Lightning defeat Big Lake, fall to Foley in semifinals

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In the Section 6-2A Team Wrestling Tournament, the Annandale-Maple Lake wrestling team defeated Big Lake in the quarterfinals 34-32 on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The Lightning went on to lose to No. 1 seed Foley in the semifinals 53-16. Foley won the tournament, defeating Becker 35-13, to go to the state tournament. ANML finished 18-6 with four losses by five points or less. ANML 34, Big Lake 32 Many Lightning wrestlers contributed to this big quarterfinal win. Nate Carlson, 106, lost to Logan Donais 11-3. But Coach Jason Bartels said, “Carlson saved us some valuable team points at 106 against a very physically mature, older, and bigger wrestler. I know that Nate was not pleased with the loss, but it was against a really tough kid.” Tanner Vassar, 113, pinned his opponent with only three seconds remaining in the match. “Those three seconds were definitely needed. Without that pin we go to a tie breaker,” Bartels said. Joe Mosley, 120, got a nice pin. “It was what we expected from Joe, but the Big Lake kid was putting up a really good fight, not making it very easy for Joe, but he came through in the end,” Bartels said. Bennett Erickson, at 126, was described by Coach Bartels as “the hero of the night.” Erickson’s Big Lake opponent had more than 25 wins this season and was a heavy favorite to pin Erickson. “Bennett was losing early on, but he slowed down that match and frustrated his opponent to the point where he began to score off the other boy’s mistakes. He gained some confidence and took the match into overtime, where he quickly secured the takedown and the win,” Bartels recalled. “We won some matches we shouldn’t have, including Bennett’s overtime match,” said co-captain and Bennett’s brother, Teddy Erickson. “He wasn’t expected to win but he wrestled his best performance all year so far.”
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