Royalton went 4-0, Jan. 8, in its home dual tournament, while Little Falls ended the day with a 2-2 record.
The tournament featured three of the top 10 ranked teams in Class A — No. 3 Kimball Area, No. 4 Royalton and No. 6 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville.
In the matchup between Morrison County rivals Royalton and Little Falls, the fourth-ranked Royals were able to pull away late in the dual to hand the Flyers a 65-15 loss.
Tucker Simmons (106) and Lane Olson (113) were able to get Royalton out to a hot start with pins in 27 seconds and 2:16. A Little Falls forfeit at 120 was followed by a third-period technical fall for Class A No. 4 ranked Alex Diederich (126) over Kobi Cameron and staked the Royals to a 23-0 advantage before Little Falls got on the board.
That came at 132 pounds, when Class AAA No. 10 ranked Austin Litke of the Flyers pinned his opponent in just 43 seconds. Beau Robinson (138) won a 6-2 decision to seemingly put the Flyers within striking distance.
Sawyer Simmons (145) — who is ranked No. 9 at 160 — Nick Leibold (152, Jacob Leibold (160) — ranked No. 3 at 152 — and Hunter Novitzki (170) got the home team rolling again with four straight pins. That put Royalton in control, up 47-9 heading to the dual’s final few matches.
Ivan Petrich (182) got Little Falls back on the board with a 49-second fall. From there, it was all Royals. Class A No. 4 ranked 182-pounder Gabe Gorecki came out swinging, pinning his opponent in 23 seconds. Jeremy Mugg put an exclamation on the victory for Royalton when he got a late pin at 5:58 against Class AAA 285-pound No. 9 ranked Eli VanRisseghem of Little Falls.
Royalton started its day with wins of 71-6 over Fosston Bagley and 41-31 against Class A No. 6 ranked LPGE-Browerville.
Tucker Simmons (106), Olson (113) Bryce Binek (120), Diederich (132), Nick Leibold (145), Jacob Leibold (160), Novitzki (170) and Mugg (285) highlighted the victory with wins by fall.
Against LPGE/Browerville, Tucker Simmons got things going for the Royals with a tech fall at 106. But, pins for Class A No. 3 ranked Connor Flan (113) and No. 2 ranked Gavin Albers (120), gave the Wolves an early 12-6 lead.
A pin for Diederich (126) knotted the score back up, but LPGE/Browerville won the next two to go back on top, 21-12, before Sawyer Simmons pinned his opponent at 145. Jacob Leibold also stuck his opponent at 160, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Royals from looking up at a 31-23 deficit with just three matches to go.
Gorecki got the comeback started at 195, when he pinned Shawn Houdek in 1:20. Bryce Holm (195) gave the Royals their first lead since 6-0 at 35-31 when he won by fall against Alex Line in 3:07.
It all came down to the 285 match. Mugg was up to the task, as he pinned Trey Lancaster in 4:27 to cap off the Royals win in a battle of top-ranked squads.
Royalton was also a blowout winner, 60-16, against Minnetonka.
Tucker Simmons (106), Binek (120), Sawyer Simmons (145), Jacob Leibold (160), Holm (220) and Mugg (285) finished with a pin to earn their team six points each.
In its two wins of the day, Little Falls knocked off Minnetonka, 46-31, and Fosston/Bagley, 51-15. Aside from Royalton, the Flyers also lost to Kimball Area, 50-19.
Little Falls came up big in the upper weights to defeat Minnetonka. The two squads were knotted at 28-28 with just four weight classes remaining.
Hank LeClair (182) broke the stalemate with a pin in just 46 seconds. Minnetonka cut the lead in half with a 12-5 decision at 195, but Alexander Schmitz (220) and VanRisseghem (285) took wins by fall in 2:27 and 1:00, respectively, to propel the Flyers to victory.
Cassidy Okerman (106) got Little Falls started with a 14-3 major decision, but a pin and a forfeit followed, and Minnetonka was up 12-4. Mason Rausch (126), Joey Wilczek (132) and Robinson (138) claimed three straight pins for Little Falls to swing them into the lead, 22-12.
Minnetonka came back by winning three of the next four bouts. The lone exception was a pin in 3:21 for Dominic Scepurek at 152. That set up the exciting finish.
Jack Schmit (113), Litke (132), Ryan Kloeckl (160), LeClair (170), Petrich (195) and VanRisseghem all stuck their opponents in the decisive win over Fosston/Bagley.
Noah Cameron (126) got a big win for the Flyers against Kimball Area. He was able to knock off Jack Bollman, the Cubs’ No. 10 ranked 120-pounder, in a 10-8 decision. Litke (132) followed that with a 16-6 major decision.
LeClair (170) pinned Caden Guggisberg in 2:51 and VanRisseghem (285) claimed a fall in 2:29 over Class A No. 10 ranked Ace Meyer in a battle of ranked opponents to close out the Flyers’ scoring.
Little Falls (5-8 overall, 1-1 Granite Ridge Conference) traveled to Grand Rapids, Jan. 13, and took on Foley, Jan. 14. It travels to Sartell for a 5 p.m. triangular, Tuesday.
Royals defeat No. 8 Falcons
Royalton jumped out a big lead early and hung on late, Jan. 6, in a Central Minnesota Conference dual against No. 8 ranked Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.
The Royals used a trio of Falcon forfeits and a 16-1 technical fall by Diederich at 132 to go up 23-4. Despite a strong surge by ACGC in the upper weights, Royalton held it off for a 36-25 victory.
Sawyer Simmons (145) won a hard-fought 4-1 decision against Jevon Williams to extend the Royals’ advantage to 26-7. Class A No. 6 ranked 152-pounder Brady Holien got the Falcons closer with a pin, but Jacob Leibold (160) swung three points back to Royalton with a 6-0 decision over Mason Studemann.
ACGC won the next two and closed its deficit to 29-22. Gorecki came back with a big win, 14-8, at 195. That put the Royals in command, 32-22, before Bryce Holm (220) gave the Royals a clutch performance in a loss.
He made Class A No. 1 ranked Jaxon Behm of ACGC go the distance, giving him a battle for a 6-3 decision. By not allowing any bonus points in the bout, it kept the team score out of reach heading into the final match.
There, Mugg erased any doubt with a 12-4 major decision.
Royalton (10-0 overall, 1-0 conference) hosts a quad on Thursday and travels to a triangular at Kimball Area, Friday.