ARDEN HILLS — Despite losing more matches than it won, the Stillwater wrestling team rounded up enough bonus points on Thursday to throw Mounds View for a 31-29 Suburban East Conference setback.
The narrow victory leaves the Ponies (3-0 SEC, 5-7) as one of just three teams who remain undefeated in the conference, a list that also includes Woodbury and Hastings.
“I can’t recall the last time,” Ponies coach Rich Keller said when asked about winning a dual meet with fewer victories than the opponent. “We didn’t give up any pins and it was bonus points that were the big thing that decided the match.
“It was a great dual. We had good enthusiasm and the kids wrestled well.”
Wrestling for the first time in nearly three weeks, Stillwater won just one of the final six matches, but the Mustangs were not able to overcome a 25-10 deficit following Collin Olson’s first-period pin against Colton Langer at 152 pounds.
Langer took down the Ponies junior early in the match, but Olson reversed and pinned Langer in 1:08 to provide a critical victory.
“That was going from a possible defeat to a pin and that really silenced the crowd and their momentum a bit,” Keller said. “I think they were expecting to win that match.”
The Mustangs responded with two-point victories at 160 and 170 pounds, but Sebastian Dingle provided the difference while pinning Matt Ray in 1:40 at 182 pounds.
“We lost a couple of close ones with Reid (Vollmar) and David (Olson), but Sebastian went out and pinned their kid,” Keller said.
The Ponies won their six matches convincingly — with Christian Bahl’s 8-1 decision over Karl Keeler at 113 pounds the closest victory of the night. Jason Wood provided one of Stillwater’s four pins while stopping Ayden McClosky in just 53 seconds at 126 pounds.
Andy Jordan followed with a 10-0 major decision over Louis Johnson at 138 pounds and Austin Jordan pinned Frankie Floeder in 1:19 at 145 pounds to build a 19-10 lead.
Coming down the stretch, Mounds View’s Jimmy Kaiser posted a 10-2 major decision over Mitchell Schertz at 195 pounds and the Ponies had a decision to make with 220-pounder Haden Hausken with two weight classes remaining.
Having lost the coin flip, Mounds View put up one of its top wrestlers and returning state qualifier Mick Nelson up at 220 pounds and Stillwater forfeited as the Mustangs pulled within 31-26. Needing a pin to overtake the Ponies, Paul Sharkey could only manage a 2-0 victory over Hausken in the finale.
“The dual came down to the coin toss and we won the flip so they had to put their best kid out at 220,” Keller said. “We forfeited to him and all we had to do was not get pinned. It was luck of the coin flip, but going into the rest of the match we also won four pins and didn’t get pinned at all.”
Stillwater is slated to compete at the Hudson Tournament on Saturday where it will open against Hutchinson at 9:30 a.m., followed by matches against Plainview-Elgin-Millville, Hudson and Boyceville.
Stillwater 31, Mounds View 29
106 — Tanner Day (MV) major dec. Patrick Stokes, 8-0; 113 — Christian Bahl (St) dec. Karl Keeler, 8-1; 120 — Sam McGinnity (MV) dec. Gabe LeBourgeois, 7-6; 126 — Jason Wood (St) pinned Ayden McClosky, :53; 132 — Jack O’Brien (MV) dec. Nate Powers, 8-4; 138 — Andy Jordan (St) major dec. Louis Johnson, 10-0; 145 — Austin Jordan (St) pinned Frankie Floeder, 1:19; 152 — Collin Olson (St) pinned Colton Langer, 1:08; 160 — Vincent Belsito (MV) dec. Reid Vollmar, 6-4; 170 — Jeremy Redmond (MV) dec. David Olson, 13-11; 182 — Sebastian Dingle (St) pinned Matt Ray, 1:40; 195 — Jimmy Kaiser (MV) major dec. Mitchell Schertz, 10-2; 220 — Mick Nelson (MV) won by forfeit; 285 — Paul Sharkey (MV) dec. Haden Hausken, 2-0.