The Central DeWitt and Mount Vernon wrestling teams know a little something about drama.
A year ago, the Mustangs erased a 30-6 deficit and clipped the Sabers, 35-33, with a win in the final bout of the night.
Two years before that, it was Central DeWitt which provided the late heroics, picking up a pin in the finale to create the final one-point margin in a 36-35 Sabers victory.
All told, three of the teams’ four previous meetings had been decided by the final match.
That trend continued Thursday.
Facing off in a WaMaC East dual, the two teams traded runs — the Sabers won the first three matches and four of the final five, the Mustangs countered by winning six straight bouts at one point — until Central DeWitt entered the final match trailing by three points.
Needing just a simple decision to force a tie — the Sabers held the tiebreaker — sophomore 126-pounder Cael Grell, instead, ended things with a bang, pinning Mount Vernon’s Jacob Coon in 3:25 to clinch the 39-36 victory.
Grell’s pin ended a run of three straight falls for the Sabers, helping them reel in the Mustangs.
Junior 113-pounder Keaton Zeimet started the run with a fall in 1:03. It was the 16th pin of the season for the Saber and the 71st of his career, breaking Chase Kraklio’s program record.
Sabers 120-pounder Koal Bossom, meanwhile, set up Grell’s big finish by erasing a 6-3 deficit with a big fall in 5:41.
Grell jumped out to a 4-0 lead (on a takedown and two nearfall points) and then added another takedown in the second period before pinning Coon with 35 seconds remaining in the period.
The Sabers opened strong. Robert Howard needed just 40 seconds to score a pin at 132 pounds, while Carter Donovan added an 11-5 decision.
Soon after, Skyler Tipton turned a reversal into a fall in 3:47, helping the Sabers go up 15-0.
The Mustangs, though, answered back by winning the next six matches — three by forfeit — to go up 31-15.
Junior 285-pounder Cole Miller ended the run with a fall in 1:03, but Mount Vernon answered with a fall of its own to set up the Sabers’ closing run (the Mustangs’ pin should have given them 37 team points, but the visitors were docked a team point earlier for unsportsmanlike conduct).