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Woodbury wrestling: Royals thump White Bear Lake 51-19

With the end of the regular season coming Thursday, Woodbury set about preparing for the postseason with a busy schedule last week with two duals last Thursday and three duals on Friday and Saturday.

The Royals appeared poised for a better result in the section tournament with a 51-19 victory over White Bear Lake and a 55-25 win over South St. Paul in Woodbury. Ty Johnson helped pace the Royals with two victories.

Woodbury moved onto the Lakeville North team tournament where it made a run to the title dual against Lakeville North. The ninth-ranked Panthers came up with a 44-33 victory for the title despite the Royals getting past Northfield 54-16 and Farmington 45-22.

"Even though there is no shame in losing to a tough team like Lakeville North, we felt like we may have let one slip away," Woodbury head coach Justin Smith said.

Justin Herold-Plakut, ranked second at 152 pounds, went 3-0 in the tournament and came up with a big win over Farmington's ninth-ranked Joe Hoeve.

The Royals finished 3-0 Saturday at a quadrangular in Roseville where they beat Roseville 66-12, St. Paul Central 55-21 and North St. Paul 60-11.

John McNiff helped lead Woodbury with three wins in dominating fashion, Smith said.

"We scheduled consecutive dates to simulate what the guys will go through with consecutive weigh-ins and competitions during the postseason," Smith said. "We thought the guys responded in a positive fashion."

The Royals have their final regular season dual Thursday at Mounds View before the team section tournament begins Feb. 14. The individual section tournament begins Feb. 22 in Woodbury.