Tigers romp past two ranked opponents

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 30, 2006

ADRIAN &045;&160;What a difference a week can make.

Last weekend the top-ranked Albert Lea wrestling team lost in the finals of the Eastview Tournament.

Seven days later the Tigers showed why they are considered the best team in the state by dispatching two highly ranked opponents at the Adrian Quadrangular.

The Tigers began the day by beating Class A second-ranked Canby 41-10 before handing Class AA No. 9 Adrian a 44-10 loss.

&8220;I think we really responded well,&8221; said Albert Lea head coach Larry Goodnature.

&8220;The kids came out ready to wrestle and you could tell by the way they looked before the match that they were focused and ready to go.&8221;

Albert Lea never let either opponent get into the match as Cody Hansen, Logan Kortan and Eric Johnson all won both of their matches to get the Tigers out to sizable leads after three weights.

&8220;We are coming together at the end of the season and we showed it (Saturday) against some very good competition,&8221; said Goodnature.

&8220;The top of the lineup wrestled very well.

We were aggressive all day long and you could tell that by our takedown numbers.&8221;

Against Canby, the Tigers had a 29 to 11 advantage in takedowns while they overpowered Adrian 22 to 3.

The highlight of the Canby match came at 275 where the Tigers second-ranked Ben Berhow defeated No. 1 and defending state champion Evan Hacker 15-7.

It was one of the few matches Berhow has even been challenged in this season which was a situation he relished.

&8220;He knew he was going to have two big matches this weekend and he had been pointing to them all week,&8221; said Goodnature.

&8220;He went out there and just dominated.&8221;

Berhow would down eighth-ranked Will Lutmer of Adrian to end his day 5-0.

The other big win turned in by the Tigers against Canby came courtesy of sixth-ranked Matt Morris at 145.

He controlled his match with No. 4 Tad Merritt and came up with the impressive 7-3 victory.

No. 3 Zach McGinnis would turn in a stellar performance against second-ranked Brandon Bullerman of Adrian in their 135 pound match.

McGinnis would earn a first period takedown and make that 2-0 lead stand up the rest of the way as both wrestlers were able to ride out the other in the second and third periods.

&8220;That was a great match and win for Zach because both guys had to wrestle.

Neither of them were laying on the mat,&8221; said Goodnature.

Johnson, Anthony Tippett, Beau Hansen, Logan Hansen, Morris and Taylor Ignazewski all scored bonus points with their wins against Adrian.

The Tigers have a busy week ahead of them with a triangular with Rochester Century and Caledonia on Tuesday and a dual with Mankato East Thursday.