The Kingsbury County Knights took seven wrestlers to the State B Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City last weekend, with three placing in the top eight at State.
Gannon Gilligan placed sixth at 106, Alec Dobson placed eighth at 138, and Kain Gilligan placed eighth at 220 for the Knights. As a team, Kingsbury scored 23 points, good for 19th in a 43-team field.
De Smet eighth-grader Gannon Gilligan placed sixth at 106, going 3-3 and earning 14 team points.
Gilligan opened with a tough one, with the 10th-seeded Knight facing seventh-seeded Brady Risetter, a Redfield sophomore who had won the 106 lb. Region 1B title the previous Saturday.
And the match at State did not go well either, with Risetter scoring a quick takedown and pinning Gilligan in 30 seconds. But the rest of the tournament would go better.
After Thursday’s defeat, Gilligan bounced back on Friday. He methodically out-pointed Flandreau freshman Brayden Wiese, leading 2-0 after one, 4-0 after two and winning a 7-0 minor decision.
In the second-round consolation match, he faced eighth-seeded Wagner freshman Karstyn Lhotak, who was coming off a loss to top-seeded Maxton Brozik.
The first period passed with no scoring, and in the second period, Lhotak was given the first point on an escape. But Gilligan took Lhotak down twice, to go into the third period up 4-2.
It was all defense from there, with Gilligan playing it smart, passing the two minutes without a score to win the 4-2 minor.
That put the Knight into the third round of consolations, facing 11th-seeded Custer eighth-grader Tray Weiss. This time it was all Gilligan, taking a 7-1 lead on two near-falls in the first period, treading water for 9-3 after two, then finishing off a 12-5 minor for the win.
That put the Knight into the consolation semis Saturday morning, facing third-seeded Philip sophomore Kipp Cordes. The first period passed without a score, but Cordes went up 3-0 after two, on his way to an 8-2 minor before going on to take third.
In the fifth-place match Saturday afternoon, Gilligan was back to facing Risetter. The Pheasant wouldn’t get a pin this time, but steadily outpointed the Knight for a 7-0 minor decision.
Gilligan finished the season at 26-9.
De Smet sophomore Dylan Zell placed eighth at 126, going 2-3 and earning a team-high eight points.
Zell opened as the sixth seed against Mobridge-Pollock freshman Wyatt Wientjes. He had little trouble, getting a first period takedown and working his way to a pin in 1:38.
That put him into the quarterfinals, facing a familiar opponent in third-seeded Keaton Rohlfs, a Redfield sophomore who had taken a 9-5 decision over Zell for the Region 1B title.
It was a hard-fought match, with no score in the first or second period. But deep in the third, Rohlfs finally turned the Knight, scoring a three-point near-fall with nine seconds left for the 3-0 minor.
That put Zell into a second-round consolation match against Elk Point-Jefferson. It was over quickly, with the Knight getting the takedown 48 seconds in, and a pin in 1:00.
But the third-round consolation match Saturday morning was tougher, against seventh-seeded Bon Homme/Scotland/Avon sophomore Brady Bierema.
Bierema scored first, with a first-period takedown, but Zell got a point back with an escape in the second. But with less than 30 seconds in the third, Bierema scored another takedown. Zell quickly escaped, but he then trailed 4-2, and couldn’t get a late takedown to tie.
That put the Knight into the seventh-place match Saturday afternoon against fourth-seeded McCook Central/Montrose eighth-grader Weston Remmers. It went scoreless into the third period, before Zell got a two-point reversal, only to get reversed back.
That put the match into overtime, where Remmers got the 4-2 win with a takedown.
Zell finished his season at 23-9.
De Smet senior Alec Dobson placed eighth at 138 lbs., going 2-3 and scoring four team points for the Knights.
The seventh-seeded Dobson opened against 10th-seeded Custer junior Mikael Grace. Dobson scored a second-period takedown and led 2-1 after two, then scored an escape for a 3-1 minor.
