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East Ridge wrestling: Raptors win Dragon Invite in Pine City

East Ridge’s Ryan Thompson looks for a fall Thursday against Woodbury. Thomspon won by technical fall, but the Raptors lost the dual. (Bulletin photo by Nick Gerhardt)

East Ridge won the Dragon Invite Saturday at Pine City with eight wrestlers reaching the finals.

The Raptors scored 201.5 points to secure their first tournament title as a team. East Ridge crowned four champions, four runners-up, two third-place finishers and one fourth-place finisher.

Ryan Thompson, Reid Lyden, Nate Tigges and Jojo Garcia all won their weight classes while Jamze Powers, Sam Christensen, Josh Stensgard and Carson Lesher all placed second.

Matt Castillo, Burleigh Holder each took third and Jimmy Vitt placed fourth.

Before taking the Dragon Invite title, East Ridge competed in the District 833 championship triangular against rivals Park and Woodbury.

Woodbury had no trouble rebounding in its next match against East Ridge with a 54-17 rout.

The Royals won 10 matches, four by fall.

In one of the most intriguing matches, fourth-ranked Reid Lyden beat fifth-ranked Ty Johnson 7-2 for the second time this season.

Ryan Thompson won by technical fall at 113, Carson Lesher at 126 and JoJo Garcia won at 285 for the Raptors.

“I’m not worried about a rivalry,” East Ridge head coach Wayne Otto said. “That doesn’t bother me. I’m worried about improving our skills on our team. … When you run into a couple of hammers like this, like I told the kids here, ‘We just have to learn from the losses. If you don’t take anything away from your losses, then it’s a waste.’ Our kids showed some improvement.”

East Ridge also lost 46-28 to Park in the night’s other match.

Thompson, Lyden, Castillo, Tigges and Vitt all picked up wins for the Raptors in the loss. Josh Stensgard won by forfeit.

Prior to the District 833 triangular, White Bear Lake won five matches by fall and picked up three by forfeit in a 53-27 rout of East Ridge Tuesday in White Bear Lake.

Thompson won at 120, Lyden won by forfeit at 132, Powers won by fall at 145, Tigges won by fall at 182 and Garcia won by fall at 285.

—Nick Gerhardt