Lien repeats as state champion for Tigers

Photo courtesy of South Dakota Public Broadcasting

RAPID CITY — In a battle of two defending champions, Tyson Lien of Huron came out on top with a last-second penalty point to defeat Harrisburg’s Gavin Gulbranson by a 4-3 decision to win the 182-pound State A wrestling championship.

Lien, the 2020 champion at 170 pounds, and Gulbranson, the defending champion at 195 points, wrestled to a scoreless stalemate after one period. Lien opened up the second period with an escape, but then the two wrestlers continued to wrestle a defensive match.

Lien had multiple attack attempts that earned Gulbranson a stalling warning during the second period, and with that in mind, an aggressive Lien nearly pulled off a takedown right at the end of the second period, but the clock rang just as the Huron grappler got his foe to the mat, leaving Lien with a 1-0 lead at the end of the second.

In accordance with Lien’s move in the second period, Gulbranson opened the third period with an escape, and the two wrestlers continued their defensive match. Avoiding Lien’s aggressive moves cost Gulbranson a stalling point, giving Lien a 2-1 lead.

Gulbranson then shot in well and got the takedown on Lien, but Lien quickly drew a penalty point on Gulbranson for clasped hands in a hold, bringing a 3-3 tie.

The two wrestlers angled for any potential chance to earn a point as the clock wound down on the final period when Gulbranson got into position on Lien as the clock ticked off and the referee whistled another clasped hand penalty just before time ran out, giving Lien the 4-3 victory.

Huron’s other wrestlers in Rapid City had solid days on Saturday.

Lucas Hofer lost by fall to Tyler Voorhees of Rapid City Stevens in the consolation semifinals at 160 pounds, but he recovered to defeat Mac Young of Watertown to win fifth place by fall at 1:18.

Tristan Cardona worked his way through wrestlebacks Friday into the consolation semifinals at 220 pounds, but he dropped both matches by fall to come away with sixth place.

Sebastian Cardona lost to Canyon Burkard in the consolation semifinals at 285 pounds by a 2-1 decision, but he came back to record a fall in 2:16 over Zach Brady to claim fifth place.

The Tigers’ Ehler Klay won in the girls 143 pound consolation semifinals over Madison Snyder of Sturgis by fall before defeating Ariana Gomez of Dakota Valley by fall to take third place.

Htee Htoo lost in the consolation semifinals of the girls 143 pounds and Ae Si Lar lost in the consolation semifinals of the girls 131 pounds.

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