Cody Bue went on the offensive and it made him public enemy No. 1.
At least for the rest of Class 2A's 160-pound wrestlers.
The junior is the top-ranked 160-pounder thanks to a 39-2 record with 23 pins. The Little Falls Flyer had 113 career victories heading into the state individual tournament, which started Wednesday.
"He has handled the pressure of being No. 1 pretty well," said Little Falls coach Mike Hendrickson. "I don't go out searching for rankings. I like the lay in the weeds approach because sometimes rankings can put undue pressure on high school kids. Not Cody. He thrives on that. He's a very strong-willed person. Very determined."
Bue is so strong he pinned Alex Feldt of Detroit Lakes in 37 seconds to win the Section 8-2A championship.
The five-year varsity wrestler and team captain said a section title was one of his goals. After a close semifinal match, he went into the final relaxed.
"I was pretty confident throughout the tournament," said Bue. "I knew I was going to win, but I had to take it one match at a time."
Now it's on to his next goal, which is to place in the top three at state. Last year Bue lost both of his matches, but opened with the eventual state champion and then lost to the third-place wrestler in the wrestlebacks.
His two losses this season came against Class 2A's second-ranked 152-pounder, Kevin O'Brien of Becker, in the Paul Bunyan tournament final and against 2A's fifth-ranked 152-pounder, Jordan Engen of Thief River Falls, in the Big Bear tournament final.
"He's very aggressive," said Hendrickson. "He's very good on the top and he's a cradler. Most of his pins have come from the cradle. He turns people over.
"He's very determined and for a junior to be that determined makes him a good leader. He leads by example and the other kids in the room respond well to that."
School: Little Falls
Key stat: Won the Section 8-2A championship
As a sophomore Bue went into the state 152-pound bracket with a 31-12 record. He said he was more defensive and did a lot of headlocks. He changed his approach this year.
"I'm much more offensive on my feet," he said. "I needed to build up my confidence and then I just decided to do it.
"I feel pretty good about how I'm wrestling and I'm ready to hit the state tournament."
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Dan Kornbaum, Little Falls, scored 30 points against Sauk Rapids and 21 against Brainerd.
Donny Tabery, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 26 points against Pequot Lakes.
Jake Jensen, Lake Region, finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds against Chisago and 33 points against Rosemount.
Jason Runyan, Verndale, scored 22 points against Ashby.
Mark Hoge, Crosby-Ironton, scored 31 points against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Kevin Tumberg, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 23 points against Crosby-Ironton.
Michael Weber, Pierz, had 24 points and 15 rebounds against Foley.
Jordan Riewer, Staples-Motley, scored 21 points against Pelican Rapids.
Hockey: Ben Hanowski, Little Falls, had five goals and three assists against Prairie Centre.
Wesley Waytashek, Little Falls, had three goals and four assists against Prairie Centre.
Michael Sperl, Little Falls, saved 12 shots in his 10th shutout of the season against Prairie Centre.
Wrestling: Nic Harrison, Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, won the Section 8-2A 135-pound title.
Matt Moenkedick, Colin Turchin, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, won Section 6-1A individual titles.
Jordan Bendson, Staples-Motley, won the Section 6-1A 145-pound title.
Matt Hagen, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the Section 6-1A 130-pound title.
Clint Poster and Sean Huls, Pierz, won Section 7-1A individual titles.
Keith Wasserzieher and Taylor Wilke, Aitkin, won Section 7-1A individual titles.
Hayden Zillmer and David Booth, Crosby-Ironton, won Section 7-1A individual titles.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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