Tigers take 2nd at tourney
Published 11:55 pm Sunday, February 14, 2016
A.L. wrestling ends season as team, looks to individual competition
Albert Lea wrestling won’t advance to the state tournament as a team, but its season is far from over.
The Tigers placed second in the Section 1AA tournament that took place Thursday and Saturday. Thursday’s matches took place at Albert Lea High School, where the Tigers received a first round bye and then defeated Lewiston-Altura-Rushford-Peterson 70-6 in the section quarterfinals. On Saturday Albert Lea traveled to Rochester Civic Center, where it defeated Plainview-Elgin-Millville 41-18 in the semifinals, before falling to Kasson-Mantorville 44-6 in the section final.
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“I honestly think they’re one of the best teams in the state of all the classes,” Albert Lea coach Larry Goodnature said of the Kasson-Mantorville wrestling team. “They’re a very good team, a very balanced team.”
Goodnature noted that the final score didn’t reflect the effort put forth by his wrestlers. He said the first nine weight classes Saturday resulted in regular decisions with differences of just one or two points.
“We wrestled well, they’re just a better team than we are,” he said. “You’ve gotta give them credit for that.”
The Tigers as a team finish their season with a 31-2 record, with the KoMets being responsible for both of those losses.
“The kids wrestled well all year,” Goodnature said. “We had a fantastic year.”
Goodnature said that over the regular season, the Tigers defeated four of the teams that will advance to the state tournament in other sections: Foley, Henry Sibley, Hastings and Caledonia. That will motivate his wrestlers as they look to place in the section individual tournament to advance to state.
The individual section tournament quarterfinals and consolation rounds will start at 2:30 p.m. Friday. Semifinals will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by final rounds at 5 p.m. All section individual matches will take place at Rochester Civic Center.
“Our season’s not over,” Goodnature said. “We get to have fun for the next two weekends.”