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Wrestling: Raptors get momentum heading into sections

East Ridge kept gaining steam for a strong postseason with a 36-25 win against Chaska-Chanhassen.

Despite a deadlock of seven individual match wins between the two teams, the Raptors found a way past the Stormhawks Thursday, Feb. 9. It came down to bonus points.

"We fought and found ways to score bonus points and save bonus points," East Ridge coach Matt Everson said.

Hunter Lyden and Roman Rogotzke put the Raptors out in front 11-0 with wins at 106 and 113 pounds respectively. Lyden got a technical fall for a 20-4 win, and Rogotzke pinned Sam Wolfe at three minutes, 40 seconds.

Chaska-Chanhassen rallied with three straight wins to cut the Raptors lead to 11-10.

Payton Thao ended the Raptors' skid at 138 pounds with a major decision, 11-1, over Cooper Eidem.

Ethan Pittman gave East Ridge some distance with a pin at 152 pounds in 3:33 against Lane Schmidt. The Raptors took a 21-13 lead.

After the Raptors had endured two pins, Jamze Powers rallied with a 13-8 decision at 182 pounds against Jon Laurent, which cut the Stormhawks lead to 25-24.

Carson Lesher put the Raptors ahead 30-24 at 195 pounds when he pinned Brayden Scherbing in 35 seconds. Marco Cavallaro then pinned Gran Krull at 220 pounds in 5:50 as the Raptors went ahead 36-25.

It gave East Ridge enough of a cushion with a forfeit at heavyweight. With the win, the Raptors (10-12, 3-6 Suburban East Conference) won their fourth straight dual match to end the regular season.

"With all the adversity our team has faced this year with injuries and more, we have come a long ways, and I am extremely proud of our kids," Everson said.

East Ridge, the No. 4 seed for the Class 3A, Section 3 team tournament, opens competition Friday with Park in Hastings. The Raptors have never won a section team dual match, but that could change in facing a Park team they beat Jan. 19.

"I think we are right where we need to be to make this happen," Everson said.