WHITE BEAR LAKE — With a lineup that has seen numerous changes since the beginning of the season, the Stillwater wrestling team remained steady in the Suburban East Conference while posting victories over Cretin-Derham Hall and rival White Bear Lake in Friday’s triangular.
The Ponies (6-0 SEC, 11-13), who join Hastings as the only remaining conference unbeatens, cruised to a 64-12 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall in the opener and then pulled out a 33-30 victory over the 11th-ranked Bears in the nightcap.
White Bear Lake has defeated the Ponies in the Section 4AAA finals each of the past three years and Friday’s match-up was another hard-fought battle — at least until the last two weights when the teams traded forfeits. White Bear Lake’s heavyweight suffered a knee injury against Cretin-Derham Hall and the Bears didn’t have an available wrestler to run out there and the Ponies were missing regular 220-pounder Haden Hausken. This made Mitchell Schertz’s 8-0 major decision over Marcus Gilmore at 195 pounds the clincher for the Ponies.
“It was back and forth with kind of an anticlimactic finish, but it was plenty climactic for us,” Ponies coach Rich Keller said. “Six-and-0 in the conference sounds pretty nice.”
Christian Bahl opened the match with a 3-0 victory for the Ponies over Matt Muedeking at 106 pounds before the Bears collected back-to-back pins at 113 and 120 pounds. Dillan Nelson notched a crucial victory for Stillwater at 126 pounds, scoring a takedown in the final seconds of an 8-6 overtime victory over Grant Boldaun. Austin Jordan followed with a 19-2 technical fall over Jordan Dufresne at 132 pounds, but the Bears answered with one-point victories in the next two matches to build an 18-11 lead. Elijah Muedeking edged Stillwater’s Matt Riehle 4-3 at 138 pounds and Joe Dittel followed with a 3-2 triumph over Andy Jordan at 145 pounds.
Collin Olson helped turn the momentum for Stillwater with a 10-6 win over Gregg Wilcox at 152 pounds and Grant Wohlwend, who continues to wrestle well in place of injured Reid Vollmar, pinned Robert Kowalski in 2:37 at 160 pounds.
“Dillan won that big match right at the end and Collin and Grant were big wins for us,” Keller said. “Collin came from behind and beat his kid after falling behind by four points halfway through the second period and then Grant got a big pin.”
Tommy Longendyke’s pin over David Olson at 170 pounds gave the Bears 24-20 lead, but Sebastian Dingle answered with an 8-3 victory over Janse Anderson and Schertz followed with his major decision to give the Ponies their first lead since jumping in front 3-0.
“We seem to be wrestling pretty well right now and the kids are starting to believe,” Keller said. “They’re improving every match and I think that’s the exciting thing.”
Although the Ponies will face two of the other leading conference contenders when they host a triangular on Thursday, nobody would be surprised to see another Stillwater-White Bear Lake match-up in the section team tournament.
“We know each other so well and the kids know each other,” Keller said.
Stillwater 33, White Bear Lake 30
106 — Christian Bahl (St) dec. Matt Muedeking, 3-0; 113 — Andy Andress (WBL) pinned Patrick Stokes, 1:05; 120 — Andy Martin (WBL) pinned Wayde Hall, 2:20; 126 — Dillan Nelson (St) dec. Grant Boldaun, 8-6 in OT; 132 — Austin Jordan (St) tech fall Jordan Dufresne, 19-2; 138 — Elijah Muedeking (WBL) dec. Matt Riehle, 4-3; 145 — Joe Dittel (WBL) dec. Andy Jordan, 3-2; 152 — Collin Olson (St) dec. Gregg Wilcox, 10-6; 160 — Grant Wohlwend (St) pinned Robert Kowalski, 2:37; 170 — Tommy Longendyke (WBL) pinned David Olson, 1:37; 182 — Sebastian Dingle (St) dec. Janse Anderson, 8-3; 195 — Mitchell Schertz (St) major dec. Marcus Gilmore, 8-0; 220 — Tyler Hubman (WBL) won by forfeit; 285 — Ryan Peltier (St) won by forfeit.
Stillwater 64, Cretin-Derham Hall 12
106 — Patrick Stokes (St) pinned Casey Malone-Povolny, 4:24; 113 — Christian Bahl (St) major dec. Casey Bulmer, 13-3; 120 — Wayde Hall (St) won by forfeit; 126 — Dillan Nelson (St) won by forfeit; 132 — Nate Powers (St) won by forfeit; 138 — Matt Riehle (St) pinned Charlie Mertz, 3:51; 145 — Andy Jordan (St) won by forfeit; 152 — Collin Olson (St) pinned Mason Rostad, 2:59; 160 — Grant Wohlwend (St) won by forfeit; 170 — David Olson (St) won by forfeit; 182 — Sebastian Dingle (St) pinned Matthew Boncich, 2:34; 195 — double forfeit; 220 — Andrew Pederson (C-DH) pinned Mitchell Schertz, 3:50; 285 — Jovanny Garcia (C-DH) pinned Ryan Peltier, 2:32.