosby-Ironton quadrangular)," Ullyott said. "I'm happy with the progress of our young and inexperienced wrestlers, but there is still a long way to go. We just need to be patient."

The Cougars took advantage of that youth in the lower weights, winning five of the first six matches. M/W victors were Corey Bellefeuille, Aaron Short, Adam Stalboerger, Josh Guenther and Caleb Lanoue.

DL's Jake Stalberger broke up the string with a pin on Casey Koenig at 112, giving the Lakers a short-lived 6-4 lead after two matches.

Fifth-ranked Justin Horne pinned Vincent Olson at 140 to cut the margin to 23-12 for DL, but Isaac Lanoue defeated eighth grader Alex Feldt 8-6 to put the Cougars back on track 26-12.

"A lot of our younger wrestlers did a good job of keeping us in the match," Ullyott said. "They fought off the pins and kept us in it."

The Lakers were in the Barnesville Tournament Saturday and will host Staples-Motley Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Laker results

Mahnomen/Waubun at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Dec. 8.

Lakers 33, Cougars 32

103: Corey Bellefeuille (MW) maj. Dec. Adam Holzgrove 15-5.

112: Jake Stalberger (DL) pin Casey Koenig 4:45.

119: Aaron Short (MW) maj dec Aaron Gnoinsky 16-3.

125: Adam Stalboerger (MW) pin Nate Duchene 5:23.

130: Josh Guenther (MW) pin Jordan Roberts :15.

135: Caleb Lanoue (MW) dec. Josh Tweeton 7-2.

140: Justin Horne (DL) pin Vincent Olson 1:55.

145: Isaac Lanoue (MW) dec. Alex Feldt 8-6.

152: Thomas Guenther (MW) pin Derrick Yoder 4:44.

160: Alex Bosch (DL) dec. Anthony Mertens 9-5.

171: Jared Swiers (DL) dec. William Hunt 15-8.

189: Mike Griffin (DL) pin Victor Olson 2:20.

215: Brent Eidenschink (DL) dec. Jon Brunner 4-1.

HWT: Jon Tolbert (DL) pin Brian Jasken 1:48.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.