Lakers take two
The Detroit Lakes wrestling team managed to get over a hump Tuesday night and they did it by having one of their best performances of the season.
After losing to Crookston the last couple of years, the Lakers got the Pirate monkey off their back with an impressive 45-20 win over the visiting team from the north.
"We wrestled our best of the season tonight," said senior 189-pounder Brandon Johnson, who pinned each of his Morris and Crookston foes in Tuesday's home triangular. "We came out with a lot of fire. We are finding our way and we're going to be a pretty good team."
The top of DL's lineup was able to build a 15-6 advantage before the Pirates' two state-ranked Portillo brothers wrestled back-to-back.
Mike Bellefeuille put the Lakers on the board with a 13-6 decision over Wyatt Hanson in the 112-pound match, after the Pirates' Nate Merten opened the duel with a pin on Gabe Foltz.
Tony Sims promptly put the Lakers on top with a pin on Zane Baranski at 119 -- recording his first two wins of the season, the first coming versus Morris -- while Brandon Baker pulled off a close 13-12 decision on Ben Generuex for a 12-6 Laker lead.
Travis Kienitz upped that to 15-6 with a 7-5 decision on Blake Bergeron before the Portillo brothers -- Javie and Mariano -- came up.
Travis Sims and Garrett Foltz each did their job for the Lakers by not giving up the big bonus points, as Javie and Mariano Portillo registered major decisions at 135 and 140, respectively.
"Both our guys stayed in the matches against the Portillos, and both wrestled tough," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott.
With that, DL still held a 15-14 margin, where they would pull away with four consecutive wins.
Josh Tweeton and Nate Duchene each pulled off pins at 152 and 160, while junior Alex Feldt gutted out a big win over No. 10 ranked Isaac Edlund, 8-6 in overtime at 171.
Feldt made a late rally in the third period, recording a reversal with under 10 seconds left in the match to tie the score 6-6.
The Laker -- whose ribs were bandaged up -- used that momentum to notch the takedown in sudden death overtime for the win.
"Alex had a good win, it was amazing, he beat the 10th ranked kid in the state with some busted up ribs," Johnson said of his teammate's victory.
Johnson followed up Feldt's triumph with a pin of Brandon Reirson in 1:29, while junior Justin Holm won in overtime 7-5 over Justin Altepeter to cap DL's win.
"It was nice to see Josh Tweeton open up at 152 and Justin Holm doing well in his first year," Ullyott said. "Brandon Johnson has been giving a tremendous effort and we just need to keep him focused now."
The Lakers toppled former DL wrestling great Shane Tappe's Morris team 59-12.
The young Tigers had three open weights, while the Lakers registered four falls to aid their cause.
"We won the close matches tonight," Ullyott said of the two-match sweep. "We are getting better, and I saw 100 percent effort."
The Lakers are still climbing the ladder and it will be up to the leadership of the seniors to keep the team on track.
"We need to lead by example (as seniors)," Johnson said. "We are getting better."
The Lakers will travel to Crosby-Ironton for a Mid-State Conference showdown Thursday for a 6 p.m. start, and will be in the Perham Individual Tournament Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.
Morris Area and Crookston at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Lakers 59, Morris 12
103: Gabe Foltz (DL) pin Joe Hanson 5:40.
112: Mike Bellefeuille (DL) pin Tony Domnick :34.
119: Tony Sims (DL) pin Jordan Thooft 1:36.
125: Tim Ostby (M) dec. Brandon Baker 5-0.
130: Travis Kienitz (DL) won by forfeit.
135: Josh Nelson (M) dec. Travis Sims 9-6.
140: Art Gomez (DL) won by forfeit.
145: Casey Fonder (DL) won by forfeit.
152: Josh Tweeton (DL) dec. Tanner Berning 8-3.
160: Jake Hoefs (DL) won by forfeit.
171: Nate Duchene (DL) maj. Dec. Ryan Beyer 12-0.
189: Brandon Johnson (DL) maj. Dec. Jeff Knoblach 13-2.
215: Zack Gibson (M) won by forfeit.
HWT: Justin Holm (DL) pin Jame Newhouse 1:39.
Lakers 45, Pirates 20
103: Nate Merten (Crk) pin Foltz 1:31.
112: Bellefeuille dec. Wyatt Hanson 13-6.
119: Tony Sims pin Zane Baranski 1:59.
125: Baker dec. Ben Generuex 13-12.
130: Kienitz dec. Blake Bergeron 7-5.
135: Javie Portillo (Crk) maj. Dec. Travis Sims 20-7.
140: Mariano Portillo (Crk) maj. Dec. Garrett Foltz 10-2.
152: Tweeton pin Cody Osland :33.
160: Duchene pin Josh Edlund 1:00.
171: Feldt dec. Isaac Edlund 8-6 (OT).
189: Johnson pin Brandon Reirson 1:29.
215: Brody Davidson (Crk) won by forfeit.
HWT: Holm dec. Justin Altepeter 7-5 (OT).