An intimate and electric atmosphere for Scott West Wrestling was on display Thursday night, Jan. 16, as Team Panther welcomed the AAA No.5 rated Northfield Raiders to the Panther Den where they were looking to remain unbeaten for the year.
It turned out to be a feature rematch from the epic thriller meet that the two teams wrestled in Northfield last year, where the Panthers rallied to beat the Raiders 30-28 by winning the last four matches highlighted by pins from Jon Huss at 182 and Calvin Menke at Hwt.
“That was a big time comeback win over a very good Northfield team last year,” recalled Coach Ripley, “and it was good to see the two Scott West comeback pin artists return to the Panther Den to check out the wrestling action.”
Scott West needed to strike first and they did behind eighth-grade 106-pounder Matt Randolph as the Panther lightweight brought forth the first roar of the crowd when he cradled up Northfield’s Airiana Garave for a pin fall call late in the second period.
The Randolph pin at 106 lbs. was followed by a hard-fought 6-4 win by Panther sophomore Zach Tracy over the Raiders’ Beau Murphy at 113 lbs..
Scott West needed the fast start as Northfield quickly erased the 9-0 Panther team lead by putting together three straight wins started by no. 8 rated Jake Messner’s 12-3 major decision over Tory Pumper at 120 lbs.
The Messner win was followed by a pin at 126 lbs. as the no. 2 rated Chase Murphy recorded a first period pin over Leo Siekmann to give the visiting Northfield team their first lead of the night at 10-9.
The Raiders’ Sam Holmen then used a big third period as the Northfield wrestler scored seven points with three of them coming on a late stall call and takedown that made it good enough for a 13-5 major decision over Ashton Holbrook at 132 lbs.
Points were not necessary in the next match at 138 lbs. as ‘Big-Move’ Bahr was back in action and the Panther senior buried Northfield’s Gavin Anderson with a first-period headlock that lead to a Panther Den crowd-erupting pin fall call at just 43 seconds.
“‘Big-Move’ Bahr is back and it could not have come at a better time,” Ripley said. “We needed that match like we needed the first two matches and Colton Bahr delivered a little lightning in the bottle ala Jon Huss last year.”
The Bahr headlock pin gave the Scott West Panthers a 15-14 team lead; however, the Northfield Raiders took it right back as they sent out no. 2 rated Drew Woodley to do battle against the Panthers’ Luke Fogarty at 145 lbs. Although Fogarty fought hard through two periods, the talented Woodley proved to be too much for the Scott West wrestler as he scored nine third period points to win a 13-3 major decision.
The Woodley win gave Northfield back the team lead at 18-15 as the meet moved to its second half and getting it started right at 152 lbs. for Team Panther was Blake Riemer as the junior middleweight powered Northfield’s Carter Seeley to his back with a half-nelson that resulted in a first-period buzzer-beating pin fall call at 1:59.
The Riemer pin put Scott West back in front at 21-18, but although the Panthers’ Collin Fahey took a 5-2 lead in his match at 160 lbs.. it would be Northfield’s Jace Barron rolling him up in a banana split spladle that resulted in a meet-changing pin fall call.
“We got a big pin and gave away a big pin,” stated Coach Ripley. “Blake did a really good job of getting after his opponent and Collin had some opportunities, but in the end, things did not go his way.”
The pins in the meet kept coming as Scott West senior Jace Demmers put the Panthers right back into the lead at 27-24 with a first-period pin of Nick Mikula in their match at 170 lbs.
Following the Demmers pin, Northfield decided that they would forfeit to Trent Rasmussen at 182 lbs. and that gave the Panthers a 33-24 team lead at the time.
However, the Raiders got back to back pin falls at 195 and 220 as Jack Holman pinned Carson Schoenbauer at 195 lbs., while no. 8 rated David Tonjuum pinned Gavin Fahey at 220 lbs. Just like that the visiting Raiders were back in front 36-33 heading into the heavyweight match.
The heavyweight match between the Panthers’ Hunter Struffert and the Raiders’ Nick Lopez remained scoreless through two periods as the Scott West Hwt. got an important and hard-fought second-period ride out of Lopez. A third period escape point gave Struffert all the advantage that he needed, but the Scott West heavyweight closed out the meet with a 3-0 win over Lopez as he foiled a late and desperate effort with a takedown at the buzzer.
“The meet really turned into a pin fest there in the second half as there were five pins and a forfeit in the last seven weight class matches,” cited Coach Ripley.
The Struffert win at heavyweight tied the meet team score at 36 all, so the mat official Mike Langlais, along with the official scoring table, had to come up with the answer as to which team had just won the meet.
After several minutes of deliberation, PA announcer Jerry Langsweirdt made the call that Scott West had won the meet on criteria #6, the use of a forfeit by the opposing team, and was awarded the one criteria point for a stunning 37-36 win over Northfield in the Panther Den.
As a result, the Scott West Panther team win pushed their current season record to 6-0 and allowed them to remain unbeaten 6-0 in the Panther Den.
Scott West was scheduled to wrestle in St. Peter on Friday night, Jan. 17, against the Saints and the TCU Titans; however, that meet was canceled because of inclement weather, and although the Eastview Invitational was wrestled on Saturday, Jan. 18, the Panthers did not travel to the tournament which was won by Wayzata.
Scott West is now currently scheduled to wrestle at New Prague on Thursday night, Jan. 23, against the AAA no. 4 rated Trojans.
On Saturday, Jan. 25, Scott West is slated to host what will be their final appearance in the Minnesota River Conference as the 17-time MRC Champion Panthers will wrestle in the MRC Tournament in Belle Plaine.
Scott West Wrestling Team Schedule / Results
Nov. 27: Quad @ Anoka (canceled due to weather)
Dec. 5: Wayzata 25, SW 43
Dec. 7: Tournament @ Lakeville North High School [1st Place]
Dec. 13: Prior Lake H.S. 21, SW 41
Dec. 20-21: Minnesota Christmas Tournament @ Rochester RCTC Field House [20th Place]
Dec. 27-28: Rumble on the Red @ Fargo, N.D. [11th Place]
Jan. 9: Triangular @ Woodbury High School [1st Place]
Jan. 11: Invitational at River Valley High School, WI [3rd Place]
Jan. 16: Northfield 36, SW 37
Jan. 23: @ New Prague H.S.
Jan. 25: @ Conference Tournament @ Belle Plaine H.S.
Jan. 30: Triangular @ Maple Grove High School
Jan. 31: vs. Farmington @ Belle Plaine High School
Feb. 6: vs. Watertown-Mayer
Feb. 7: Triangular @ Annandale High School
Feb. 13: Sectional Tournament @ Jordan High School