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Woodbury wrestling: Royals make a section statement before season ends

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The Woodbury wrestling team made a statement at the Section 4AAA team tournament, however, the Royals' season eventually came to an end.

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Woodbury, the sixth seed Section 4AAA, beat third-seeded Roseville 38-30 in the first round on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Stillwater High School, before succumbing to second-seeded Stillwater 46-20 in the section quarterfinals. Top-seed White Bear Lake, ranked 12th in Class AAA, defeated the Ponies in the final to qualify for the state tournament.

In the upset win over Roseville, Woodbury built a sizeable lead early, then clinched the win as Conner Harreld earned a major decision victory at 170 pounds. The win gave the Royals a 39-9 lead with only four matches, and 24 possible points, remaining.

In the victory, Ty Johnson won with a pin at 106 pounds, David Beseman won by pin at 113 pounds, Matt Delaney won by pin at 126 pounds, 10th-ranked Justin Herold-Plakut won with a pin at 132 pounds, Kevin Beseman earned a 6-2 decision at 145 pounds, Ben Donnelly won 7-0 at 152 pounds and Howard Jones earned a major decision victory at 160 pounds, allowing Harreld the opportunity to drive home the stake.

In the loss to Stillwater, however, the Ponies won seven of the first eight matches to take a commanding lead on the Royals then hung on for the win.

Herold-Plakut won a 3-0 decision at 132 pounds, Jones won a 26-10 major decision at 160 pounds, and Chandler Ignaszewski won by pin at 182 pounds. Donnelly, who is ranked sixth at 138 pounds, lost to Stillwater senior Brandon Madsen at 152 pounds. Madsen is ranked fourth at 145 pounds.

Next, Woodbury will host the Section 4AAA individual tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, at Woodbury High School. Herold-Plakut, a sophomore, and Donnelly, a freshman, have reached the state tournament the past two seasons, with Donnelly finishing in fifth place last year.

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