The Pirates have come off the long holiday layoff and responded well. In three home duals they narrowly lost to Badger/Greenbush-Middle River and handily defeated Park Rapids and Thursday they beat Fosston-Bagley 54-21. The Pirates also placed third at the Mahnomen-Waubun Dual Tournament.
Fosston-Bagley had two open spots, while Crookston had one.
"We prevailed mainly due to our ability to fill matchups in our favor," said Pirate head coach Chad Hitchen. "We won those key matches at 152 and 160 with Wyatt Hanson winning 6-3 and Blake Bergeron winning 8-4. Wins in those two key matches swung the pendulum in our favor even more."
The meat of the order for the Pirates stepped up as it typically does and five consecutive matches Thursday, including three pins in that stretch.
"It's hard to expect what you're going to get literally an hour before the dual," Hitchen said. "You don't know who's going to make the trip. Fosston-Bagley showed a full lineup then got here with two open spots. It was the same with us as Preston Desrosier has been at home last two days with the flu."
The Pirates improve to 6-4 this season in duals led by their three ranked wrestlers, sophomore Cody Weiland and seniors Wyatt Hanson and Josh Edlund. At 132 pounds Weiland is ranked No. 8 in Class AA, while Hanson is No. 8 at 152 pounds and Edlund is No. 2 at 195 pounds.
"I don't think we've peaked yet, with all the cancellations it has been hard to get into a rhythm," Hitchen explained. "We still have quite a few matches to put in. We are showing steady improvement. At this point our coaches have been seeing we have been improving every match. We are putting ourselves in an opportunity to win."
On Saturday the Pirates will compete in the Larimore Invitational beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Crookston def. Fosston-Bagley, 54-21
106 lbs. - Lane Olson (FB), forfeit
113 lbs. - Colton Weiland def. Tristen Molden (FB), pin 1:05
120 lbs. - Kyle Caputo def. Roman Bode (FB), pin 4:55
126 lbs. - Gabe Hanson (FB) def. Shad Steer, pin 5:33
132 lbs. - Cody Weiland def. Jake Ubert (FB), pin 1:11
138 lbs. - Cody Erickson def. Zach Larsen (FB), pin 1:06
145 lbs. - Nate Merten def. Sam Manecke (FB), pin 1:43
152 lbs. - Wyatt Hanson def. Alexi Bode (FB), 6-3
160 lbs. - Blake Bergeron def. Wyatt LaFriniere (FB), 8-4
170 lbs. - Nick Vig (FB) def. Dyllun Frazee, pin 1:38
182 lbs. - Luke Edlund, forfeit
Page 2 of 2 - 195 lbs. - Zach Como (FB) def. Jesse Bosquez, 1-0
220 lbs. - Josh Edlund def. Jordan Murphy (FB), pin 3:21
285 lbs. - A.J. Biermaier, forfeit