Pirates wrap up season with two wrestlers at state tournament, Boll places fifth
Sophomore Ethan Boll led the Crookston wrestling team at the Class A Individual State Tournament Saturday afternoon in St. Michael with a fifth-place finish at 195 pounds.
Zach Brown, a senior competing in his fourth straight state tournament, wrestled at 120 pounds but did not place.
Boll, who was seeded second at 195 pounds, suffered an upset against Carter Quam of Kenyon-Wanamingo in the first round. Boll scored the first takedown, but Quam turned the tables with an escape to tie the score at 4-4 in the third period, and later had a takedown of his own. Quam rode Boll for the last 30 seconds, as Boll was unable to equalize and took a 6-4 defeat.
In the consolation round, Boll took on Gideon Ervasti of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie. The two had met already this season, with Ervasti winning by 3-2 decision in a dual on Feb. 6. Once again, they wrestled a close match, this time going to overtime.
With a minute left in the third period, Boll scored on a double leg takedown to take a 4-2 lead, but Ervasti reversed Boll 30 seconds later to tie the match once again. In the sudden-death period, Ervasti went for a low takedown, but Boll defended it well and turned it into a takedown of his own to win, 6-4.
Boll then wrestled Jackson County Central's Caleb Vancura for fifth place. From the start, Boll was in control, taking down Vancura three times and nearly pinning him in the second period. Boll ultimately won, 10-3, to cap off his sophomore season with a 38-3 record.
Boll placed sixth at state in the 182-pound weight class last year.
Brown, who was looking for his third straight podium finish at the state tournament, came in seeded sixth at 120 pounds and drew Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's Ryan Jensen in the quarterfinals. The match was one of the closest of the tournament, and it took over eight minutes to determine a winner.
Both Brown and Jensen started off quickly with takedown attempts, but neither was able to bring down the other wrestler. The only points in regulation were scored on escapes: Brown, who started the second period on top, let Jensen go, and Jensen did the same to Brown at the start of the third period.
Neither Brown or Jensen could score in the first sudden-death overtime or the two 30-second tiebreaker periods that followed, so the match went to an ultimate tiebreaker. If Brown, who started on top, could hold Jensen down for 30 seconds, he would advance, while Jensen needed to escape to win.
As time ran down, Brown kept Jensen in his grasp, but with four seconds left, Jensen scored a reversal to win by 3-1 decision.
Brown then wrestled Lane Fink of Canby in the consolation round. Once again, both wrestlers escaped each other's holds to start the second and third period, but it was a first-period takedown by Fink that proved to be the difference in a 3-1 decision.
With the loss, Brown's senior season came to an end at 34-5, as did his Pirate career, which consisted of 171 victories.
Boll's fifth-place showing meant that 2021 was the fourth straight year Crookston has had a wrestler in the top five at state. Lukas Meier placed fifth at 145 pounds in 2018, and Brown finished fourth at 113 pounds in 2019 and fifth at 120 pounds in 2020.
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