PREP WRESTLING: Overtime wins spark Knights over Riders
The swing matches in Grand Forks Central's tight dual with rival Grand Forks Red River came down to Knight wrestlers Kalik Battle and Alex Randle. Battle and Randle both needed a little extra time to get the job done, but their efforts propelled ...
The swing matches in Grand Forks Central's tight dual with rival Grand Forks Red River came down to Knight wrestlers Kalik Battle and Alex Randle.
Battle and Randle both needed a little extra time to get the job done, but their efforts propelled Central to a 40-33 victory over the Roughriders on Saturday night in the Central gymnasium.
The win gives Central, 15-9 overall and 5-2 in the East Region, the region's No. 2 seed in the North Dakota Class A dual tournament.
Battle, the state's No. 6-ranked wrestler at 113 pounds, bumped up a weight class to beat Red River's Sean Murphy 8-6 in overtime. Murphy came in as the No. 4 wrester at 120 pounds.
Battle, who picked up his 13th win of the season, needed a buzzer-beater of sorts to pull off the upset.
Battle trailed 6-5 in the closing moments of the third period before he was awarded one point for Murphy's stalling.
"I thought it was over," Battle said.
In the extra minute of overtime, Battle picked up two points to get the victory.
"We needed to get one of those two overtime matches, and we got them both," Central coach Matt Berglund said. "Then other guys really stepped up to get pins."
Battle said he and Murphy have plenty of history.
"Ever since I started wrestling in the sixth grade, we've been going against each other," he said. "He's been beating me my whole life until I got him at state last year."
Two matches after Battle and Murphy went to extra time, Randle went into a marathon bout with Chase Christen.
Randle eventually defeated Christen 4-3 in four overtimes.
The overtime victories tipped the scales to Central.
"On paper, (the Riders) were favored," Berglund said.
Red River led the dual as late as 33-28, but the final result didn't have much mystery at that point as the matchup closed with the Knights' strength.
Central's Bryce Fish and Erik Jones pinned their opponents at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively, to close the evening. Fish is ranked No. 2 in the state at 152 pounds, while Jones is No. 5 at 160.
Both teams' individuals will compete in the region tournament next Saturday in Devils Lake.