St. Croix Central wrestlers knocked off in Dunn-St. Croix showdownThe showdown for supremacy in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference wrestling race didn’t go St. Croix Central’s way last Thursday.
The showdown for supremacy in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference wrestling race didn’t go St. Croix Central’s way last Thursday.
Spring Valley was able to build an insurmountable lead before the Panthers reached the heart of their lineup. That resulted in Spring Valley winning the match 41-25.
The Panthers had hoped the match would begin in the middle weights, so they could build up their lead. Instead, the draw resulted in the match beginning at 285 pounds. Spring Valley won eight of the first nine matches, before the Panthers could get rolling in the upper weights.
“It didn’t go exactly like we wanted,” Panther coach Brad Holzer said of the match.
In the opening match, Central’s Decker Grass was wrestling his first match since returning from a fractured wrist. He was leading the 285-pound match until he was tackled and pinned. Spring Valley won the next two matches to build a 16-0 lead.
The only win in the lower weights for Central was generated by Lukas Smith, who earned a major decision in the 120-pound bout.
Both teams juggled their lineups in the next few weights, hoping to create an advantage. It swung in Spring Valley’s favor with the Cards winning the next five matches.
The injury to junior Brian Gibb hampered any hopes of a Panther comeback. He’s sidelined with a bad ankle. Holzer said he hopes Gibb can be back to full health by regionals.
“Not having him is a nine-point swing,” Holzer said.
In the upper weights the Panthers got wins from Carl Moll, Cody Nyhagen and Kyle Aaby, with Austin Edison receiving a forfeit.
The big news from Friday’s tournament in Durand was generated by Nyhagen. He earned wins in all five of his matches, raising his career win total to 145 wins. That breaks the St. Croix Central career win record of 144 that had been held by Adam Delander. Nyhagen isn’t the only Panther likely to eclipse that mark this season. Moll is less than 10 wins away from Delander’s mark.
Durand never changes the schedule in its tournament, meaning Central and Menomonie meet in the opening round of the tournament each year. And like most years, this ends up being the match that decides the tournament championship.
The Panthers weren’t able to put up much of a fight against Menomonie, which has developed into one of the top teams in the Big Rivers Conference this season. Menomonie won the match 54-15.
That loss didn’t ruin the Panthers’ night. They bounced back to win their next four matches. They drubbed Durand 66-14 and Whitehall 66-17, they topped the Stanley-Boyd, Owen-Withee and Thorp co-op team 44-30 and they beat D-SC rival Mondovi 45-28.
The Panthers finish their conference dual meet schedule this Thursday. They will wrestle Boyceville in the Panthers’ final home dual match of the season. This match will serve as Senior Night for one of the most successful classes of wrestlers in Panther history.