HCHS senior Joey Arkfeld (right) is congratulated by head coach John Murtaugh and assistant coach Matt Hoch after pinning Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Dustin Stowe in a 220-pound wrestle-back match for second place at Saturday’s 2A Sectional Tournament. Arkfeld’s pin not only secured a district qualifier spot for himself, but also lifted the Cyclones to second place in the team standings to earn a berth in the regional duals. Arkfeld turns Stowe to his back before pinning him in the second period. (Photos by Mike Oeffner) HCHS junior Ethan Lemon (left) gets in a shot on Kuemper Catholic’s Shea Parkis during their 126-pound sectional championship match. Lemon won by fall in 4:46. HCHS 160-pounder Thomas Frederick celebrates winning his fifth-place match by fall. Cyclone sophomore Jesse Schwery pinned two of his three opponents and placed third at the sectional meet.

Cyclones charge by Atlantic for regional duals berth

Arkfeld’s late pin pushes HCHS past Trojans for second place at 2A Sectional; six Cyclones advance to districts

 IDA GROVE (Feb. 2) -- Joey Arkfeld knew what had to be done... or at least he thought he did.
 As the action drew to a close in Saturday’s Class 2A Sectional Wrestling Tournament, Harlan Community’s senior 220-pounder was told he needed at least a major decision in his second-place wrestle-back match to bump the Cyclones past Atlantic/CAM for second place in the team standings and a berth in the regional duals.
 As it turned out, any kind of victory would have done the job, but Arkfeld left no doubt, pinning Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Dustin Stowe in 3:08 to clinch a district qualifier spot for himself and cap a thrilling late rally for the team.
 “Coach (John Murtaugh) just told me, ‘We need bonus points.’ I knew we were down by two,” Arkfeld said. “We’re one behind the school record for dual wins, so to get that win and get us to regional duals is pretty awesome.”
 Coach Murtaugh stated, “Joseph just wanted to know the team score. (Our guys) care more about the team than themselves, which is pretty unique... Everybody contributed."
 Fifth-ranked Sergeant Bluff-Luton emerged as the top team in Ida Grove, winning the meet with 234 points and leading the six-team field with five sectional champions and nine district qualifiers. HCHS and Atlantic/CAM both advanced six wrestlers to this Saturday’s 2A district tournament in Harlan (12 p.m.), but the Cyclones edged the Trojans by three points (209-206) for second place.
 By placing in the top two, HCHS earned a spot in the Class 2A regional duals and will compete in Atlantic on Tuesday. The Cyclones (25-2) will face 12th-ranked PCM (14-6) in a 6:00 p.m. semifinal.
 HCHS finished the sectional with a collective win-loss record of 18-12, including 14 pins. After splitting 12 semifinal matches, the Cyclones went 4-2 in championship finals and 3-3 in consolation matches. A fifth-place pin by Thomas Frederick proved very crucial and set the stage for Arkfeld’s wrestle-back win by fall.
 Atlantic, meanwhile, won both of its fifth-place matches but finished 0-3 in wrestle-backs, leaving the door open just enough for the Cyclones to rally.
 The Cyclones’ six district qualifiers - two more than last year - includes four sectional champions in junior 126-pounder Ethan Lemon (42-6), senior 145-pounder Oscar Olmos (37-4, ranked ninth), junior 170-pounder Carter Bendorf (39-7) and senior heavyweight Derec Weyer (43-2, ranked fifth).
 In addition to Arkfeld (36-12) advancing at 220, HCHS junior Wyatt Obrecht (28-16) placed second at 132 to earn a second straight trip to the district meet.

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