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|2/5/2014 ||Email this article Print this article |
Sabers impress with fifth-place finish at WaMaC meet
|Central junior Mason Cousins works with a chicken-wing during his match with North Scott’s Kiel Brown, Thursday night. Cousins pinned Brown in 3:09 and then, two days later, was one of two Sabers (Walker Wegener was the other) to earn a runner-up finish at the WaMaC conference meet. Photo by Ross Eberhart|
By Ross Eberhart
With the beginning of the postseason just a week away, the Central wrestling team certainly made the most of one final opportunity in the regular season to compete with the state's best.
Part of another loaded field at the WaMaC conference meet, the Sabers put together an impressive performance, placing seven wrestlers in the top-five to finish fifth in the team standings - their highest team finish since the 2010-11 season - with 143.5 points.
For the first time in conference history, two squads shared the team crown as West Delaware (ranked fifth in class 2A) and hosting Independence (ranked 10th) both scored 218.5 points.
Western Dubuque was third with 189 points, while Williamsburg finished a spot ahead of the Sabers with 176.5 points.
"For the most part, we wrestled to our seed or just above, which is a positive at this time in the season," Central head coach Ed Vance said. "That is what it is going to take next weekend - not everyone is going to be seeded first or second, but at the end of the day the goal is to have everyone place first or second.
"Based on the performances this week, I think we'll be ready to go."
Leading the way for the Sabers were a pair of juniors - 132-pounder Walker Wegener and 152-pounder Mason Cousins - who both were runners-up.
Wegener opened his day with a bye and then racked up the points against Beckman's Cody Feldman before ending their quarterfinal match with a fall in 5:14.
Things were closer in the semifinals against Mount Vernon's Charlie Engelbrecht. Wegener led 2-1 after the first period, but Engelbrecht tied things up in the next stanza.
It was 5-5 when Wegener created some separation with a reversal and then three nearfall points to make it 10-5 at the end of two.
Engelbrecht notched a reversal to open the third period scoring to get back within three, but Wegener escaped, and a late takedown by the Mustang was too little, too late in Wegener's 11-9 win.
That sent Wegener to the finals for a match with top-seeded Austin Hosch of Western Dubuque in what was a rematch of the Bob Lueders Invitational finals a week earlier.
Unfortunately for the Wegener, the result remained the same as Hosch used four takedowns to pick up an 8-3 win.
Like Wegener, Cousins received a bye into the quarterfinals and the 152-pounder followed it up with a 7-2 victory (thanks to three takedowns and an escape) over Nic Reinert of Beckman.
Cousins also met a Mount Vernon wrestler in the semifinals in the form of Noah Dahlstrom.
The two wrestlers went scoreless in the first period, but Cousins jumped in front with an escape in the second period.
Dahlstrom answered with an escape at the start of the third period to knot things up, but Cousins broke the tie with a takedown and ended up taking Dahlstrom straight to his back for a fall in 4:46.
Cousins' run ended in the finals as Dylan Gansen of Western Dubuque jumped out to a 4-1 lead after two periods and used two late takedowns to pick up an 8-4 win.
Picking up their own top-three finishes were Bryant Woodford and Chase Kraklio.
Continuing his late season push, Woodford made quick work of Williamsburg's Cole Lehn in the 106-pound quarterfinals, pinning him in 1:10, and then gave top-seeded Jake Durgin of Mount Vernon a close call in the semifinals (Durgin broke a 4-4 tie in the third period with a takedown for the 6-4 win).
Woodford finished his day on a high note as he used a single penalty point to topple third-seeded Jordan Overbey of Center Point-Urbana 1-0 to take third.
Wrestling at 195 pounds, Kraklio received a bye in the quarterfinals and then cruised to a fall in 58 seconds against Williamsburg's Colin Bryant.
The senior ended up falling to Bryce Hoerner of Western Dubuque in the semifinals, but bounced back with another fall, this one in 3:39 against Logan Pasker of Beckman.
It was the 99th win of Kraklio's career and his 66th pin, tying the program mark of Creighton Fox.
Adding a fourth-place finish at 170 pounds was fellow senior Drew Schroeder.
Schroeder opened with a bye and then pushed into the semifinals with an 8-2 decision over Independence's Zach Kremer.
The Saber fell in the semifinals to top-seeded Brent Lammers of West Delaware and then had the unenviable task of grappling with third-rannked Trey Ryan in the third-place match after Ryan was upset in the semis. Ryan sent Schroeder to fourth with a 7-1 decision.
Sophomore 126-pounder Ryeland Doolittle and senior 160-pounder Jake Kagemann added fifths.
Doolittle dropped a tight 2-0 quarterfinal match with Trent Allison of Williamsburg, but then bounced back with three-straight falls (all in the third period) to finish fifth.
Kagemann fell in the quarterfinals as well, and took out his frustrations the rest of the way, picking up a fall and two different technical falls to earn his fifth.
145-pounder Carter Cahill added a sixth-place finish, while 285-pounder Doug Hayen moved up two spots from his seeding to take seventh (the senior finished his day with a fall in 2:22 against Colby Toenjes of Anamosa).
The tournament came just two days after the Sabers split a pair of duals with Marion and sixth-ranked North Scott.
Central took 10 out of the 14 matches with the Indians to cruise to a 57-24 win, but might have been even more impressive in a 39-28 setback to the Lancers.
Giving up three forfeits, the Sabers had 11 bouts on the mat with North Scott and won seven of them, but the Lancers used the free points to pick up the win.
After a forfeit at 160 pounds, Central got on the board with Schroeder earning a 4-1 decision over Derek Golinghorst.
North Scott, though, took the next three matches and won them with two pins and a forfeit to make it 24-3.
The momentum flipped Central's way in the 285-pound match as Hayen brought home a dramatic 7-5 victory over the Lancers' Korbin Caves.
Caves led 3-1 early in the third period when Hayen jumped right in front with a takedown and three nearfall points.
Caves scored a reversal to pull back within one, but Hayen escaped. Needing a takedown to tie, Caves put together a pair of deep shots, but Hayen fended both off, including one just as time expired to pick up the two-point victory.
Central's third-period magic carried into the next match as well with Woodford storming back against eighth-ranked Jacob Schipper.
It was 4-0 at the start of the final period when Woodford turned the tide with a takedown. The sophomore was then able to put a chicken-wing on Schipper and Woodford earned three nearfall points to jump in front 5-4.
Now the goal was keeping control of Schipper for the rest of the period. There were some close calls, but Woodford did just that to earn a big victory.
The Sabers kept rolling as Ira Kuehn used a pair of takedowns to earn a 4-1 win over Mayson Shannon.
North Scott came back with a pair of wins, but Central took three of the final four matches.
Wegener needed just 21 seconds to pin Ethan Stilson, while Cousins earned his own fall in 3:09 against Kiel Brown.
Cahill earned Central's final win, cruising to a 12-3 major decision over Tyler Renken.
The Sabers came up with five falls against Marion with four of them coming in the first period (Kraklio needed just 29 seconds to flatten Dalton Gardner, while Wegener pinned Caleb Conway in 56 seconds).
Cousins, Hayen, Woodford and Kuehn added forfeit victories for the Sabers and Doolittle finished off Central's scoring with a 7-0 decision over Trey Clifton.