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DES MOINES -- When the Class 2A state tournament brackets came out, an evident rematch stood out at 152 pounds.

If all played out right, Spirit Lake Park’s Kyler Rieck had the chance to avenge a loss to Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Easton Graff, who beat Rieck right before Christmas Break.

The match happened as both advanced and a first-time state finals berth was on the line for both wrestlers.

Rieck got an early takedown to go up 2-0. Graff fought back to tie it at 2-2 with a couple of escapes but Rieck got in on another shot late in the second period for a 4-2 lead. Rieck got an escape to start the third and had enough control of the match to go on to win the rematch, 6-5, to earn a spot in the 152-pound 2A finals on Saturday.

“There are rematches in everyone’s mind but the key is not letting that get in your head too much. I just took it one match at a time and kept chipping away and got the win,” Rieck said. “This has been a goal my whole to be a state champ and to have your dreams crushed multiple times but it adds fuel to the fire and I am excited.”

The 2A semifinals did not conclude by deadline.

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2019 State Wrestling Friday

Rieck dominated his quarterfinal, pinning Atlantic’s Connor Pellett in 1:36. Rieck feels he’s peaking at the right time.

“I am just having fun down here. It’s my last go-around. Just be myself and enjoy the experience. I am just taking each match as they come and just try and make it seem like any other match. Score points and have fun,” Rieck said. “I do feel like I am at my peak right now. It’s something that we train for all season long and coach (Andrew) Lundgren does a nice job with that. So I feel good and I am excited.”

Rieck is a two-time semifinalist but for Graff, it was his first trip to the state semifinals. Solon’s Zack Bevans, ranked fourth, stuck with Graff, ranked second, until the SBL senior got a takedown in the third period and went on to win 3-1.

Graff feels like all he needs is one takedown to win a match.

“This is 15 years of hard work is what it’s called. It’s an insane moment. That kid is good. He’s long and hard to score on. I just had to get that first takedown, that’s all I needed. That’s all I need to do the rest of the state tournament,” Graff said. “Once I score my first two points, there’s no one in the state that can hold me down from there. (Semifinalist) isn’t the ultimate goal. It’s definitely finals for sure.”

SB-L’s Jack Gaukel’s goal is to end up back in the finals. He’s looked the part of a finalist again after dominating in his first two matches. In his 132 quarterfinal match, Gaukel, ranked second, pinned ninth-ranked Remington Hanson of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows in 4:21 to advance to the semifinals.

“Second time on the medal stand which is awesome. Obviously, I have one thing on my mind and that’s to get back to the finals,” Gaukel said. “It’s good to get bonus points and light up the scoreboard and move on. It felt good. I feel like I do my best wrestling in Wells Fargo. It’s a great atmosphere, anybody would want to wrestle here. The lights are amazing and it feels like whenever they come out, I wrestle that much better.”

Gaukel got out to a 3-0 lead in his semfinal and went on to win 3-1 to advance to the championship match for the second season in a row.

“Not done yet. I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth for 365 days now. I believe I have developed enough strength wise, technique wise and as much of a person to go out there and erase all of the bad taste in my mouth,” Gaukel said. “I want to go out there and erase the bad taste in my mouth. Just go out there and do what I love. It’s not fun to win 3-1 but it’s fun to win in Wells Fargo so I will take it.”

After one period, it seemed like Central Lyon/George-Little Rock’s Kolton Bus was destined for the consolation bracket. Third-ranked Thomas Bentley had a 4-1 lead on the sixth-ranked Bus but Bus still had a chance to flex his muscles in the match.

He started the second period in the top position and almost effortlessly put Bentley in a cradle a few seconds after the whistle. After earning some back points, Bus put Bentley on his back again and won by fall in 2:31 as the first-time state qualifier earned a spot in the semifinals.

“I am pretty weak on my base and I’ve been trying all year to get better there. My top is my strong point. It’s all my upper body. I am smaller than everyone in the bracket but I make up for it in my technique,” Bus said. “It’s definitely hard work and dedication. Just going out every day to practice. To pin my way to the semifinals, it’s the best feeling in the world. There’s no emotion to describe that.”

Bishop Heelan’s Kobe Clayborne gave up about six inches in his quarterfinal match against Humboldt’s Justin Jones, who is ranked No. 3 at 285.

Clayborne is ranked second and he was able to stand his ground and hold off Jones for a 3-2 decision to advance to the semifinals for the first time.

“This is just one more step toward my goal. You have to be a winner on the front side to accomplish the goal I have of being a state champ,” Clayborne said. “It goes one match at a time, focus on that match. I knew he was good, I knew he was big. I knew I had speed on him and had to be good on my feet and that’s what I did. Just try and stay in good position at all points in the match and control every position. That’s what I think I did here.”

SB-L’s Isaac Bryan (138) and Braden Graff (113) and SLP’s Jonathon Burnette (106), Jose Waters (126) and Dakoda Powell (220) both advanced to Saturday’s placing matches along with Sheldon South O’Brien’s Luke Jenness (182) and CL/GLR’s Jerrett Meyer (220).

MOC-Floyd Valley’s Johnny Hua, Kyler Dunn, Isaiah Spencer, CL/GLR’s Jarrett Fastert and Heelan’s Luke Martin, Brennan Todd and Frank Vondrak all saw their season’s end.

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