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Hilltoppers’ “Hammers” punch tickets to semifinals

MADISON – Three proved to be a fortuitous number for Glenwood City at Friday morning’s Division 3 state wrestling session here inside the Kohl Center.

All three of the Hilltoppers’ senior quarterfinalists – Riley Knops, Adam Holmquist, and Austin Moe – advanced to tonight’s semifinals as each scored just three points to win their respective matches.

Knops was the first Hilltopper to take the mat at the Kohl Center as he squared off against Ryan Mindham, a 38-8 senior from Boscobel. Knops scored a takedown within the first 36 seconds of the 120-pound quarterfinal match to take a 2-0 lead. Mindham would get a point back with an escape in the second period. An escape by Knops to open the third and final period would account for the final point in a 3-1 Knops’ win.

A few minutes later, Adam Holmquist would open his 2013 state tournament with a 3-0 shut out over Riverdale sophomore Jared Roen (38-8) in a 138-pound quarterfinal. After a scoreless first period, Holmquist earn all the points he would need with an escape and followed by a takedown for a 3-0 advantage. Roen chose the neutral position to start the final two minutes, but he was unable to find any attack openings as Holmquist blunted every charge to take the win.

Austin Moe was the final member of the Toppers’ troika to wrestle. Moe and his junior opponent Cullen Pedersen of New Libson wrestled to a scoreless tie after the first two-minute period at 145 pounds. Moe managed an escape in the second frame to take a 1-0 lead. Pedersen knotted the score 20 ticks into the final period. Moe, who appeared a bit fatigued during the match, was finally able to break through Pedersen’s defense and scored a takedown with just 49 seconds remaining in the contest. Pedersen worked an escape with just 26 seconds left but Moe was able to hang on for a tight 3-2 decision.

Knops’ and Moe’s quests for a third straight state championship and Holmquist’s mission for a first remain on track.

In tonight’s semifinals’ round, Knops will take on Brandon Depies (41-10) of Random Lake, Holmquist will face Westby’s Ross Withington (40-11), and Moe will grapple Hayden Krueger (43-2) from Crandon. All three Toppers’ are now 40-1.