AREA NOTEBOOK: Crookston prep wrestling only one win shy of doubling milestone
Crookston entered the high school wrestling season with three individuals in the history of the Pirates program with 150 or more wins. The Pirates are now one win shy of doubling that milestone marker within a month.
In the past two weeks, junior Cody Weiland and senior Nate Merten each picked up his 150th win. Senior Blake Bergeron is sitting one shy of the milestone with 149 wins.
"Last year, the talk was all about the Franklin five, five guys (in our lineup) with 100 wins," Pirates coach Chad Hitchen said. "Now these three are all hitting 150 wins within a few weeks of each other. But we haven't heard as much talk about it.
"It's a big milestone. The ironic thing is that they're doing it so close together."
Anthony Caputo holds the school record with 201 wins, followed by brothers Javier and Mariano Portillo with 193 and 160 wins, respectively. Entering the season, the next wrestlers on the list were two-time state champions Paul Kuznik and Lenny Meine, each with 141 career wins.
They've been passed by three wrestlers with three different styles.
"Blake is a brawler," Hitchen said. "He likes to muscle around and throw people. Merten is more of mat wrestler, a guy who controls people pretty well. Cody is really tough on his feet. He's very strong.
"They're all good athletes. And all three have good work ethics."
All three are highly regarded. Bergeron (25-1) is fourth at 160 pounds in the latest Class A rankings by The Guillotine, the state wrestling magazine. Weiland (24-3) is ranked seventh at 132 and Merten (23-4) is ranked eighth at 138 pounds.
"If Cody doesn't get hurt, he should be able to catch Caputo," Hitchen said.
Indians on a roll
For most basketball teams, 81 points in a game is a big output. The way Four Winds-Minnewaukan is playing right now, however, 81 points looks like an off night.
In the Indians' last five games, the 13-1 team has scored 97, 98, 81, 105 and, against Standing Rock on Saturday, 111 points. Four Winds-Minnewaukan now has six games in which it has scored 90 or more points this season.
"It is sort of crazy," FW-M coach Rick Smith said of the recent outbursts. "We are shooting the ball better. We're playing a lot of kids; we've had 13 to 15 scoring points in almost every game. But we don't lose anything when we got to our bench.
"We have shot really well from the 3-point line, something we weren't doing earlier in the season."
Trayvon McKay (24 ppg) and Hadley Smith (12 ppg, 4.5 apg) lead the Indians' offense. The team has 39 treys in its last five games, with Smith connecting on 19 and McKay 12.
"We're an up-tempo team," Rick Smith said. "We always have been. That's the way the kids like to play. But I haven't seen a run like this from us. We've hit 100 occasionally in the past, but I can't remember a streak like this."
• McKay scored 33 against Standing Rock, pushing him over the 1,000-point milestone for the junior third-year starter's career.
"Trayvon used to be mostly a slasher and a mid-range jump shooter," Rick Smith said. "But he's developed a more well-rounded game this year. He's added 3-point shooting range and he's posting up more. He's become a real difficult kid for defenses to match up against."
Eaton, Heisler reach 1,000
Jacob Eaton of Roseau and Allie Heisler of North Star have reached the 1,000-point mark in their basketball careers.
• Eaton scored 18 on Tuesday in the Rams' 81-37 win against Lake of the Woods, giving the senior 1,007 points. Eaton, a third-year starter, averages 22 points.
"Jacob is a mismatch problem for a lot of teams,'' Roseau coach Ken Hayden said. "He's 6-3 with a thick body. If he has a bigger guy guarding him, he can go outside. He can hit the 3-point shot pretty consistently and he's a good ball handler. If he's got a smaller guy on him, we'll try to isolate him down low. He has some nice moves around the basket.''
• Heisler had 27 points Tuesday to lead North Star past previously unbeaten Rolla 60-47. That gave the senior 1,021 points. Heisler leads unbeaten North Star (10-0) with a 21.1 scoring average.
"Allie is a driver,'' North Star coach Sherri Miller said. "She's always wanting to go to the basket. She has nice moves in there. She can get in a crowd and somehow finds ways to score.''
Fosston-Bagley senior Alexi Bode won the 152-pound title Friday at the Terry Teiken Invitational wrestling tournament at Lake Park. Mahnomen-Waubun had two champions, Kole Lefebvre (132) and Kal Handyside (182). . . . Area players named to the Barnes County Invitational girls basketball all-tournament team were Presley Paintner of Griggs County Central and Lexi Archer of Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page. . . . Lucas Dick was close to a quadruple double for Munich-Starkweather last week in a 66-45 boys basketball win against Drayton/Valley-Edinburg. The senior had 17 points, 12 steals, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1128 or send e-mail to email@example.com.