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MADISON – James Palmer waited until the very last second, literally.
The Boyceville sophomore, making his second straight state appearance, scored a pin and his first state win with one second left in his Division 3, 120-pound preliminary match Thursday evening in the Kohl Center.
He defeated Anthony Gliniecki, a Stratford junior, with the fall.
Palmer trailed 2-0 entering the third and final period, but, starting in the down position, he was able to work a reversal with about a minute left in the match and then turned Gliniecki to his back and got the pin call with just one second left on the clock.
The win advanced Palmer to this morning’s quarterfinals session. He will take on Alston Nutter, an impressive Fennimore freshman that has just one loss in 48 matches.
Logan McAbee-Thomas was not as fortunate in his state tournament debut. The 182-pound senior dropped a 7-3 decision to fellow senior Austin Stebane of Brillion in the preliminaries and was eliminated from state competition.
McAbee-Thomas fell behind 2-0 on Stebane’s first-period takedown but came back to knot the match just seven seconds into the middle period on a nice reversal.
Stebane would retake the lead about 30 second later on an escape and never looked back. The Brillion wrestler scored a reversal to open the third period for a 5-2 advantage. McAbee-Thomas countered with an escape to pull within a takedown of tying the match but it was Stabane that scored the takedown with 16 ticks left to secure the 7-3 victory.
Boyceville’s other three state qualifers – Austin Wolfe, Micah Johnson, and Garrett Joles – will join Palmer in today’s quarterfinals round.
Wolfe will face Bonduel freshman Jordan Boldt (39-5) in a 106-pound quarterfinals match; Johnson will begin his state title defense against junior Dustin Reynolds of Lancaster at 152 pounds; and Joles will make his state debut at 170 pounds against Coleman senior Alex Stodola (36-7).
Check back on the DeWitt Media website for live state wrestling tournament updates.