The top-ranked Holmen Vikings got their victory Tuesday in Tomah, but it took them a long time to do it.
Tomah won four matches and took eight others past the first period to push Holmen, ranked first in Division 1, as hard as possible before falling to the Vikings 52-12 in a Mississippi Valley Conference dual at Tomah High School.
Timberwolves coach Jeff Von Haden was proud of how his team performed up and down the roster.
"I thought the boys competed really well tonight," Von Haden said. "Even the matches where we didn't come out on the winning end, I was happy with the way they competed."
The Timberwolves won four decisions and made the Vikings work in the other 10 matches. All four of Tomah's victories came in the lower weights, including Dawson Lambert, who pushed his record to 26-2 after gaining an 8-4 decision over Kodi Klonecki at 113 pounds.
It wasn't an easy match for Lambert, who got reversed with a minute left in the second period and stayed on the bottom the rest of the period. Lambert started on top for the third period and maintained a two-minute ride during which Klonecki blocked repeated efforts from Lambert to score back points.
Holmen's coaches got plenty of opportunity to scout Lambert at the Bi-State Classic, where he wrestled five times and won the 113 championship.
"Their kid was tough, and he was coached to stay away from certain things," Von Haden said.
At 120, Cody Zimmerman got a very satisfying 4-3 victory over Kyle Rensberry. Zimmerman trailed 3-2 heading into the third period, but got a reversal early in the third period, rode Rensberry the rest of the match and came close to getting back points in the final 10 seconds.
Zimmerman lost 8-0 to Rensberry at Bi-State, but Von Haden said Zimmerman learned some lessons that were applied during the rematch.
"(Zimmerman) avoided taking bad shots and avoided putting himself in a bad position," Von Haden said.
Tomah's other two victories were Nate Boulton at 126 and Owen Walters at 138.
Boulton delivered Tomah's biggest margin of victory with a 7-2 victory over Carter Vetsch.
Boulton took a 5-0 lead on a 3-point near-fall late in the first period and started the second period on the bottom. Even though Vetsch got a two-minute ride, Boulton still stretched his lead to 7-0 thanks to a pair of illegal holds, the second of which prevented a certain Boulton escape.
Vetsch scored two points in the third period with a stalling point and late escape.
Walters defeated Gage Anderson 5-2. Walters didn't take his first lead late in the second in the second period, when a takedown gave him a 2-1 advantage.
Anderson conceded an escape to start the third period, but Walters countered with a takedown and rode Anderson until yielding a harmless escape point with six seconds were left in the match.
Tomah wrestlers were competitive in two other matches. Travis Von Haden came close to getting a go-ahead takedown late in the third period before losing his 152 match to Zach Gordon 3-2.
At 195, Kaden Hericks rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to take a 4-2 lead before getting pinned in the second period by Kyle Burkhardt.
"Our kids were competitive and gave it everything they had," Von Haden said. "They knew they were outclassed a few times, but they wanted to battle and stay in the match and not just give up the pin."
It was Tomah's last home match of the season and the final home appearance for seniors Zimmerman, Travis Von Haden, Isaac Klema and Connor Von Haden.
The Timberwolves travel to the Madison La Follette Dual Tournament Saturday and return to MVC action Thursday with a trip to Sparta.
Result of Jan. 9
Holmen 52 Tomah 12