But in the quarterfinals, Dobson ran into second-seeded Redfield senior Bradyn Robbins, who had pinned him in 3:51 for the Region 1B title. Robbins was on a roll, coming off an 11-second pin in his opener, and didn’t take much longer, 41 seconds, to get the pin over the Knight, on his way to a State title.
That dropped Dobson to a second-round consolation match with eighth-seeded Tri-Valley senior Porter Jensen. The first period passed without a score, but Dobson got a takedown and two-point near-fall in the second, on his way to a 6-2 minor decision to advance to Saturday’s action.
There he faced third-seeded Wagner senior Bradyn Lhotak. The first period was scoreless, but Lhotak scored a takedown in the second. In the third period, Lhotak scored on an escape to go up 3-0, then a takedown for 5-0. Dobson scored with an escape, but ended up on the wrong side of a 7-1 minor.
Lhotak went on to place third, while Dobson went to the seventh-place match against 11th-seeded Mt. Vernon/Plankinton/Corsica-Stickney senior Brandon Bosworth. Tied at 2-2 going into the third, Dobson scored an escape point, but lost 4-3 on a takedown.
Dobson finished his season at 30-10.
De Smet senior Kain Gilligan went 1-2 at 220 and earned three team points.
The 10th-seeded Gilligan opened against seventh-seeded Harding County sophomore Grey Gilbert. In a tight match Thursday, Gilligan took a 2-1 lead in the third on a near-fall, but was reversed and lost a 3-2 minor decision. Gilbert went on to place fifth.
In the first-round consolation match, Gilligan faced Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes junior Jacob Novak, and stayed alive with a first-period takedown, and a second-period pin in 2:31.
That put him into the second-round consolations, facing ninth-seeded Marion/Freeman senior Clayton Smith. The first period passed without a score, but Smith scored a reversal in the second, and got the pin in 2:09. He went on to place sixth.
Gilligan ended his season at 30-13.
Arlington junior Nate Kersting went 1-2 at 182 and earned one team point.
The 11th-seeded Knight opened with a tough one, against third-seeded Clark/Willow Lake junior Gage Burke, the Region 1B champ. Kersting got a first-period escape point, but was reversed in the second and pinned in 2:32. Burke went on to place fourth.
In the consolations, Kersting faced EP/J sophomore Noah McDermott. The Knight took a 3-2 lead after one, passed the second period without a score, then added an escape, takedown and a penalty point in the third for a 7-2 win.
In the second-round consolations, Kersting faced fifth-seeded Canton sophomore Tanner Meyers. The Knight kept it close early, trailing just 3-0 midway through the second period, but Meyers got rolling after that, winning a 13-2 major.
Kersting finished his season at 31-10.
Arlington freshman Sheldon Balderston went 1-2 at 120 and earned one team point.
Balderston opened against second-seeded C/WL junior Gunnar Kvistad and put up a good fight, making it to the third period before being pinned in 5:05. Kvistad went on to place fifth.
In the consolations, Balderston advanced in a wild one over Lead-Deadwood senior Jacob Harris. Leading just 2-1 after two, the Knight scored seven points in the third, while giving up four, to take a 9-5 minor decision.
In the second-round consolations, Balderston faced eighth-seeded Custer sophomore Landon Woodward. The first period passed without a score, and the Knight survived a three-point near-fall in the second, but was then reversed and pinned in 3:22.
Balderston ended his season at 15-6.
Arlington senior Matthew Steffensen went 0-2 at 145.
Steffensen opened against second-seeded Howard senior Lane Miller and managed a first-period escape point, but ended up on the short side of a 14-1 major decision. Miller went on to place second.
In the consolations, Steffensen faced 10th-seeded Custer sophomore Jonathan Lewis. In a tight match, Lewis made a second-period escape point stand up for a 1-0 minor decision.
Steffensen finished his season at 29-14.