PREP WRESTLING: Class A wrestling tournament to run Thursday through Saturday in Bismarck
Anthony Lamberson spent the latter part of the season bouncing around in the Grand Forks Central wrestling team’s dual lineup.
Over his final nine duals, Lamberson wrestled three times each at the 126, 132 and 138 weight classes. But the junior found a home at 126 in the postseason.
Both Lamberson and classmate Brandon Hanson take top-eight seeds at 126 pounds into the North Dakota Class A state wrestling tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Bismarck.
“When Jesus Flores dropped from 138 to 132, that dropped Brandon to 126,” Central coach Matt Berglund said. “They had wrestleoffs in practice and Lamberson hasn’t been able to beat Hanson. So we’ve moved (Lamberson) around to keep him in the lineup.”
Hanson is 31-14 and placed fourth at the East Region tournament. He takes the No. 6 seed at 126 to state. Lamberson is 24-20 and was one spot behind Hanson at the regional, finishing fifth at 126. Lamberson is the No. 8 seed entering state. Flores also got a seventh seed at 132.
Berglund wasn’t surprised to see Lamberson with a top-eight seed. “He has a winning record and he’s right there with Hanson, losing 2-0 to him at the regional,” Berglund said.
“This has happened in the past. A couple of years ago, (Central’s) Eric Jones and Bryce Fish both were seeded at the same weight going to state.”
Lamberson and Hanson have done well with different styles.
“Hanson is just a very fundamentally sound, all-around wrestler,” Berglund said. “He doesn’t make mistakes or allow a lot of points.
“Lamberson is a high-risk kid. He relies on a lot of moves that are dangerous as far as being put on his back. But most of the time, he makes them work for him.”
Eight seeded Knights
Central set a school record with 18 dual wins this season and will be competing in the state dual tournament. Balance is a strength for the Knights, and that shows in the state seedings.
Eight Knights have top-eight seeds. Kyle Terrill (third, 182) is the highest seed, followed by Spencer Oen (fifth, 152) and East Region champion Tyler Keener (fifth, 113). Other seeded Knights are Garrett Litzinger (eighth, 145) and Blake Brandon (eighth, 160).
The top contenders for high places figure to be Terrill and Keener.
“Neither of them are favored to make the finals,” Berglund said. “Kyle is a very good wrestler. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been close to (Valley City’s Zach) Doty, the No. 1 seed. Tyler is wrestling really well right now.”
Central has never had more than seven placers at a state tournament. “We have eight seeded kids,” Berglund said. “If we wrestle well, we feel we could get nine placers. But we’ll have to wrestle well.”
Murphy is No. 1 seed
Sean Murphy was runner-up in the East Region tournament Saturday. Now the Grand Forks Red River senior takes the No. 1 seed into the state tournament at 126 pounds.
Reed Cronin of West Fargo scored a takedown in the final 20 seconds to edge Murphy 8-7 in the region final. In the teams’ regular-season dual, Murphy, a state runner-up last season, beat Cronin 8-6.
“The guys were 1-1 against each other. The higher place at state last year is what pushed Sean through (to No. 1),” Red River coach Bruce Moe said. “That one loss in the regional didn’t matter.”
Murphy had knee surgery before Christmas and missed three weeks of competition. But, Moe said, he’s wrestling better than he was last season.
“If Sean wrestles well, he should be able to win state,” Moe said. “There are a couple of good guys he’ll have to beat. But I think he’s the best one there at his weight.”
The Roughriders have two other seeded wrestlers, Dawson Zerr (sixth) at 120 and Malek Larimer (seventh) at 138. Zerr goes to state as East Region 120-pound champion.
“For an eighth-grader, he did an excellent job at the regional,” Moe said. “You usually don’t see eighth-graders win region titles at a heavier weight like that. I think he can carry that over to state. We’re hoping he and Malek can get in the top four at state.’’