Ridout returns Mustangs to finals
DES MOINES — The Mustangs have a date for Saturday night.
East Marshall/GMG junior Dominik Ridout improved to 25-1 this season with a pair of convincing wins, including a third-period pin of Bondurant-Farrar’s Chase Fiser to advance to tonight’s Class 2A championship match at 126 pounds.
Ridout will be EM/GMG’s first state finalists since Ryan Valline won the 2A 152-pound title in 2011.
“It means a lot, it’s been a dream of mine,” Ridout said. “Ever since I was little I’ve always dreamed of it. I never once thought I’d be in the position I am right now.”
Ridout (25-1) will face top-ranked Crestwood senior Carter Fousek (29-0), a two-time defending state champion who he knows from their club team days with the Sebolt Wrestling Academy.
“He’s a teammate and one of my best friends in the club,” Ridout said. “I’m going in there thinking this is going to be a good match. It won’t be boring.”
Ridout’s matches rarely are. Prior to reaching the semifinals for the second-consecutive year, Ridout defeated Gilbert’s Cael Ihle by a 13-5 major decision in his Friday’s quarterfinals. Ihle scored the first salvo with a takedown, but an escape, takedown and two-point nearfall for Ridout closed the period.
Ridout racked up a pair of three-point nearfalls the rest of the way and breezed back to the semifinals.
EM/GMG senior Conner Murty (32-2), ranked fourth at 220, was relegated to the back side of the bracket after a semifinal loss to second-ranked Kobe Simon of West Liberty (36-3) in an 8-5 decision. Murty’s five points all came by escape, as Simon scored three takedowns and reversed Murty to start the second period.
Murty’s march began with a dominant 7-1 decision over Crestwood’s Treyton Burnikel. Murty scored one takedown in each period and guaranteed himself a medal in his second and final trip to state.
In today’s consolation semifinals, Murty will face Solon’s Gage Marty, ranked 10th, to earn a spot in either the third-place or the fifth-place match later in the day.
Samuel Bandstra was unable to make the same move up the 170-pound bracket in his first and final state tournament appearance. After winning his state debut with a third-period pin of Osage’s Colin Muller, the Mustang senior suffered defeat twice on Friday to fall one win short of a spot on the medal stand.
In the championship quarterfinals, second-ranked Chase Babcock of New Hampton/Turkey Valley pinned Bandstra in 1:04, but the opportunity to earn a medal was still there for the Mustang senior.
In the consolation second round, Bandstra scored the first takedown of the match and eventually carried a 3-1 lead into the third period against Camanche senior Logan Waltz. Waltz started on bottom and earned an immediate escape, and a takedown with 15 seconds remaining stopped Bandstra’s bid for a medal.
Bandstra finished his season with a 25-11 record.
STC sending two to podium
They took totally different paths to get there, but South Tama County’s Logan Arp and Brayden Smith will be wrestling for state tournament medals today at Wells Fargo Arena.
Arp (20-7), a fourth-ranked junior, suffered semifinal defeat at 132 pounds with a 3-0 loss to second-ranked Averee Abben of Osage on Friday night after having pinned his way into the final four. Arp decked Davis County’s Taylor Huggins in 1:19 in their 2A quarterfinal match earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Smith was working his way along the back side of the bracket the way Arp did a year ago. Arp lost his 126 opener last winter but won four of his next five matches to finish fifth.
Smith and Arp can both place somewhere between third and sixth as the result of two more matches today.
Smith kept his podium hopes alive with a late takedown and a 5-4 triumph over Harlan’s Jesse Schwery, winning 5-4 in their consolation second round clash.
Smith (28-7) followed it uup with a 14-5 triumph over Mid-Prairie’s Cael Garvey to advance to this morning’s consolation semifinals. He’ll meet fourth-ranked Reese Moore of Forest City in the first of two matches today.
“It’s great, I think they both deserved it and they both earned it,” STC head coach Nate Van Dyke said of his pair of placewinners. “Brayden as a senior, that’s big for him. He’s been wrestling since he was in preschool and he was down here last year and didn’t get on the podium, so that’s a big win for him.”
Smith trailed Schwery 4-2 entering the third period before finally escaping from the bottom with 12 seconds left. Once free, Smith forced the issue and caught Schwery for the takedown after a restart with five seconds left. His takedown barely beat the final buzzer.
“I knew there wasn’t a lot of time but I told myself in my mind that this can’t be the last match of my career,” Smith said. “I wanted it for my family, for my teammates. I knew this couldn’t be my last time I was on the mat so I put all my heart into that last five seconds.”