Beulah-Hazen place 4 at state
By Jarann Johnson
The Beulah-Hazen wrestling team traveled to Fargo last week for the Class B individual state tournament and the Class B dual state tournament. Beulah-Hazen went 0-2 in the dual tournament but placed four wrestlers in the individual tournament.
The best finish for the Beulah-Hazen wrestling team was Alex Barbion’s runner-up finish at 195. Barbion started the tournament well, pinning Cade Merrigan (Central Cass) in 2:43. Barbion kept the pins coming in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.
Barbion pinned Jose Martinez (Grafton) in 1:19 in the quarterfinals and topped Justin Helseth (Velva) in 1:31 the semifinals. Barbion’s win set up a final match with Jordan Will (Bishop Ryan).
Barbion entered the match as the higher and favorite seed but not by much. Will was the tournament’s No. 2 seed at 195 and owned one regular season win over Barbion.
Barbion’s 3-1 season record against Will and higher seeds suggested Barbion was merely six minutes away from becoming a state champ if he could do what worked in previous matchups with Will. In the first period it seemed like neither wrestler could get their game plan to work, and the score ended in a 0-0 tie.
Barbion elected to start the second period in the bottom position and secured two points with about one minute left in the period. Barbion tried to keep Will scoreless for the rest of the period but Will managed to get an escape point.
After two periods Barbion led 2-1 but was in a dangerous spot. Will elected to start the third period in the bottom position.
Will once again managed to escape and tied the score at 2-2 with about 1:30 left in the match. A stalling warning was issued but no points were awarded. The referee’s warning about stalling spurred action by both wrestlers.
Will earned a take down to take control of the match with 46 seconds left, and Barbion countered with an escape point. After the exchange there were 20 seconds left in the match.
Barbion trailed by one point with 20 seconds left and needed points. Barbion pushed and pulled hoping to nab two points, but Will played the situation cautiously and avoided a stalling call, which was enough to get the win. The 4-3 loss ended Barbion’s junior campaign with a 54-5 record overall.
No other wrestlers made the finals for Beulah-Hazen, but the team did sport three other state-placers: Jeremy Leintz, Josh Snyder, and Denzel Sanders.
Leintz wrestled at 120 and took third overall. Leintz won his first two matches in dominant fashion collecting two majors. Leintz topped Ty Thompson (Linton/HMB) 17-5 in the opening round and topped Coy Spooner (Des-Lacs Burlington) 14-5.
The semifinals is where things got tough for Leintz. Leintz got caught in bad position during his match with Lucas Geiszler (Carrington) and tried to recover. During Leintz’s attempt to recover his shoulders quickly touched the mat, and it was ruled a pin.
The call was controversial because it was quickly called. The rule for a pin is that it has to be established for two seconds in high school and one second in college. Geiszler went on to win the state championship at 120.
Leintz didn’t let the call ruin his tournament effort and closed with two wins.
Leintz topped Rafe Schill (Pembina County North) in a close match. Leintz’s match went into sudden death overtime but neither wrestler scored. The score remained tied after both wrestlers had a turn in the bottom position during the tie breaker, setting up an ultimate tie-breaker.
The winner of the ultimate tie-breaker is the wrestler who holds on for 30 seconds or escapes. Leintz did enough to win the ultimate tie-breaker.
Leintz’s final match was close, too, but didn’t require overtime. Leintz topped Spencer Sweeney (Larimore) 1-0 to claim third place honors.
Josh Snyder also had a strong day for Beulah-Hazen and collected fifth place honors in the competitive 145-pound class. Snyder opened the tournament with a tough match but got the win, 8-6, over Tristen Scott (Pembina County North). Snyder’s next match was a tough draw, too.