Three dual matches remain in Tanager wrestling season

The fast-disappearing wrestling season has dwindled to only three remaining dual matches for the Vermillion Tanagers, barring any more reschedulings because of the weather.

Coach Joe Delvaux and his troops take their talents to Crofton for a 6:30 p.m. dual Friday night. They will finish with duals against Washington and Harrisburg in Sioux Falls next Friday. Then it will be regional time at Brandon Feb. 18-19.

Woodbury Central Duals

Vermillion represented South Dakota in fine style Saturday, going 4-1 in Woodbury Central's dual tournament at Moville, IA, that featured teams from four states.

The Tanagers ripped Akron-Westfield, IA, 52-12, in the first, and followed that up with a strong 46-27 triumph over Bennington, NE. In Round Three Vermillion took care of Woodbury Central, 48-21. 

The Tanagers then defeated Sioux City North, IA's 15th-ranked Class 3A team, 33-30.  That set up a championship match against Adrian, perennial wrestling power from southwestern Minnesota and ranked eighth in that state's Class AA this season. Adrian came away with a 51-16 victory.

Vermillion came home with five individual championships, including T.J. North at 112 pounds. North was co-winner of the tournament's oustanding wrestler award with Woodbury Central's Jordan Bremer.

Nick Mart, who like North remains ranked No. 1 in his weight class in South Dakota Class A, won the 189-pound individual crown. Earl Kiertzner emerged with the 140-pound title, Gerrit Heine won it all at 215 pounds, and Will Mart captured the 285-pound championship.

Rapid City Duals

Last Friday in a pair of duals scheduled late, the Tanagers hosted the two Rapid City schools and lost twice – 43-30 to Central and 48-18 to Stevens.

"We lost some matches we could have won," Delvaux said of the Cobbler dual, "but Central came out strong and we were a bit flat to start with."

The Tanagers got their usual points from Brett Bye at 103 and T.J. North at 112, both scoring pins, but Central won seven of the next eight weights. The one exception was an exciting 7-4 win for Lance Burkhart at 135. He scored an escape with 1:30 left for a 5-4 lead and a takedown with seven seconds remaining.

Vermillion trailed 39-15 with four weights remaining and needed four pins to earn a 39-39 tie. Chris Mart at 171 and Nick Mart at 189 both scored pins after piling up big leads, and Gerrit Heine at 215 scored an 8-2 decision.

"We came back a little stronger," Delvaux said of the Stevens dual, "but they have a high-quality team." The Raiders are considered second-best in the state behind only Sturgis.

"These duals were great experience for us looking to the postseason," Delvaux said.

Brett Bye and North again got VHS off to a flying start.  Bye scored a takedown in the last five seconds of each of his first two periods and eventually won 9-5 while North scored a pin in 3:45.  Burkhart also won again, this time by 5-0.

Nick Mart was the other VHS double winner, staying unbeaten with a 7-2 win.

Heavyweight Will Mart ended the night with a positive result. The Tanager sophomore escaped his Stevens opponent in the first seconds of the third period to tie his match at 1-1. Then he and Stevens junior Kyle Benne went through a 60-second first overtime and a 30-second additional extra period. Finally in the third overtime Mart scored another escape and held on to that 2-1 lead.

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