His opponent was aiming for the takedown, but Isaac Haman of No. 1-seeded Kasson-Mantorville said he knew he could still win the match.
It was tied 4-4 with nine seconds left when Haman threw his opponent backfirst for a pin to extend the KoMets’ lead over No. 3-seeded Simley to 21-9. Haman was swarmed by his teammates after the win as the Kasson-Mantorville crowd erupted.
The pin at 145 pounds proved to be a momentum-builder. The KoMets won the next four matches en route to a 45-18 victory for the Class 2A state title Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center. It was Kasson-Mantorville’s third title in five years.
“It’s better every time,” Brady Berge said. “It feels great to be such a dominant team. We put so much effort into this sport, and it just feels great to put a team down.”
Berge extended the KoMets’ lead to 26-9 with a technical fall at 152 over last year’s state champion, Anthony Jackson. The two were both undefeated this season.
“The strategy was to be fearless,” Berge said. “That was my goal, and I wasn’t afraid to push the pace on the kid and break him, and I feel like I did that.”
The KoMets went on a run after that, punctuated by back-to-back pins by Dalton Andrist and Patrick Kennedy to put them ahead 41-9.
“It never gets old,” coach Jamie Heidt said. “We were just wrestling hard and being competitive.”
Michael Hendrickson is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.