With three of its four heavier grapplers off the mat, Minot couldn't manufacture momentum when Thursday's dual with St. Mary's began at 160 pounds.
Between Dayne Haman (182) and Nick Nesdahl (285) winning by forfeit and top-ranked 220-pounder Demetreus Roby pulled for disciplinary reasons, the Magicians weren't in their typical flow.
But 195-pound freshman Austin Nagel was able to represent the bulky portion of Minot's roster in a 40-33 West Region win at Magic City Campus.
Minot High School junior Kimani Benjamin overpowers St. Mary’s Austin Lengenfelder in the 170-pound match. The Magicians won the dual 40-33 at Magic City Campus.
Nagel's swift pinning of the Patriots' Nicholas Boechler - an effort that took the frosh just more than a minute - gave the Magicians an early 16-6 cushion and much-needed mojo after a shoddy start.
"I missed a shot at the
beginning," Nagel said. "But I got pretty lucky on a grab-back. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I'm happy to get the pin."
Minot, ranked third in the most recent Class A coaches poll, did most of its damage in its lower-to-middle weights.
St. Mary's came away with consecutive wins at 106, 113 and 120 to take a short-lived 24-22 lead, but that string of victories was halted at 126. From there it was all Minot.
The Magicans had four consecutive pins starting with Jorey Bartsch (126), Jesse Hoffart (132), Gabe Nehlsen (138) and top-ranked Cody Haugen at 145 to pull away.
"Those seniors came through and we were really leaning on them," Minot coach Nathan Spooner said. "With (the forfeits and suspension) we couldn't really get the ball rolling but they came through."
Haugen's pin, which took 1:59, was his fifth in a week.
"He's chasing that school record for pins," Spooner said. "He's got a lot them this year."
The MHS single-season record is 29.
The Magi begin competition in the Dickinson tournament today at 1.