HURON — The Huron Tiger wrestling team, depleted by injury and illness, took on the top-ranked, and three-time defending Class “A” State champion Pierre Governors Thursday night at Huron Arena.
With Huron giving up 24 points via four open weights, it would have taken a minor miracle for the Tigers to come away with the win, and while the active wrestlers held their own, the miracle didn’t come.
Pierre took a 52-21 win, taking the four forfeit wins, a pair of tech falls and three wins by fall.
“Pierre has a lot of good kids,” said Huron coach Dan McCarty after the match. “Even some of their backup wrestlers are very good, but I tell you, I can’t complain about the way we wrestled tonight. We won the matches we should have tonight and wrestled hard.
Huron took five wins on the night.
Jallele Jenkins Harris opened the match with a 12-10 win over Will VanCamp at 106 pounds, in a match that featured numerous take-down, escape, take-down flurries. A late escape by VanCamp and quick takedown in the closing seconds made it close, but Jenkins Harris persevered.
Tahjae Jenkins Harris matched his younger brother’s win, with a 7-6 win at 152. Harris came in ranked fifth in the state, while Pierre’s Barry Browning came in ranked No. 8. Jenkins Harris trailed early, but used an escape and takedown early in the second period to take the lead, but also had to hold on in the closing seconds as Browning ended with a flurry.
“Tahjae wrestled a smart match,” McCarty said. “He did a good job getting some key points late. Jallele is continuing to learn and grow. He’s improving all the time and I am optimistic about his continued climb over the next couple weeks heading into regionals.“
Wyatt Larsen at 182 and Zack Siemonsma at 220 both earned wins via pinfall, in nearly identical matches.
Larsen controlled the match against James Lees, getting the early takedown and maintaining control for the win in 1:46. Siemonsma did the same, using his legs to control freshman Gunnar Gehring and getting the referees nod in 1:45.
“Wyatt and Zack both finished the same way,” McCarty said. “They’re senior leaders for the team and usually wind up practicing against each other. Zack has done a good job adjusting to the higher weight and is doing better each day.”
The match of the night featured the fifth-ranked 195-pounder, Huron’s Gabe Reiger, against Pierre’s Gage Gehring, who came in ranked No. 3.
Gehring took the early lead, but Reiger got an escape to close the period. Gehring took the down position to start the second period and Reiger quickly took advantage, earning three back points and taking a 4-2 lead into the final period.
Reiger quickly earned an escape for a 5-2 lead, but Gehring got a takedown to make it 5-4, then released Reiger with 15 seconds remaining to try to get another shot at knotting the match but Reiger held him off and earned the 6-4 decision.
“A lot of matches come down to one move,” McCarty said, “one mistake can make the difference and Gabe took advantage of that tonight. I would like to see him stay after it for the entire match, though.”
On the schedule, Huron will host Aberdeen Central on Feb. 9, then will host the large Huron Invitational Tournament the following day.
“We wrestled Aberdeen close in Watertown - it came down to the final match,” McCarty said. “They finished ahead of us in Rapid City and Chamberlain, but we finished ahead of them in Aberdeen, so it should be competitive.”
The dual with Aberdeen will be the final home dual for the Tigers, and McCarty is hopeful to be back at close to full strength as the season winds down.
“We had a couple kids tonight who were at about 85 percent and we held them out,” McCarty noted. “With the seeding for state tournament, having a kid lose a tough match could really mess with that. We need to get healthy and get ready for Aberdeen.”
Pierre 52, Huron 21
106 - Jallele Jenkins Harris (H) dec. Will VanCamp (P), 12-10
113 - Jace Bench-Bresher (P), tech fall over Cole Ochsner (H), 15-0
120 - Daniel Tafoya (P), won by forfeit
126 - Jack VanCamp (P), won by forfeit
132 - Will Turman (P), win by fall over Daynon Huber (H), 1:50
138 - Tyson Johnson (P), tech fall over Joe Gonzalez (H), 18-1
145 - Michael Lusk (P), won by forfeit
152 - Tahjae Jenkins Harris (H), dec. Barry Browning, 7-4
160 - Austin Senger (P), win by fall over Matt Katz (H) 2:57
170 - Maguire Raske (P), win by forfeit
182 - Wyatt Larsen (H), win by fall over James Lees (P) 1:46
195 - Gabe Reiger (H), dec. Gage Gehring (P), 6-4
220 - Zack Siemonsma (H), win by fall over Gunnar Gehring (P), 1:45
285 - Pryce Dyk (P), win by fall over Sebastian Cardona (H), :54
PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL OF THE PLAINSMAN
Huron’s Wyatt Larsen works to turn James Lees of Pierre to his back during their 182-pound match on Thursday at Huron Arena.
Next, Huron’s Joe Gonzalez wrestles Tyson Johnson of Pierre at 138 pounds on Thursday at Huron Arena.
And next, Huron’s Gabe Reiger works to pin Gage Gehring of Pierre during their 195-pound match on Thursday at Huron Arena.