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Badal to retire in February

Jays struggle in lighter weights in loss

John M. Steiner / The Sun Jamestown’s Jakob Browning tries to get position against Minot’s Ethan Benham during their 138-pound tilt on Friday. Browning won narrowly, 6-5.1 / 2
John M. Steiner / The Sun Jamestown’s Paxton Mewes works the leg of Minot’s Creighton Rudolph during their 145-pound match on Friday night. Mewes won the contest.2 / 2

Jamestown finished the 220-pound match on Friday night with a 12-point dual lead.

It was anything but comfortable.

Minot won the final six matches, scoring 33 unanswered points including a pair of Blue Jay forfeits in a 45-24 West Region wrestling victory at the JHS gym.

“Jamestown’s got some quality kids and we wrestled well against them at certain weights,” Minot coach Nolan Spooner said. “It helps to get a couple forfeits. Overall, we did a nice job.”

As expected, the Blue Jays flexed their muscles in the upper weights with a talented group of seniors.

Jamestown’s Caleb Ellingson, ranked fifth, edged Derek Frantsvog by 5-2 decision at 170, jumpstarting the Blue Jays to four straight wins.

“The seniors we have in the lineup — it’s a good bet they’re gonna go out and do the job,” Jamestown coach Larry Eslick said.

Fourth-ranked Triston Shipley (182) pinned Tyler Kolobakken with 12 seconds remaining in the first period, and second-ranked Eathan Gumke (195) dispatched of Eli Wickum in 2:38. Junior Kyle Anderson (220) rounded out the victories by pinning Eli Wickum as the final second of the first period ticked off to give Jamestown a 24-12 advantage.

The Blue Jays have struggled in the lower weights this season, and Minot took full advantage. Outside of the four matches won in the upper weights, Jamestown had just one win — third-ranked Paxton Mewes’ 4-0 decision over Creighton Rudolph at 138.

The 12 points Jamestown gave up on forfeits at 120 and 126 didn’t help its cause. Eslick said knowing that the team has to overcome 12 points puts added pressure on wrestlers.

“Going in down 12-0, it’s a lot to ask a kid, that ‘you’ve got to go pin this guy,’” Eslick said. “We’ve got to be able to make up points somewhere. If we’re not getting the points, we can’t give up points. We lost a couple of close matches that could have gone either way, and those are big swings.”

Jakob Browning suffered a 6-5 loss to Ethan Benham at 138, and Matthew Rabe held on 13-10 over Drew Topp at 160.

Youth was everywhere, as Jamestown had just five seniors in the lineup. Minot had only two — its heaviest two wrestlers. The Magicians started four sophomores, four freshmen and three eighth-graders.

“Once we get kids in the right spots, we’ll be all right,” said Eslick, whose team hosts the Knights of Columbus Invite today. “One thing I noticed about Minot — they’re inexperienced, too. But they’re inexperienced kids were a little more aggressive than we were.”

Minot 45, Jamestown 24

138: Ethan Benham, M, dec. Jakob Browning, 6-5.

145: Paxton Mewes, J, dec. Creighton Rudolph, 4-0.

152: Tyler Thompson, M, pinned Lucas Shirley, 2:31.

160: Matthew Rabe, M, dec. Drew Topp, 13-10.

170: Caleb Ellingson, J, dec. Derek Frantsvog, 5-2.

182: Triston Shipley, J, pinned Tyler Kolobakken, 1:48.

195: Eathan Gumke, J, pinned Eli Wickum, 2:38.

220: Kyle Anderson, J, pinned Kolton Stevens, 2:00.

285: Isaiah Crowe, M, pinned Austin Schwandt, 1:25.

106: Matthew Leier, M, pinned Dominic Laber, 0:37.

113: Brody Armstrong, M, dec. Kane Barnick, 6-1.

120: Tyler Stranberg, M, forfeit.

126: Devin Stein, M, forfeit.

132: Carson Mosser, M, pinned Kyle Dupree, 1:37.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or