CEDAR RAPIDS — Denver-Tripoli was locked and loaded when the biggest prize was on the line.
With their first state championship on the line, the top-ranked Titans relied on its strongest weapons to bring home the title, closing with four state champions.
They delivered three pins and decision powering Denver-Tripoli to a 43-24 win over No. 3 Davenport Assumption in the finals of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A State Duals wrestling tournament last night at the U.S. Cellular Center.
The victory sealed the Titans first state duals championship, giving them their first title sweep.
“That was one of our big goals going out there,’ two-time state champion and four-time finalist Levi Wolfensperger said. “We got it.”
The Titans have unparalleled strength in its lower weights. Dylan Peters gave them the lead for good with a 50-second pin over Clint Harland at 103. Gunnar Wolfensperger followed with a fall in 4:53 over Grant Rosenboom at 112. Freshman Brandon Sorensen earned an 8-3 win over Bradley McDermott at 119 and Wolfensperger capped the dual with a 23-second fall over Mundo Cadena at 125.
The championship was a balanced effort, and Denver-Tripoli Coach Chris Krueger was quick to praise his heavier wrestlers. Especially, Brandon Sorensen at 152, Noah Minikus, who bumped up to 171, and Kody Waddell at 189.
“Normally all year our light weights carry this team,” Krueger said. “I really thought tonight that our upper weights got the job done and put it away and the light weights put the exclamation point on it.”
Sorensen scored an 18-2 technical fall over Andrew Riley, while Minikus blanked Thomas Reyhons, 8-0. Waddell scored an important second-period fall over Bradley Grothus.
“That was probably icing on cake there,” said Krueger, also praising 135-pounder blaze Shedenhelm for a tossup win. “He was able to come through and do that for us. That was a big win.”
Waddell and Grothus were locked in a 0-0 match, when Waddell turned Grothus to his back with a power half.
“I worked it in pretty good,” Waddell said. “I ran it hard and hoped for the best.”
The Titans capped a perfect season at 26-0 and wanted to erase any idea 2A was a three-team race.
“We wanted to leave no doubt,” Krueger said. “We didn’t want anybody saying that if we would have had Ballard, Ballard would have beat us. We just wanted to let everybody know we were the best team in 2A this year.”
Assumption took a 24-22 lead with a decision from Sam Gervase at 215 and heavyweight Tyler Swope’s pin. Brody Grothus (145) and 160-pounder Landon Williams added falls, giving the Knights leads of 9-7 and 15-12. Assumption Coach Pete Bush said the difference was confidence.
“I think we wrestled scared,” Bush said. “I’m still mystified about. That’s what happened. They wrestled like champions and we didn’t.”
The Titans reached the finals for the second straight year thanks to a pair of lopsided wins. They crushed Creston/Orient-Macksburg, 53-27, in the quarterfinals, adding a 44-25 win over East Marshall/GMG.
Assumption advanced to the final by derailing two-time defending champion Ballard. The Knights won nine matches, including the final six weights, to beat the Bombers, 42-24. Assumption (21-2) opened with a 54-11 handling of Clear Lake.
Ballard (31-1) beat East Marshall/GMG (24-7), 50-19, for third.