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Wrestlers take fifth at conference meet, Gibson claims heavyweight championship

Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestlers traveled to New London for the West Central Conference Tournament on Saturday where the Tigers earned three all-conference honors and one honorable mention. Zach Gibson was the lone champion for the Tigers. The team finished in fifth place with 103 points. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City won the tournament with 220 points.

Gibson was the No. 2 seed in the 285-pound class. In the opening round Gibson pinned Ricky Berry of New London-Spicer in 1:04. In the second round he defeated Dominick Platow of Paynesville 4-3. He had hoped to meet the No. 1 seed Brandon Schmitt of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley in the championship. A win could have meant a better seed in the upcoming section tournament, but Schmitt was upset by the No. 4 seed Tyler Jensen of Benson. Gibson then defeated Jensen 9-1 to claim the conference title.

At 220 pounds, No. 2 seed Joel Harrison was also in the championship match. Harrison defeated Artruo Stefanoni of Melrose-Sauk Center by a pin in 2:30 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals he pinned Tanner Harder of Paynesville in 3:02. In the championship he was pinned by the No. 1 seed, J.D. Struxness of DB-LQPV. Harrison received all-conference honors.

Connor Metzger also received all-conference honors with his third-place finish at 170 pounds. The No. 3 seed pinned Ted Refsland of Yellow Medicine East in 5:21 in the quarter finals. In the semi-finals he was defeated 19-2 by the No. 2 seed and eventual champion, Maverick Whitcomb of A-C-GC. In the consolation semi-finals he pinned Martin Minkel of BOLD in 2:02. He then defeated Caleb Burris of Paynesville 3-0 to claim third place.

Evan Nelson received honorable mention all-conference honors with his fourth-place finish at 120. In the quarter-finals he lost 16-4 to the No. 2 seed T.J. Fulton of DB-LQPV. He would see Fulton again in the third- and fourth-place match. In the wrestle backs Nelson defeated Jacob Mages from Paynesville 6-4. Then he defeated Brett Grund of BOLD 7-0. Then it was back to Fulton, but the outcome was the same, this time he was pinned in 1:32.

Other place winners for the tigers included:

113: Travis Ostby - fifth place (1-2)

126: Dillan Johnson - fifth place (3-2)

Others wrestling for the Tigers included:

106: Mitchell Ascheman 1-2

132: Myles Smith 0-2

138: Jerid Berning 1-1

145: Seth Nelson 1-2

152: Jordan Thooft 1-2

160: Aaron Nelson 0-1

182: Wade Ehlers 1-2

195: Tyler Moser 0-2

West Central Conference Tournament - Team Point Totals

1. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 220.0

2. New London-Spicer 200.0

3. Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley 168.5

4. BOLD 106.0

5. Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta 103.0

6. Paynesville Area 74.0

7. Albany 61.0

8. Yellow Medicine East 59.5

9. Benson 59.0

10. Montevideo 53.0

11. Melrose/Sauk Centre 40.0

12. Minnewaska Area 35.0