SPENCER - As expected, Spencer ran away with the 2011 Lakes Conference Wrestling Tournament here Friday, scoring 257.5 team points to runner-up Spirit Lake Park's 168.
Estherville-LC was third with 149 points, followed by Emmetsburg/Armstrong-Ringsted 132.5, Storm Lake 132, Le Mars 111, Cherokee 97.5, and Hull Western Christian 78.
The Braves Zac Anderson placed third at 152 pounds to pace the Cherokee grapplers, while Miah Back was fourth at 285, Rick Weaver fourth at 145. and Jack Letsche fourth at 140.
Three Cherokee wrestlers placed sixth, including Austin Agnitsch at 103, Tyler McLaughlin at 160, and Gabe Conley at 171.
Anderson won three of four matches on the day to place third. The Cherokee junior beat Alex Bloomquist of E-LC 14-0 in his opener, dropped his second match 9-5 to eventual champion Rick Maris of SLP, pinned Brady Garrelts of E/AR in 1:55, and beat Bloomquist again by technical fall in the consolation match.
Back was 2-2 to place fourth at 285. He pinned Ryan Dodge of Spencer in 4:53, lost 6-3 to Gable Bonner of E-LC, beat Andrew Garrelts of E/AR 7-2, and lost 7-1 to Revor Van Den Top of HWC.
Weaver was 1-2 for fourth at 145. He lost 11-3 to Alex Doppenberg of Spencer, beat Aaron Howing of E-LC 11-7, and lost 15-8 to Ivan Alverez of Storm Lake.
Letsche was 2-2 for fourth at 140. He pinned Skyler Gries of Le Mars in 5:40, lost 21-6 to Skyler Rice of E/AR, pinned Jacob Van Ginkle of HWC in 3:20, and was pinned in 1:45 by Gries of le Mars, who he had pinned in his opening match.
Also competing for Cherokee and failing to place were4 Nate Laursen at 125, Manny Bustos at 189, and Trevor Devitt at 215.
"It was another tough Lakes Conference battle," said Cherokee coach Jason Wood. "We didn't fare too well in our semi-final matches. We wrestled hard in our wrestle-backs, but it's so hard to beat the same wrestlers over and over. The season has slipped away. We are up to the Sectionals already. Saturday, we head to Spirit Lake (for 2A Sectionals) to make a run for the State Tournament."
The 2A Districts are Saturday, Feb. 12 in Sheldon, featuring all first- and second-place finishers from Sectionals.