MINNEAPOLIS -- A half-second is obviously not a long period of time.
But Thursday night it must have seemed like eternity for the Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale Raiders.
Adam Koch pinned Jason Rurup at the 5:59 mark at 145 pounds to lead St. James over B-H/V 27-25 in the quarterfinals of the Class A state wrestling tournament at the Target Center.
Rurup fought hard all match to avoid a pin by Koch (20-6), who is also an individual qualifier. Koch was leading 17-7 in the final moments and had Rurup in a near-fall situation. With the scoreboard continuing to tick down, the referee's hand found the mat at the same time the towel boy tapped his back, notifying him the match was over.
There was no initial ruling but the referee conferred with the scorekeeper and timekeeper and decided it would be a pin. That gave St. James a six-point win instead of a four-point major decision. With the major decision, the Raiders would have earned a tie and won the match on criteria because they won seven matches to St. James' six.
"We were only a half-second away from winning," said B-H/V 135-pound sophomore Reggie Rach, who won by major decision over Juan Fernandez.
The closeness of the match was not surprising to either Raiders coach Steve Techam or St. James' coach Eugene Hildebrandt.
"We looked at their lineup and said we were looking in the mirror," Hildebrandt said. "We felt if we won three down below we'll have chance to win and I'm sure they felt the same. That was the difference."
Every Raider between 103 and 135 pounds qualified for state individually. All Saints were competing as well from 103 to 145 pounds with the exception of 125 and 140.
St. James won at 103, 119 and 140, while B-H/V claimed wins at 112, 125 and 135.
Rach's domination of Fernandez, who won his first match in the individual portion of the tournament, gave the Raiders four points and closed St. James' lead to 12-10.
"I went out and tried to be aggressive and do it for the team," said Rach, who is also in the semifinals as an individual after winning two matches earlier in the day. "We matched up really good and we knew we had to beat them in the lower weights and up top too. I thought we should've dominated a little more down below."
Jake Elgin recorded a pin at 189 pounds to trim the Saints' lead to 27-22. That allowed heavyweight Justin Messer to win the match for the Raiders with a pin. He couldn't quite convert the six points and finished with an 8-2 win over Jared Nelson.
"That's an old-fashioned wrestling score," Hildebrandt said. "They're as good a team as there is in Class A."
St. James 27, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 25
103 -- Chris Werth (SJ) dec. Jared Oyster 10-4
112 -- Joeb Oyster (B-H/V) dec. Ryan Zabka 5-4
119 -- Tony Feuchtenberger (SJ) dec. Cullen Captain 3-1
125 -- Jake Richter (B-H/V) dec. Eric Hiermeier 7-5
130 -- Dustin Kulseth (SJ) pinned Jake Oyster 1:58
135 -- Reggie Rach (B-H/V) major dec. Juan Fernandez 14-0
140 -- Danon Anderson (SJ) dec. Dave Voeltz 4-1
145 -- Adam Koch (SJ) pinned Jason Rurup 5:59
152 -- Nate Bertram (B-H/V) dec. Tyler Olson 4-2
160 -- Lance Larson (SJ) pinned Josh Brissett 1:03
171 -- Adam Becker (B-H/V) dec. Colter Johnson 9-3
189 -- Jake Elgin (B-H/V) pinned Jon Nibbe 2:27
Hwt. -- Justin Messer (B-H/V) dec. Jared Nelson 8-2
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