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Rebels narrowly edge out Panthers in conference battle, 38-36

WELLS — The United South Central wrestling team hosted NRHEG Thursday night in a matchup of two teams looking for a much-needed win.

Despite picking up five forfeit victories, the Panthers dropped several key matches, allowing the Rebels to come away with the victory, 38-36.

In the first matchup of the night United South Central seventh grader Kolt Bullerman defeated NRHEG eighth grader Seth Staloch in a 14-0 major decision. NRHEG took the lead back in the next match by freshman Parker Bunn winning by forfeit.

United South Central then went on a four-match win streak to take a 25-6 lead.

No. 6 ranked 113-pounder Byron Getchell took on NRHEG freshman Annabelle Petsinger and came away with a first period pinfall.

Senior and No. 8 ranked 120-pounder Bryce Sonnek kept the pin streak going by picking up a first period fall over NRHEG  eighth grader Aidan Schlaak.

United South Central seventh grader Gavin Gird picked up a second period fall over NRHEG freshman Daltyn Harshman, and junior Ethan Evelbak picked up a close 5-4 decision victory over  NRHEG junior Nikolas Petsinger.

The Panthers finally got some much-needed points at 145 pounds with sophomore Ethan Thompson winning by forfeit.

However, it was right back to the grind for the Rebels after that. Junior Konnor Harpestad and senior Micah Hamson notched wins at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively. Harpestad won in a fall over NRHEG seventh grader Deven Parpart, and Hamson won a 13-5 major decision over NRHEG junior Clay Stenzel.

NRHEG senior Thor Routh won by forfeit at 170 pounds before freshman George Roesler narrowed the gap even further with a first-period pinfall of United South Central junior Collin VanCleave. NRHEG junior Ralph Roesler also won by forfeit at 195 pounds.

With the score at 35-30 in favor of the Rebels with just two contests remaining, the Panthers needed a victory at 215 pounds to have a chance. United South Central junior Matt Beyer and NRHEG eighth grader Max Seltun battled to the end, but ultimately it was Beyer who came away with a 10-6 victory, and securing the Rebels the dual win.

NRHEG sophomore Makota Misgen won the final match by forfeit.

NRHEG head coach Shawn Larson said the blame for the loss should fall on him.

“In the end I moved wrestlers around and we got beat twice in two matches I was taking a risk to try to win,” Larson said. “This loss lies squarely on my shoulders and we are going to start changing our approach right away at our next practice. Hopefully our wrestlers are looking forward to competing again.”

The Panthers fall to 0-2 to start the season and will wrestle again Monday night when they host Adrian Area and GMLOKS.

The Rebels climb to 4-1 on the season and will be back on the mat Thursday on the road against WEM/JWP.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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