Laker matmen hit flat spot at the wrong time
Much like an ineffective tire stranding one on a lonely Minnesota road in January, Saturday wasn't a good time for the Detroit Lakes wrestling team to go flat.
But that's what happened to the No. 6 Lakers in their Section 7-2A quarterfinal, resulting in a 37-20 loss to No. 3 Minnewaska Saturday in Little Falls.
The defeat effectively snaps DL's two-year consecutive stint in the Class 2A state team meet, and ends its team portion of the 2005-06 season.
"We didn't wrestle well," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott. "We lost some matches we weren't counting on losing. We lost the close matches we were counting on winning.
"We came out flat in some of our matches."
Minnewaska had key wins throughout the dual, winning nine of the 14 matches. DL only strung together two wins in a row once, and it was too late.
Senior Brent Eidenschink -- rated No. 2 at 215 pounds -- had a narrow 4-3 decision over Alan Lutterman, while DL heavyweight Jon Tolbert registered a 14-9 decision over Shane Cowen.
Adam Holzgrove sparked DL early, taking the opening 103 match with an 11-6 triumph over Andy Goracke.
"Adam really started the dual off well for us with that win," Ullyott said.
But Minnewaska notched the next three bouts, with a Justin Horne win on a technical fall at 130 finally snapping the streak. But Minnewaska just started another streak, this time winning the next four, at weights 135-152, to basically secure the opening round victory.
"It's been an up and down year for us, we were capable of wrestling much better, but we didn't," Ullyott added.
Little Falls, seeded No. 1, won the state berth in dramatic fashion, beating No. 2 Perham on the third tiebreaker (most falls) after the two teams tied at 27-27.
Individual state spots still give hope
The season isn't over for the Lakers, as they travel to Minnewaska for the Section 7-2A individual tournament this Friday and Saturday.
The Lakers have four wrestlers returning to seek a repeat run to state, and all have solid chances of securing a coveted Class 2A state individual spot.
"It's going to be a real dog fight," Ullyott said of the individual portion of the section tournament. "This is a much tougher section than the one we were in the last (several) years."
Eidenschink will probably carry the only top seed for a Laker, at 215. The nationally ranked wrestler and University of Minnesota recruit is coming off an ankle injury suffered over a month ago.
He is fighting for his first state championship, after finishing as a runner-up two years ago and in third last season.
"Brent's injury is doing just fine," Ullyott said of Eidenschink, who hasn't lost since returning from his injury.
The other Lakers who are vying for return trips to state include James Rogers, Horne and Mike Griffin.
Horne is currently rated No. 6 in Class 2A at 125 pounds, while Griffin is rated 10th at 165. Rogers is unranked, but has been solid during the second half of the season.
"All three could qualify for state, but it's a matter of them wrestling with confidence and being aggressive," the DL coach said. "Anyone of these guys could be a section champion, or they may not finish in the top four."
Ullyott is also expecting some of the DL lower seeds have the potential to reach state with a good weekend of grappling.
"If we can have five or more move on to state, it will be a good day," Ullyott added. "But I feel if we have three or less, we didn't wrestle as well as we could have."
The tournament starts at noon Friday and continues Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.
Section 7-2A team tournament at Little Falls, Saturday, Feb. 18.
Team results -- Championship: Little Falls 27, Perham 27 (LF wins on third tie-breaker, most falls)...Semifinals: Little Falls 39, Fergus Falls 22; Perham 39, Minnewaska 18...Quarterfinals: Little Falls 58, Pequot Lakes 11; Fergus Falls 40, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 34; Perham 55, Staples-Motley 16; Minnewaska 37, Detroit Lakes 20.
Detroit Lakes 20
103 Adam Holzgrove (DL) Dec. Andy Goracke (MIN) 11-6.
112 Justin Frederick (MIN) Dec. Jake Stalberger (DL) 11-5.
119 Jon Tatro (MIN) Fall Aaron Ggnoinsky (DL) 1:40.
125 David Bond (MIN) Dec. James Rogers (DL) 4-1.
130 Justin Horne (DL) Tech. Fall Dan Braaten (MIN) 6:00.
135 Collin Jergenson (MIN) Fall Josh Tweeton (DL) 5:21.
140 Sam Goracke (MIN) Maj. Dec. Alex Feldt (DL) 21-8.
145 Trevor Larson (MIN) Fall Derrick Yoder (DL) 1:08.
152 Colin Cihlar (MIN) Dec. Jared Swiers (DL) 2-1.
160 Michael Griffin (DL) Fall Alan Erickson (MIN) 2:28.
171 Jared Jordahl (MIN) Dec. Alex Bosch (DL) 3-2.
189 Jamie Linman (MIN) Dec. Alfonzo Macies-Palido (DL) 11-7.
215 Brent Eidenschink (DL) Dec. Alan Lutterman (MIN) 4-3.
HWT Jon Tolbert (DL) Dec. Shane Cowen (MIN) 14-9.