A clash of top Section 7A squads highlighted the Royalton Triangular, Jan. 13.
The final match of the evening featured Class A No. 4 Royalton and Holdingford, which is also receiving votes for state rankings. The Royals won five of the last seven weight classes to claim a come-from-behind, 39-25 victory.
The talent on display was evident from the get-go, as the first bout at 106 pounds pitted No. 8 Tucker Simmons of Royalton against Holdingford’s No. 10 ranked Wyatt Novitzki. The Husker freshman was able to do a little bit more, as he took a 4-0 decision to give his team a 3-0 lead.
From there, it went back and forth for the first half of the dual. Lane Olson (113) claimed a 9-7 overtime decision to tie it up, but Holdingford regained a one-point advantage with Masyn Patrick’s (120) 9-1 major decision. The lead swung right back to the home team, 8-7, when Royalton’s No. 6 ranked 126-pounder Alex Diederich worked a technical fall in 3:29.
No. 6 ranked Will Gorecki of Royalton pushed the Royals’ lead to 11-7 at 132 with an 11-4 decision. It was far from over. No. 8 ranked Drew Lange (138) of Holdingford got a major decision that tied it back up at 11-11. The Huskers’ lead increased to 15-11 after the 145 bout when No. 10 ranked Will Pilarski got a 10-2 major.
Jacob Leibold, ranked No. 3 at 152 pounds, saw to it that the Huskers didn’t take control. He pulled the Royals back to even with a major decision of his own, 15-5. Keeping with the theme, Kolten Harren (160) of Holdingford managed a 10-2 major, and with just five matches left, Royalton was looking at a 19-15 deficit.
With the Royals’ undefeated streak to start the season in jeopardy, No. 6 ranked Gabe Gorecki turned the tide. He notched the dual’s first pin in 3:05 to put the Royals up 21-19. Hunter Novitzki (182) followed with another fall in 3:56 to give them some breathing room.
Holdingford closed the gap to 27-25 when Royalton forfeited to No. 7 ranked 195-pounder Sam Harren, but any chance of a comeback was erased by Bryce Holm at 220. He stuck his opponent in 1:34 to extend the lead to an insurmountable 33-25. The Huskers forfeited to No. 5 Jeremy Mugg at 285 to bring the score to its final.
It capped off a strong day for the Royals, after they defeated Deer River 61-15 to get the evening started. That effort included wins over two of the Warriors’ four ranked grapplers.
That was almost three wins. The 145-pound match featured No. 6 Will Gorecki versus No. 9 152-pounder Tygh Gullickson. Gorecki took him to overtime, but the Warriors junior managed a takedown in the extra session for a 5-3 decision.
At 170 pounds, No. 6 ranked Gabe Gorecki got a big win for Royalton when he pinned No. 10 Austin Mundt in 1:55. Hunter Novitzki followed that at 182 with a thrilling, 4-2 decision over No. 10 ranked Gus Thompson.
Royalton (12-0 overall, 2-0 Central Minnesota Conference) hosted a quad, Thursday, and traveled to Grand Rapids for a tournament, Saturday, Jan. 22.