NB’s Bryce Trees and Rockford’s Vance stay alive in consolation bracket
By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
DES MOINES — There are benefits that come from winning your opening bout at the Iowa State Wrestling Championships.
You get the rest of the day off.
North Butler’s Dalton Nelson and Brandon Trees, and Rockford’s Will Portis put in a short day’s work by way of advancing to the Class 1A quarterfinal rounds Thursday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.
In the 160-pound bracket, Bearcat senior Nelson showed that he’s been here before amid his fourth state appearance. Against Don Bosco sophomore Bryce Schares, Nelson dominated from the start, recording a takedown in less than 10 seconds and then cradling Schares into a near-fall.
Schares avoided being stuck and managed to go the distance with Nelson while avoiding a technical fall in the final 30 seconds with Nelson up 13-0, which proved to be the major decision final.
Nelson, who is the bracket’s lone undefeated wrestler at 26-0, will face Regina’s Ryan Schott in the Class 1A quarterfinals, which are due to start at 9 a.m. Friday.
No stranger to Des Moines himself, Warrior senior and three-time state qualifier Portis also wasted little time while taking early control of his 120-pound bout against Interstate-35 sophomore Casey Baker, whom he defeated with a 9-2 decision.
For Portis (46-3), it was a much better start from last year’s championships when he lost to eventual 106-pound champion Donny Schmitt of Wapsie Valley in the first round.
Like Nelson in the 152-pound bracket last year, Portis eventually made it to the awards stand with a seventh-place finish.
Junior Trees, who stepped up to fill the 152-pound slot for the Bearcats this season, was able to keep Lisbon’s Kaden Kilburg at bay while nursing a late 3-2 lead until time expired.
Trees (39-5) will face Alta-Aurelia’s Skylar Solke in the quarterfinals.
North Butler and Rockford also each had a wrestler stay alive after winning their elimination bouts.
Bearcat sophomore Bryce Trees, whose grandfather Doug Trees was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame at last year’s championships, rebounded from being stuck by Lisbon’s Cobe Siebrecht to start the 106-pound bracket to pin Jose Flores of Sibley-Ocheyedan 3:21 into their consolation bout.
Trees (38-7) looked as if he was going to be sent home early when Flores had him in a near-fall position. The match was tied at 4-4 when Flores reached behind him while scrambling on the mat with Trees, and Trees made him pay for the mistake.
Rockford’s 170-pound senior Dakota Vance got a rude welcome to his first state meet when Mount Ayr’s Cal Daughton pinned him in 52 seconds.
Undaunted, Vance stuck Cole Bruns of Exira/EHK 2:25 into their consolation match while improving to 36-7.