Jaedin Johnson

K-W’s Jaedin Johnson wrestled against Byron’s Wyatt Nemechek in the 152-pound matchup Thursday night. Johnson won the match in a major decision, and the Knights cruised past the Bears 52-23. (Jason Hommes/The Kenyon Leader)

The Kenyon-Wanamingo wrestling team finished the regular season on a high note with back-to-back wins, first defeating Lake City 31-24 on Feb. 4 and then rolling past Byron 52-23 on Thursday.

The wins improved K-W’s record to 24-5 overall and 8-1 in the Hiawatha Valley League, good enough for a second place finish behind Kasson-Mantorville. More importantly, the Knights earned the No. 3 seed in the Section 2A team tournament.

Kenyon-Wanamingo High School will be the host site for the first round of competition on Thursday. The Knights will wrestle at 7 p.m. against the winner of the LeSueur-Henderson and Westfield match, which will begin at 6 p.m.

A win by the Knights would put them in the Section 2A semifinals in St. Clair on Saturday. The first match in St. Clair will start at 2 p.m., with the finals set for 3:45 p.m.

Blue Earth Area is the No. 1 seed in Section 2A, and Maple River is the No. 2 seed. Medford earned the No. 4 seed, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva is No. 5, Westfield is No. 6, United South Central is No. 7, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial is No. 8, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton is No. 9, St. Clair/Mankato Loyola is No. 10 and LeSueur-Henderson is No. 11.

The Knights will head into the section meet with some momentum thanks to their wins over Lake City and Byron.

K-W’s Gavin Johnson, Trent Foss, and Alec Johnson picked up key wins against the Tigers, and Bray Olson picked up one of the most crucial wins of the night when he won a close 7-5 decision in the 145-pound matchup.

Jaedin Johnson and Danny VanEpps scored wins at 152 and 160, while Carter Quam (ranked No. 7 in Class A at 220 pounds) sealed the match by picking up a 15-0 technical fall over Lake City’s Thomas Frank (ranked No. 4 in Class AA at 182) in the 195-pound matchup.

K-W was even more impressive against Byron. Gavin Johnson won the opening match by fall, and although the Bears won the next four matches, the Knights came to life beginning in the 138-pound matchup and dominated the rest of the way.

After back-to-back pins by Alec Johnson and Bray Olson at 138 and 145, Jaedin Johnson (152) won a major decision and Jed Johnson (160) won quickly via fall.

Tyler Craig (170), Logan Meyers (182) and Carter Quam (195) also won their matches via fall, effectively burying the Bears.

Now the Knights are able to turn their attention to Thursday’s Section 2A team tournament. They won’t know who they’ll be facing until the 6 p.m. match concludes, but what they do know is that they defeated one of their possible opponents, the Westfield Razorbacks, by a score of 34-28 on Jan. 21. Westfield finished its regular season with an overall record of 9-10, while K-W’s other possible opponent, LeSueur-Henderson, went just 1-20.

Sports reporter Jason Hommes can be reached at 507-333-3119. Follow him on Twitter @FDNjason. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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