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Kevin Schnepf, Published February 19 2010

ND Class B state wrestling: Central Cass, South Border pick up dual victories

After posting first-round dual wins Thursday at the North Dakota Class B state wrestling tournament, Central Cass and South Border now become the underdogs.

Central Cass, a 45-30 winner over Killdeer, advanced to today’s semifinals in the Fargodome against defending dual champion Oakes, a 67-12 winner over New Town.

South Border (Ashley-Wishek), a 52-15 winner over Velva, wrestle in the other semifinal dual against Carrington, a 64-12 winner over Hettinger.

Many are expecting an Oakes-Carrington showdown in the dual championship scheduled for tonight.

“That is in the back of our minds … it’s what we’ve been preparing for all season,” said Carrington coach Mark Pazdernik.

“Carrington is on a roll right now,” said Oakes coach Cory Schall.

“But we’ve got to get geared up for the semifinals first.”

Back on Jan. 19 in Casselton, Oakes walloped Central Cass 68-9. Central Cass coach Travis Lemar couldn’t remember the score but described it as, “a lot to not enough.” But that was a match in which Central Cass was forced to use four junior varsity wrestlers because of injuries.

“It’s going to take a mighty big effort from our guys,” Lemar said. “But we will be confident and ready to go.”

Central Cass was ready for a close match against Killdeer. The turning point came when Jacob Mogen pinned Chasten Lee in the 152-pound match. Killdeer coach Shane Olson was hoping to get a pin to help offset Central Cass’ strength in the upper weights.

“Instead we give up six points,” Olson said.

“That was a big match for us,” Lemar said. “Jacob lost some close matches this year when he had built a lead. It was nice to see him finish one off.”

The only other time South Border competed in the dual tournament in 2006, it lost to Velva in the opening round. That wasn’t the case Thursday – especially after Docter Drew upset Austin Kittelson in the 140-pound match. Drew, who did not qualify for the individual tournament, pinned Kittelson, a No. 5 seed at 140 in the individual tournament.

“That kind of got things going for us,” said Josh Hoffman, co-coach for South Border, whose team now takes on a veteran Carrington team. “They’re going to be tough in the middle weights. Our middle weights is where we struggle, but I know our kids will be ready for them.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549