Kasson-Mantorville flexes muscle in dual win over Section 1AA rival Zumbrota-Mazeppa
The No. 4-ranked KoMets showed they are still the class of Section 1AA with an impressive showing over the No. 11-ranked Cougars.
MAZEPPA — The Kasson-Mantorville High School wrestling team made a statement on Saturday.
The No. 4 ranked KoMets flexed their muscle, collecting four pins and two victories by major decisions to sprint past Section 1AA rival and No. 11-ranked Zumbrota-Mazeppa 44-15 in front of a packed house at Mazeppa Elementary School.
It was an effort first-year coach Ryan Hill was more than pleased with.
"Any day you win is a good day, right?" Hill said. "The big thing we talked a lot about, every time we go out on the mat, are we going to make a level jump, right? It doesn't matter who we're going against every time out, we get a little bit better. The kids are buying into it. And it's showing in our wrestling right now."
One of those wrestlers who appears to have taken those words to heart is sophomore Aiden Friedrich.
With the KoMets trailing 9-6, Friedrich delivered the match of the dual, knocking off two-time state medalist and No. 3-ranked 126-pounder Jack Krier by a 5-4 decision with a late takedown.
It appeared Krier had Friedrich on the ropes, before the sophomore was able to find an opportunity to turn the tables.
"I was just trying to wrestle in the best position," Friedrich said. "I could not take bad shots and I hit something at the end and I don't know. I lost to him last year and I just had the mindset of just hit something."
That something was a takedown that sent a wave of electricity down the KoMets' bench.
Made my second stop of the day in Mazeppa as two of the best in Class AA in No. 4 Kasson-Mantorville and No. 11 Zumbrota-Mazeppa. Check out this finish by Aiden Friedrich as he knocks off No. 3 ranked Jack Krier at 126 by a 5-3 decision. We are tied at 9 pic.twitter.com/Z99TKiJ9Vn— Alex VandenHouten (@AlexVandenhout1) February 4, 2023
"It's a dual, so it's all about momentum," Hill said. "We talk about these first four weights, your job is to go out there and set the tone, put things at a super high level. With Aiden, he wasn't supposed to win that match and he's struggled with confidence a little bit early in the season. But he's right where he needs to be right now."
K-M went on to win 9 of the next 11 matches, including a top-10 matchup at 152 between Z-M's No. 3-ranked Kaleb Lochner and No. 4 ranked Luke Swanson.
Swanson was great, holding off Lochner with a solid combination of quickness and strength for a 3-2 win.
Owen Nelson picked up three points for K-M at 170 with a nice 3-2 victory over Isaiah O'Reilly, before the top-ranked 170-pounder in Minnesota — Cole Glazier — went up a weight to collect a quick first-period pin at 182.
In the blink of an eye, K-M was up 32-12.
"They have a lot of good wrestlers," Z-M coach Link Steffen said. "I think all the way up to like 160 or whatever, they were all decision matches. They were all very tight, very close. And it was there. It was a good deal for us as far as that's considered. But you got to wrestle all 14 matches. And when it was said and done, they were four or five better wrestlers better than us today. That's what it comes down to. They took it away from us on our home gym."
Steffen was pleased with the way his group was trying to be aggressive on the mat, going for shots when the opportunities were right. Yet, as has become their staple, the K-M wrestlers absorbed all of it like a brick wall.
"They're sturdy, they're strong, they have good balance and they'll capitalize on any mistake," Steffen said. "They're very good at that."
Steffen admitted the Cougars have a plan of attack in place for sections, but still, they have work to do.
The KoMets have the same mindset.
"We have to wrestle Stillwater on Thursday," Hill said. "So that's where our focus is now. Like I said earlier, we have to take a little jump on Thursday and then we can worry about the postseason after."
Kasson-Mantorville 44, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 15
106 — Jent Beyer (ZM) dec. Kalin Anderson 5-1. 113 — Noah Schaefer (ZM) pinned Spencer Meyers. 120 — Jonah Coleman (KM) pinned Ryan Stimets. 126 — Aiden Friedrich (KM) dec. Jack Krier 5-4. 132 — Owen Friedrich (KM) dec. Lucas Schiell 2-1. 138 — Zayne Novek (ZM) dec. Parker Richards 4-1. 145 — Joey Kennedy (KM) maj. dec. Laiken Coleman 15-4. 152 — Luke Swanson (KM) dec. Kaleb Lochner 3-2. 160 — Dominic Mann (KM) maj. dec. Wilson Nordquist 12-2. 170 — Owen Nelson (KM) dec. Isaiah O'Reilly 3-2. 182 — Cole Glazier (KM) pinned Christian Holm. 195 — Ryan Lexvold (ZM) dec. Jacob Duitsman 4-0. 220 — Eli Richardson (KM) pinned Wyatt Mulder. 285 — Heath Parrish (KM) pinned Tucker Buck.