The Cougars rallied in the finals, but fell short 31-30 to Minneota. Zumbrota-Mazeppa had upset Frazee in the semifinals to reach the state title match at the Xcel Energy Center.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa started the season ranked in the "Lean and Mean" category by the Guillotine wrestling publication at No. 13. The Cougars ended the season with a chance to win the state title in the final period at heavyweight versus Minneota on the floor of the X on Thursday night.

Z-M was the No. 3 seed for the state class A tournament after upsetting Kenyon-Wanamingo for the Section 1A title. The Cougars began the day with a victory over West Central Area/Ashby 34-18 in the quarterfinals. Zumbrota-Mazeppa got pins from Joey Majerus, Dillon Downes and Noah Prodzinski.

In the semifinals, Z-M upset Frazee 33-25. The Cougars built a 27-13 lead after 170 pounds after pins by Majerus, Caden Steffen and Downes. Seth Tupper added a fall at 195 to clinch the victory.

In the finals, Z-M never led, but always kept it close. Minneota won three of the first four match-ups for a 12-4 lead. Z-M's Jackson Maverick earned a technical fall to cut Minneota's lead to 12-9. A pair of back-to-back Viking wins put them up 21-9. The Cougars won five of the next seven weights. Steffen won a decision. Downes got another pin. Prodzinski picked up a win by decision. After Minneota's second pin, Tupper got a thrilling win by pin of his own to bring the Cougars withing 31-27. That set the stage for heavyweight. Zumbrota-Mazeppa needed a win by major decision to tie for a state title. Minneota's wrestler was very cautious and Z-M's Evan Block got a 3-0 win but couldn't get his opponent to the mat. Final score: Minneota 31, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 30.

Congratulations, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, on a great season!

The state tournament continues Friday and Saturday with the individual competition.