VIRGINIA — The Virginia Area wrestling team opened up their season Monday with what would have been a quadrangular at home.
Instead, it turned into a triangular as Proctor couldn’t make the meet due to weather conditions.
When all was said and done, the Devils came away with a win over Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin and a close loss to Hibbing and it’s clear they have some work to do according to head coach Dennis Benz.
In their opener against GNK, the Devils picked up the 63-12 win over the Titans, winning at all but one spot they competed in.
Winners included Gavin Nelson at 106 pounds, Jackson Kendall at 113, Connor Morcom at 120 and Erik Sundquist at 145. At 152, Jacob Burress upended GNK’s Carter Wilson, Gavin Holmes picked up a win over Caydan Moe at 170 and Ryan Wenzel won by fall over the Titans’ Joss Pardentalon at 285.
“I thought the first match of the year, we wrestled really well,” Benz said after the match. “It’s obvious that we have some work to do but I was very pleased with the effort all around by our wrestlers.”
Speaking on GNK, Benz said the program is young and is currently in a building mode but expects good things from them in the future.
“They have a very young team and they have some new coaches this year. I believe they will no doubt build the program to where it needs to be.
“The thing about wrestling is that this does not happen overnight and these young coaches will bring the program to the next level.”
The second match against Hibbing was a close bout with Virginia ultimately falling 42-37 to the Bluejackets.
Virginia found wins at five spots and one more by forfeit. Kendall picked up his second win of the night at 113 with a win over the ‘Jackets’ Preston Thronson. Nolan Campbell downed Josh Cannata at 126 and Gavin Benz won by fall over Hunter Sayre at 132.
Additionally, Damian Tapio picked up a 15-5 win by major decision over Cooper Hendrickson at 138 and Gavin Holmes picked up some points with a win at 160 over Hibbing’s Owen Hendrickson.
Forfeits at three spots (182, 195, 220) and losses at the four spots that were wrestled gave the match to Hibbing, however. Benz noted that without the forfeits, his squad took six matches to just four for Hibbing.
“Of the 14 weight classes, four were forfeits and we gave three of those to Hibbing and they gave us one. The other 10 weight classes we saw six wins to their four. We were ahead 31-0 at one point but we just couldn’t hang on to the lead with the forfeits.”
On his team’s performance, Benz says he still saw quite a few good things.
“We wrestled well against Hibbing. Some of our kids made some mistakes early on but they didn’t quit and battled back to get the victory. It shows that they have a lot of heart and do not like to lose.”
The Blue Devils will be back in action on Friday in Princeton where they’ll battle Princeton as well as Mora. On Saturday, they’ll compete at the Rush City Tournament.
Mountain Iron-Buhl 76,
At Floodwood, the Mountain Iron-Buhl girls’ basketball team got back to their winning ways with a 76-42 rout of Floodwood Monday night.
Sage Ganyo led the Ranger offense with 22 points, along with four made threes. Miah Gellerstedt finished with 16 points while Brooke Niska had 13.
Kennedi Johnson led the Polar Bears effort with 23 points.
MI-B head coach Jeff Buffetta said he was pleased with his team’s effort, but that Floodwood made them work for the win.
“Floodwood is a nice, physical team,” Buffetta said. “They made us execute and knock down some shots and I think our girls played well overall.”
Speaking on Floodwood’s top player Johnson, Buffetta had high praise.
“She’s a good player and could hit some shots. But I think their depth overall wore them out over the course of the game.”
The Rangers (2-1) will have some considerable time off from game action in the coming days. Their next contest will be a home bout with Esko on Monday, Dec. 16.
MIB 45 31 — 76
FHS 22 20 — 42
Mountain Iron-Buhl: Laney Ryan 3, Jacie Kvas 2, Hali Savela 4, Jordan Zubich 7, Brooke Niska 13, Miah Gellerstedt 16, Sage Ganyo 22, Mia Ganyo 2, Ava Butler 4, Zoe Bialczak 2, Lauren Maki 1; Three pointers: Zubich 1, Niska 2, Gellerstedt 3, S. Ganyo 4; Free throws: 8-13; Total fouls: 17; Fouled out: none.
Floodwood: CJ Thompson 5, Haley Burgen 3, Imijyn Thompson 1, Kennedi Johnson 23, Preslie KJoberg 2, Tamera Lundstrom 8; Three pointers: Johnson 2, Lundstrom 1; Free throws: 9-18; Total fouls: 12; Fouled out: none.
North Woods 54,
At Cook, the North Woods girls’ basketball team used dual 18-point performances from Hannah Kinsey and Brynn Simpson to dispatch visiting Bigfork, 54-43.
Kinsey and Simpson led the Grizzlies and scoring. Nicole Olson added seven.
The Huskies were led by Natalie Haley with 21 points.
North Woods (1-1) will be back in action on Thursday when they play host to South Ridge.
BHS 22 21 — 43
NW 22 32 — 54
Bigfork: Madysen Tendrup 4, Kristen Grover 9, Natalie Haley 21, Alyssa Torgrimson 2, Aurora Watson 4, Samantha Lambrecht 3; Three pointers: Grover 2, Haley 2; Free throws: 12-17; Total fouls: 10; Fouled out: none.
North Woods: Nicole Olson 7, Hannah Kinsey 18, Kennedy Wardas 4, Brynn Simpson 18, Madison Spears 4, Sasha Strong 3; Three pointers: Strong 1; Free throws: 9-10; Total fouls: 14; Fouled out: none.
South Ridge 54,
Northeast Range 8
At Babbitt, Adella Olesiak led South Ridge with 21 points as the Panthers cruised past Northeast Range, 54-8.
Nighthawks head coach Paxton Goodsky said his team struggled on offense and was impacted by inexperience and South Ridge’s pressure defense in the loss. Casey Zahnow was the top scorer with four points for the home team.
Northeast Range hosts Chisholm on Thursday.
S. Ridge 35 19 — 54
NE Range 3 5 — 8
SR: Rylee Young 2, Svea Snickers 11, Lexi Bergum 4, Paris Fierkelepp 6, Alana Young 5, Raina Schneider 4, Adella Olesiak 21, Leanna Olson 1. 3-pointers: Olesiak 1. Free throws: 2-4. Total fouls; 6. Fouled out: None.
NER: Alexia Lightfeather 3, Willa Koivisto 1, Casey Zahnow 4. 3-pointers; Lightfeather 1. Free throws: 3-4. Total fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
Silver Bay 62,
At Silver Bay, Cherry got 18 points from Isaac Asuma and 15 more from David Clement, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Mariners got the win, 62-56.
Silver Bay got out to a 32-26 lead and held off the Tigers to get the six-point win.
The Mariners were led by Mason Ollman with 27 points and Riley Tiboni with 14.
Cherry plays at Bigfork Thursday.
Cherry 26 30 — 56
Silver Bay 32 30 — 62
Cherry: Matthew Welch 7, Isaac Asuma 18, Gavin Constantine 3, Iziac Martin 7, Zach Carpenter 4, David Clement 15, Mason Perkovich 2.
Silver Bay: Kaleb Krech 4, Mason Ollman 27, Derek Thompson 9, Coby Olson 5, Riley Tiboni 14, Manor Ollman 3.