Tigers flex team muscle, win St. Cloud Tech Invite

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 16, 2006

ST. CLOUD &045;&160;The second time was just as sweet.

The top-ranked Albert Lea wrestling team beat fifth-ranked and traditional power Apple Valley for the second time this season to win the St. Cloud Tech Invite over the weekend.

&8220;It was a great day for the whole program,&8221; said Albert Lea head coach Larry Goodnature who also watched his junior varsity squad take the team title.

&8220;It is great to see so much improvement and watch the kids wrestle for the team and understand the team concept.&8221;

Apple Valley began the final with the Tigers by winning the first two matches including a thriller at 112 pounds where top-ranked Tom Kelliher held off a determined ninth-ranked Logan Kortan 3-2 in overtime.

No. 8 Eric Johnson got the Tigers on the board with a 2-0 decision at 119 over No. 5 Robert Marshall.

The Eagles would stretch their lead to 10-3 before a technical fall by third-ranked Beau Hansen and a 2-0 decision in favor of No. 3 Zach McGinnis over sixth-ranked Danny Crone put the Tigers up 11-10.

However, Apple Valley would respond when No. 7 James Meyer downed 10th-ranked Logan Hansen 6-4 at 140 to go back up 13-11.

That advantage would be shortlived as sixth-ranked Matt Morris took care of Sonny Zahn in 3:35 to give the Tigers the lead for good.

Nate Goodnature downed David Maxwell 8-2 and No. 7 Taylor Ignaszewski put Max Dennis on his back in 5:13.

Third-ranked Alex Paul came up short 3-1 in overtime to Alex McLaughlin before No. 9 Tyler Bowling scored a 15-7 major decision over Tim Frazier to bring the Eagles within six points at 26-20.

That set up a battle between the Tigers’ ninth-ranked Mike Honeycutt and fourth-ranked Jake Everson.

Honeycutt proved to be the dominate wrestler winning 5-2.

&8220;That was a huge win for us and a reversal from the result at The Clash,&8221; said Goodnature.

No. 2 Ben Berhow received a forfeit to close out the dual.

Albert Lea advanced to the finals with a dominating 55-8 victory over ninth-ranked Hutchinson.

No. 9 Cody Hansen began the dual with a 13-0 major decision victory and the Tigers never slowed down.

Eric Johnson, Morris and Paul all had pins in the dual for Albert Lea.

The Tigers began their day by pasting the host school 66-10.

&8220;This was a very tough tournament with five of the eight teams there ranked,&8221; said Goodnature.

&8220;The bigger the competition the more these guys seem to step up.

To beat Apple Valley twice in one year is a great thing for our program and our wrestlers.

Not only can we compete with them we can beat them.

&8220;The kids know we are ranked No. 1 and they wrestle like it.

Our philosophy is that no one out-works us and we were able to break a couple of matches because of that.&8221;

The Tiger junior varsity squad posted wins over Cambridge (60-10), Elk River (81-0) and Apple Valley (42-15) to claim the title.