FINALS BOUND: Braun, Vandal punch tickets to 'A' championships
Jamestown High School's Aden Braun and Paul Vandal are into the finals at the Class A individual state wrestling tournament at the Fargodome.
The Jamestown pair got past their semifinal opponents on Friday, as the the Blue Jays sit fourth in the individual team standings with 87.5 points. Bismarck High (164.5 points), Dickinson (114) and Mandan (105) sit just ahead of Jamestown.
Consolation matches begin tomorrow at 10 a.m., while the finals get underway at 3 p.m.
"It went really well," said Jamestown coach Larry Eslick. "Of course we didn't have a couple kids in (the finals) that we wanted, but we also had a couple that we're excited about."
Vandal won the coveted rubber match against Mandan's top-ranked Jacob Boehm in a 10-8 decision to advance to the 220-pound final. Fargo South's Isaiah Gates (32-14 record) awaits Vandal (21-3) tomorrow.
"He (Gates) wrestled heavyweight and dropped down to 220 for regionals," Eslick said. "He's not bad, but I don't think he'll be able to compete with Paul's length and leverage."
Vandal defeated Boehm via injury with 2 seconds remaining in the third period on Jan. 25 at Jerry Meyer Arena. Boehm was victorious, however, in the 220-pound West Region tournament championship with a 6-2 decision on Feb. 9.
"Paul took him down twice this time. We worked hard on a game plan and managed to win some points," Eslick said. "Paul was physical again and was able to control the match on top. He just couldn't match Paul's power."
Braun punched his ticket to the title match at 106 pounds with a 13-9 decision over Bismarck Century's Kaden DeCoteau. DeCoteau is wrestling unattached.
Bismarck High's Christian Tanefeu will be Braun's pairing in the finals.
"It was a tough, hard-fought match," Eslick said. "For Aden's first time being at state it was a great match. He just grinded it out and came out on top.
"Aden is a technical wrestler. He had a bit of nerves and it was a good win to get over that hump."
The two grapplers were suppose to meet at the WDA tournament championship, but Tanefeu was injured by an illegal move in the previous match.
"We wrestled Tanefeu a few times and wanted to go a full match with that kid," Eslick said. "We lost 10-6, 8-6 and 2-1, but nothing scares us about that match. We're excited to see Tanefeu."
Blue Jay senior Ethan Bowman (120), freshman Joel Bowman (113) and Noah Braun (145) each lost in the semifinals on Friday. Those three, along with Colton Mewes (138) and Aaron Mack (182) will compete in consolation action today.
"Unfortunately we didn't get Ethan to repeat, or Noah or Joel Bowman into the finals," Eslick said. "We'll be just fine and sitting fourth as a team. We'll be one of the top four teams in the state and that's a heck of a accomplishment."
There's still lots to wrestle for tomorrow as the Blue Jays could have two state champions for the first time since 2008. Eslick said he also wants to catch Mandan for third place in the team standings.
"That's special. It's been a long time coming after building the lineup back to this point," Eslick said. "It's special to see all the hard work in the offseason and summer come to fruition. We can do this. We want two state champions."
Class A state tournament
1. Bismarck High 164.5; 2. Dickinson 114; 3. Mandan 105; 4. Jamestown 87.5; 5. Minot 85.5; 6. Bismarck Century 84; 7. Fargo Davies 69; 8. West Fargo 60; 9. Turtle Mountain 57; 10. Bismarck St. Mary's 52.5; 11. Grand Forks Central 52; 12. Williston 50; 13. Valley City 45; 14. Bismarck Legacy 44; 15. Fargo South 35; 16. Devils Lake 34; 17. Wahpeton 27; 18. Fargo North 23.5; 19. Watford City 20; 20. West Fargo Sheyenne 16.5; 21. Grand Forks Red River 14.
Aden Braun (106): Semifinal - Braun dec. over Kaden DeCoteau (Bismarck Century), 13-9.
Joel Bowman (113): Semifinal - Kelby Armstrong (Minot) dec. over Bowman (Jamestown), 5-0.
Ethan Bowman (126): Semifinal - Laken Boese (Bismarck High) dec. over Bowman, 8-2.
Colton Mewes (138): Cons. Round 2 - Mewes dec. over Layton Wallace (Devils Lake), 6-4;
Noah Braun (145): Semifinal - Matthew Rader (Bismarck Century) dec. over Braun, 5-2.
Johnny Browning (160): Cons. Round 1 - David Peterson (Valley City) pinned Browning 0:57.
Coty Huebner (170): Cons. Round 1 - Isaac Fernandez (Minot) pinned Huebner 3:23.
Aaron Mack (182): Cons. Round 2 - Mack pinned Rylen Reid (Fargo Davies), 2:39;
Samuel Krebs (195): Cons. Round 2 - Malikai Rivera (Bismarck Century) dec. over Krebs, 4-1.
Paul Vandal (220): Semifinal - Vandal dec. over Jacob Boehm (Mandan), 10-8.