Aitkin's Matt Christensen entered Brainerd High School undefeated.
He left it that way, too, collecting two pins and leading the Gobblers to two victories in a wrestling triangular Tuesday.
Class 1A's second-ranked 171-pounder pinned Sauk Rapids' Chris Helgeson in 40 seconds, leading to a 50-16 Aitkin win. Then Christensen planted Brainerd's Sam Pagel in 3:20, helping the Gobblers top the Warriors 36-27.
Brainerd opened the triangular with a 31-26 win over Central Lakes Conference foe Sauk Rapids.
"We've got some great seniors and Matt just picks us up," said Aitkin head coach Dan Stifter. "He sets the tempo and controls the match and always is a pretty confident kid. Matt's been huge for us.
"He might be undefeated, but he's still one of the hardest working kids in the room."
After building a 9-0 lead against Brainerd, Aitkin watched as the Warriors rattled off five straight wins to claim a 21-9 advantage. Brainerd's Brandon Mutz picked up his second pin of the night and Jake Patnode collected a technical fall in the run.
Aitkin answered with six straight victories, including pins from Taylor-Thomas Bitker, Christensen and a six-second pin by Nathan Cummings. Levi Stifter's 3-1 decision at 215 sealed Aitkin's win.
"We were trying to keep from getting pinned by their top kids and they were trying to do the same," said Stifter. "We had a couple of matchups that could have gone either way and we won the ones that we had to.
"We thought 135 was a key match and 152 was another. We lost one and got a pin on the other and that was kind of the difference."
Aitkin wins two, Brainerd one
Conf: Brd 7-1, SR 5-4
Overall: Brd 10-4, SR 8-15, Aitkin 17-3
Next: Brainerd at St. Cloud Tech; Aitkin in Great River Conference tournament 4 p.m. Friday.
The pressure was on Kyle Anderson in Brainerd's win against the Storm.
The senior heavyweight watched as the Warriors won six of the first seven matches to build a 28-3 advantage.
Then the Storm went on a run of six straight wins to climb to within 28-26.
Anderson built an early 5-1 lead and then hung on in the final two periods, helping Brainerd to the win.
Mutz and Nick Lingwall both collected pins for
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