DES MOINES — This wasn’t the goal or what Lisbon trained for the entire season.
Settling for second seemed hard for the Lions to swallow, even though all but one program would happily trade places with them.
“We worked hard to get here, but this isn’t what we worked for all year,” Lisbon senior heavyweight Brant Baltes said. “It’s kind of a kick in the gut to get here and have this happen. Things happen and you move on from them.”
Top-ranked Don Bosco captured the first five matches and defeated No. 2 Lisbon, 34-25, in the final of the Class 1A state duals tournament Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The Dons avenged last year’s finals loss to the Lions, winning their third title in the last four years.
“We had some really, really good things happen,” Lisbon Coach Brad Smith said. “Overall, we fell short of the score.”
Don Bosco topped Lisbon for the first time in four state duals finals between the two wrestling powers. The early hole proved too much to crawl out of, falling behind 19-0 thanks to technical falls from Don Bosco’s Cael Frost (160) and Carson Tenold at 182. The Dons also took advantage of the coin toss, bumping up third-ranked 145-pounder Cael Rahnavardi to 152. He posted a 4-1 decision over Lincoln Holub.
“They’re real good and solid all the way up,” Smith said. “We got in a hole. We tried to battle back.”
Top-ranked Cole Clark and Baltes put the Lions on the board, pulling within 12. Don Bosco followed with a pin and received a forfeit at 113, which has been open for the Lions all season. It also put it in position to need just one more win, which Michael McClelland delivered at 138.
“They earned it,” Smith said. “We just didn’t get it done when we needed. There were some key matches.”
The Lions (17-2) did win four of the last five matches. Second-ranked Brandon Paez scored a takedown in sudden victory to beat No. 3 Garrett Funk at 120. Cade Siebrecht (126) won by fall and Quincy Happel added a decision before Robert Avila received with a forfeit.
Don Bosco Coach Tom Hogan announced in January he would step down at the end of the season. He had one request for his team this season. The Dons were determined to get him another title.
“The day he told us he was stepping down he said, ‘Send me out on top,’” Rahnavardi said. “We’ve got step one done. We’re going to go back to the hotel. Live it up (Wednesday night) and then refocus and get it done (Thursday).”
The Lions will reset and attempt to reverse the order for the traditional tournament team race. Last season, Don Bosco topped Lisbon for the championship.
“It’s one match at a time,” Baltes said. “As soon as you’re done with your last one, you learn from your mistakes and move on. You worry about the next guy and don’t look ahead.”
Lisbon opened with a 38-30 victory over No. 7 West Hancock, receiving a decision from Paez and pins from Siebrecht and Happel in the last three bouts.
The Lions seemed to find their stride in a 45-28 semifinal win against No. 3 Logan-Magnolia. They built a 33-8 lead thanks to five bonus-point victories from the upper weights. Max Kohl (170), Clark and Baltes each had falls. Truman Krob (195) won by technical fall and 182-pounder Jamien Moore added a major decision during the stretch.
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MFL MarMac made its state duals debut. The Bulldogs entered the tournament seeded eighth. They dropped their first two duals to top-ranked Don Bosco (64-15) and No. 4 Lake Mills (45-27).
MFL MarMac closed with a 42-33 loss against No. 6 West Sioux, finishing the season 23-3.
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