The Minnewaska Area wrestling team ended the team portion of its season at the Section 8AA Team Tourney, Thursday at Pequot Lakes Area High School.

The Lakers, who moved from Section 5A to 8AA this season, were seeded third in their half of the section and topped Sauk Centre-Melrose in the opener, 42-27, before losing to the second-seeded Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus team in the quarterfinals later in the night, 50-18.

Advancing to the “Final Four”, Friday at Minnewaska Area High School were Thief River Falls, Perham, DGF and Pequot Lakes Area.

DGF went on to earn the section title with a 28-21 victory over Perham.

The Lakers closed out the team portion of their season with an overall record of 9-9.  Minnewaska Area, which was 4-8 at one point in the season before winning five-straight matches, also finished 4-2 in the WCC to place third behind United (6-0) and West Central Area (5-1).

The Section 8AA Individual Tourney is set for this weekend, Feb. 23-24 at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School.  The Lakers have several great chances at advancing wrestlers to state, but there are a lot of unknowns due to Minnewaska Area competing in a different section.

Top records for the Lakers so far this season are owned by Miles Wildman (32-3), Chase Smith (27-11), Landon Schiffler (26-13), Myles Reichmann (23-15), Cole Kittelson (20-10), Jayce Kovarik (15-9) and Riley Dell (15-10).

Last year, Miles Wildman and Chase Smith both earned state berths for the Lakers with Wildman going 3-2 at state to place fifth at 106 pounds and Smith going 2-3 to place sixth at 120 pounds in his second-straight state tournament. 

8AA Team Tourney

The Lakers bowed out of the Section 8A Team Tourney with a 50-18 loss to second-seeded Pequot Lakes Area, Thursday night.

Minnewaska Area beat Sauk Centre-Melrose in the opening round, 42-27, picking up eight victories, including six by pin.

Landon Schiffler pinned his opponent in 1:34 to get the match going and, after a loss at 114 pounds, Miles Wildman (34 seconds), Jude Bailey (3:42) and Chase Smith (46 seconds) won by falls to give the Lakers an early 24-6 lead.

SC-Melrose earned three-straight wins from 139-152 pounds to cut the Laker lead to 24-21, but as they’ve done recently during their winning streak, the Lakers pulled out the victory thanks to their upper weights.

Jayce Kovarik earned an 8-5 decision at 160 pounds and Cole Kittelson (3:08) and Myles Reichmann (1:32) earned victories by pin before Riley Dell clinched the victory for Minnewaska with an 8-2 victory at 215 pounds.

•  During the loss to Pequot Lakes Area, the Lakers led early, 9-0, as Landon Schiffler won 9-0 at 107 pounds and Miles Wildman earned a 19-4 technical fall win at 114 pounds.

Pequot Lakes won the next two matches to go up 12-9, but Chase Smith earned a 13-6 decision at 133 pounds to tie up the contest at 12-12.

It was all Pequot Lakes the rest of the way as the home team won seven of the final eight bouts, including four by pins.

The only Laker to win in the final eight matches was Cole Kittelson, who earned an exciting victory by fall in 3:52 at 160 pounds.

Section 8AA Team Wrestling Tourney

Waska 42, SC-Melrose 27

107:  Landon Schiffler, M pin Groetsch 1:34

114:  Kerzman, SC pin Austin Schuler 2:57

121:  Miles Wildman, M pin Meyer :34

127:  Jude Bailey, M pin Walter 3:42

133:  Chase Smith, M pin Wiechman :46

139:  Morales, SC pin Isaiah Rosario 5:45

145:  Pallow, SC pin Sawyer Erickson 1:03

152:  Frericks, SC def Jack Payne 8-6

160:  Jayce Kovarik, M def Friedrichs 8-5

172:  Cole Kittelson, M pin Gomez 3:08

189:  Myles Reichmann, M pin Britz 1:32

215:  Riley Dell, M def Lara 8-2

285:  Frericks, SC pin Zayden Johnson 1:47

Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 50, Waska 18

107:  Landon Schiffler, M maj Johnson 9-0

114:  Miles Wildman, M tfall Mick 19-4

121:  Holmberg, PL pin Austin Schuler :43

127:  Zutter, PL pin Jude Bailey 1:50

133:  Chase Smith, M def Mick 13-6

139:  Kilpatrick, PL maj Isaiah Rosario 16-4

145:  Ruhl, PL pin Sawyer Erickson :55

152:  Abraham, PL pin Jack Payne :43

160:  Cole Kittelson, M pin Stockman 3:52

172:  Cum., PL pin Myles Reichmann 1:24

189:  Scott, PL maj Riley Dell 14-2

215:  Goddard, PL pin Eric Bowen :23

285:  Peters, PL won by forfeit

Check out more photos of our photo gallery!