When it comes to big tournaments Cody Bue hasn't had the best of luck with draws.
After winning the Dec. 11-12 Paul Bunyan Invite in Brainerd, the senior for the Little Falls Flyers may be having a change of luck.
Bue pinned his way to the 160-pound championship. The six-year varsity wrestler finished 4-0 and pinned Grand Rapids' Jamison Evans at 3:25 in the finals to win the title.
"Last year I finished second to Kevin O'Brien (of Becker) who was second in state (at 152)," said Bue. "I finished second at the Big Bear last year, losing to another state medalist."
School: Little Falls
Position: 160 pounds
Key stat: Won the Paul Bunyan Invite
As a sophomore in his first state tournament, Bue opened the Class 2A 152-pound weight class with Cannon Falls' Wade Gobin, who went on to win the individual state title.
In the wrestlebacks that year, Bue lost to St. Michael-Albertville's Jordan Campa, who finished third, the highest finish one can get after falling into wrestlebacks.
Bue finished 41-4 and advanced to his second state tournament last season.
He opened up the 160-pound bracket with a win over Princeton's Adam Swanson before falling to eventual state champion Campa. During wrestlebacks, Bue topped Jake Hoffner of Simley before losing to Foley's Justin Bowland, who eventually finished third.
"I'm going to try and get back and win it," said Bue. "The guys I lost to were all tough and you have to be mentally and physically tough. It was kind of disappointing. It was hard, but you just have to pick up and keep going."
Leading up to the Bunyan final, Bue pinned Royalton's Ethan Sczublewski in 41 seconds, Brainerd's Levi Rubin in 44 seconds and Christian Harrison of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus at 1:00.
"A lot of those guys weren't used to the cradle," said Bue. "Plus, I've beaten them before. I've been wrestling for a while now. It helps having the experience."
Class 2A's fourth-ranked 160-pounder has an 11-0 record with seven pins.
"He's very strong for his size and has tremendous experience," said Flyers head coach Mike Hendrickson. "Hopefully, with the luck he's had, we can just bring home a medal. Obviously, we want to win state, but this poor kid needs a medal. He had only four losses last year and two were at the state tournament to guys that were studs.
"He was ranked No. 1 going into the tournament because people could see he's a very special, dominating wrestler."
So dominating is Bue that, barring injury, he will become the all-time winningest wrestler in Little Falls history, surpassing Jason Brill's 135 career wins set in 2007.
"Cody was a junior captain for us last season as well and he just picked up where he left off last season," said Hendrickson. "He's always the first one in the practice room. He's not the last one to leave because he has to go to work on the farm after practice, but we start practice at 3:20 every day and when that second hand reaches the 12 he yells 'Jog' and we begin. He doesn't miss a beat.
"If anyone gets out of line he takes care of them. In that respect he's awesome. He makes our job a lot easier."
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Zack Meidinger, Verndale, scored 20 points against Parkers Prairie.
Dan Kornbaum, Little Falls, scored 11 points against Pierz to reach 1,000 for his career. He added 34 against Zimmerman.
Jordan Ackerman, Pine River-Backus, had 28 points against Nevis.
Derek Wolhowe, Staples-Motley, scored 24 points against Columbia Heights.
Hockey: Cody Chambers, Northern Lakes, had two goals and three assists against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Sam Johnson, Northern Lakes, scored three goals against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Wrestling: Dillon Kifer, Little Falls, won the 130-pound weight class at the Paul Bunyan Invite.
Jordan Rentz, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished the week 4-0.
Ryan Detloff and Jordan Bendson, Staples-Motley, each finished the week 5-0.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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