Crookston won five matches by fall and claimed their fourth straight match.

    Crookston pinned Hillsboro five times, won nine total matches and the Pirates defeated the Burros 51-21 to win their fourth dual in a row.

    “We got off to a big lead early and that has been kind of the theme as of late,” Head Coach Wes Hanson said. “That’s something that we’ve got to rely on…those [first] guys to get it done early and they’ve done a nice job with that.”

    The Pirates (5-2) used their strategy of stacking their lower weights to perfection. Ethan Bowman (8th Grade 106 pounds) pinned Carter Iverson (7th Grade 106 pounds) in 1:09, Carter Coauette (7th Grade 113 pounds) and Nolan Dans (So. 120 pounds) snagged wins by default and Zach Brown (So. 126 pounds) won by fall in 3:06 over John Geray for a 24-0 lead.

    Bowman’s win improved his season record to 14-5 and Brown continued his fantastic run at 16-1.

    Hillsboro got on the board with four points when Matt Anderson (Sr. 132 pounds) beat Braxton Volker (8th Grade 132 pounds) by an 11-2 major decision, but Crookston responded with a pin by Cameron Weiland (So. 138 pounds) over Colton Tapson for a 30-4 lead.

    Hunter Knutson (8th Grade 145 pounds) and Adyn Eckart (8th Grade 145 pounds) wrestled a high-scoring match which was tied at 5-5 after the first period. Knutson scored the first three in the second period and pinned Eckart shortly after at 3:06.

    “Cameron Weiland made quick work there,” Hanson said. “He’s physical and got a nice first takedown. Hunter Knutson is really enjoying wrestling under the spotlight in the home gym. He’s had a couple of big wins here. He stays mentally tough. He gave up a reversal and some back points, let a big lead slip and just stuck with it and he was able to get the fall.”

    Cade Coauette (So. 152 pounds) won an open match to extend the Pirates’ lead to 42-4. With the six points coming from the forfeit victory, Crookston clinched the dual win.

    The Pirates’ first win that did not result from a pin came from Lukas Meier (Sr. 160 pounds) over Gavin Wright (Jr. 160 pounds). Meier started on the offensive and grabbed a 7-2 lead, which he was able to hold for an 8-4 decision win.

    “That’s what we were looking for coming into this is for him to get some quality mat time,” Hanson said on Meier who wrestled his second match after an injury which sidelined him for weeks. “He wrestled a very good opponent. When you get late in the season, it’s going to come down to going the entire duration and wrestling hard the whole time. Lukas got out of position a couple times, but overall, he wrestled a very solid match.”

    Ethan Boll (8th Grade 170 pounds) recorded the team’s fifth win by fall against Devin Hankel (So. 170 pounds) in 1:01 for six more points and a 51-4 advantage.

    The Burros’ Mark Hastings (Sr. 195 pounds) ended Crookston’s run with a technical fall win over Damian Hodgson (Sr. 195 pounds) at 4:29 and Hillsboro completed the matches with Jacob Pruneda (Sr. 220 pounds) pinning Blake Fee (Sr. 220 pounds) in 1:40.

    Hillsboro tacked on six more points after a default win in the 285-pound match, but Crookston already had the match in hand and won 51-21.

    “We’ve got everybody back, we’re healthy and things are coming together for us,” Hanson said. “I think those early boosts from guys in lower weights really helped to get our team off to a big lead. We’ve done a really good job of not giving up bonus points too.”

    The Pirates will be back in action on Friday, January 4 at the Mahnomen-Waubun Invitational which will feature five total schools. The invitational begins at 4 p.m.

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