Scott West’s Jack Fogarty, right, won a 7-2 decision against Bloomington Kennedy Thursday night in Bloomington.
Scott West’s Jack Fogarty, right, won a 7-2 decision against Bloomington Kennedy Thursday night in Bloomington.
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The Scott West wrestling team put the final touches on a 16-0 regular season when it traveled to Bloomington Kennedy High School on Thursday night and defeated the Class 3A Eagles 38-22.
Scott West’s unbeaten regular season is the fourth in what is its 27th year as a program. The previous three unbeaten regular seasons  occurred in the 2000, 2011 and 2012.
The 2000 team went 16-0 during the regular season before finishing 20-2 and placing fourth in the state team tournament. The 2011 and 2012 teams both finished the regular season with unbeaten records at 19-0 and 20-0, respectively, before they both went on to wrestle their way to state team runner-up finishes.
“It (finishing unbeaten in the regular season) is a nice accomplishment and can give you something to feel good about,” states Scott West co-head coach Darren Ripley. “However, you can throw the record away because the only thing that matters now is what is going to happen at the Section 2AA Team Championships this week.”
The Section 2AA Team Championships will take place at Jordan High School this Thursday night with preliminary round action that will be followed by the “Final Four” on Saturday.
Scott West received the No. 1 seed for the section tournament and will wrestle at approximately 7:15 p.m. this Thursday against either No. 8 seed Tri-City United (5-12) or No. 9 WEM/JWP (10-11). No. 5 seed Watertown-Mayer (10-4) will host No. 12 Mankato East (4-16) for the right to take on No. 4 seed New Prague (16-8) Thursday night in New Prague.
In the lower bracket, Hutchinson  (24-3) received the No. 2 seed and will square off against the winner between No. 7 Mankato West (10-9) and No. 10 Waseca (4-15) Thursday night in Hutchinson. Waconia (9-3), the No. 3 seed, will await the winner between No. 6 St. Peter (16-7) and No. 11 Glencoe-Silver Lake/LP (3-15).
Saturday’s semifinals at Jordan will take place side-by-side at 4 p.m., followed by the championship at approximately 6 p.m. The winner of the latter match will advance to the state Class 2A team tournament.
Scott West had an early-season 30-28 win over Hutchinson at Mankato East in December and followed that up with a 26-25 criteria win at Waconia in January.
“It should be another exciting day of wrestling in the tradition of Section 2AA Team Wrestling,” states Ripley.
In Scott West’s 38-22 win at Bloomington Kennedy Thursday night, Panther Graham Thompson lost in a second period pin to Bloomington’s Kole Krause in the opening match at 106 pounds. But Jacob Strack ignited a six-match Scott West winning streak as he used a five-point first period move to help propel himself to a 9-4 win over Allen Everson at 113.  
Following Strack’s win, Scott West lit up the scoreboard quickly as the Stauffacher brothers put up back-to-back pin falls at 120 and 126 pounds. Justin’s came over Alex Badeaux in the first period, while Jackson would work his way to a third period pin of Joe Jeans.
Tyler Shackle made it three Panther pins in a row as the  132-pounder drove JFK’s Billy Reineccius to his back with a first period arm bar.
“Pins are very important, especially this time of the year,” states Ripley. “You get somebody on their back, you have to pin them, and Justin, Jackson and Tyler did just that.”
Although senior Panther  Parker Huss did not get a pin, he worked his way to an 18-3 technical fall over Bloomington’s Xavier Judge at 138. Huss used five take downs and three sets of back points to score the win.
Huss’ win was followed by the Panthers’ sixth straight victory of the meet as Jack Fogarty scored a pair of take downs and a set of back points to win a 7-2 decision over Reese Averbeck at 145.
The six-match Scott West win streak came to an end at 152 pounds when Bloomington’s Percy Willingham scored a pin of Jeffery Kasper when he cradled the Panther sophomore for a first period pin.
The home team Eagles were looking to make it two pins in a row behind Alexis Franco but Scott West eighth-grader John Jack Wiese (160) fought his way to making it a full six minutes as he lost a 12-0 major decision in his first varsity match.
“John Jack’s fighting effort caught the attention of Scott West coach Frank Kipp,” insists Ripley. “Frank really liked what he saw in John Jack’s performance and he communicated that to the team at the beginning of Friday morning’s practice at 6:00.”
It was a hard-fought battle at 170 where Bloomington’s #6-rated Noah Keith scored a 10-3 win over Jon Huss, with four of those points coming at the buzzer with the Scott West wrestler attempting a desperation move that put himself on his back.
Following Huss’ loss, it would be another workman’s-like job turned in by Scott West 182-pounder Dylan Aslakson as the junior grinded out a 6-2 win over JFK’s Nate Fosseen.  
With Scott West leading 31-19, Tyler Buesgens put away the meet with a solid 9-1 win over returning state-qualifier Eric Cruz Lopez. Buesgens used four take downs and some good hard riding to get the win.
The Eagles’ #7-rated Alchan Robbs scored a 6-3 decision over sophomore Calvin Menke at 220 before Scott West senior Ben Alexander scored a 6-3 victory (his 20th win of the year) over Richard Juberian.