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Lakers enter sections as No. 6

There needs to be some more fine-tuning and polishing in the ranks of the young Detroit Lakes wrestling team, but the way it looks, things are pulling together at the right time for the Laker matmen.

Although registering a loss Thursday against Barnesville by the score of 35-30 inside Ralph Anderson Gym, the Lakers made a marked improvement against a team they lost to by a much wider margin earlier in the season.

The Lakers' improvement through the middle of the lineup will have to show its fruits of its labor come Saturday, since DL will hold a sixth-seed in the Section 7-2A team tournament in Little Falls.

DL will face No. 3 Minnewaska at 2 p.m. and if victorious, will face the winner between No. 2 Perham and No. 7 Staples-Motley.

The section finals are the same day beginning at 6:30 p.m. Little Falls holds the top ranking, with No. 4 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle facing No. 5 Fergus Falls in the upper bracket.

"After the top two seeds, I think three through six is a real toss up," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott about the upcoming team tourney. "I feel we have a great shot against Minnewaska and if we have to face Perham, they'll definitely be the favorite.

"If we are fortunate to (make the second round against Perham), our guys will have to have an almost perfect dual, but we do have a chance."

The Lakers will be looking to make state as a team for their third-straight year, after winning Section 8-2A the previous two seasons.

"We still need to make improvements throughout our lineup," Ullyott said. "Our experienced guys will need to get focused and our inexperienced ones will need to continue to develop on their weaknesses."

The Lakers had more than a realistic chance against Barnesville, which has three state-ranked wrestlers on its roster.

"I really praise the young kids in the middle of our lineup," Ullyott said of the Barnesville dual. "They stayed in the match and battled."

Jake Stalberger had a big win over Shan Braton at 112-pounds with a 4-3 decision, while sixth-ranked Justin Horne dominated the Trojan's Josh Gokey on a fall at 130.

Even when the Lakers lost, improvement was shown, Ullyott said.

DL's Josh Tweeton lost by a technical fall to the Class 1A's top-ranked Kirk Anderson at 125. Tweeton staved off a pin on several occasions to save at least one bonus point.

"Nate Duchene kept his match to a major decision against Josh Jerges, while Alex Feldt lost to eight-ranked Landon Peppel 15-6.

"All of our young guys did well, they didn't give up all the bonus points, which is important," Ullyott added.

Alex Bosch recorded a 9-4 decision for DL at 152, while Jared Swiers moved up to 160 to notch a pin on Dustin Suko in 4:15.

Sixth-ranked Tanner Jorud of Barnesville scored a 12-3 major decision on tenth-ranked Mike Griffin at 171, while Brent Eidenschink -- No. 2 at 215 -- pinned Rusty Benecker in 55 seconds.

Jon Tolbert continued his fabulous season as the Laker heavyweight, sticking Jeff Titus in 3:36.

After the match, each of Horne and Griffin were honored for recently winning their 100th match, while Eidenschink was honored for his 150th win.

Laker results

Barnesville at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Feb. 9.

Trojans 35, Lakers 30

103: Ian Peppel (Barn) pin Jeff Windels 2:20.

112: Jake Stalberger (DL) dec. Shan Braton 4-3.

119: Trevor Krueger (Barn) dec. James Rogers 9-3.

125: Kirk Anderson (Barn) tech fall Josh Tweeton 16-0.

130: Justin Horne (DL) pin Josh Gokey 4:54.

135: Josh Jerges (Barn) maj dec Nate Duchene 14-2.

140: Landon Peppel (Barn) maj dec. Alex Feldt 15-6.

145: Derek Syverson (Barn) dec Derrick Yoder 9-4.

152: Alex Bosch (DL) dec. Cody Cox 9-4.

160: Jared Swiers (DL) pin Dustin Suko 4:15.

171: Tanner Jorud (Barn) maj dec Mike Griffin 12-3.

189: Troy Longtin (Barn) pin Alfonso Polido 2:33.

215: Brent Eidenschink (DL) pin rusty Benecker :55.

HWT: Jon Tolbert (DL) pin Jeff Titus 3:36.

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