High school wrestling: Strong finish for WHS, Adrian tops two teams
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Trojan wrestlers fought toward falls from start to finish in their dual meet Tuesday with St. James Area.
Under a spotlight hanging high above center mat, the black-and-red staved off two leads by the Saints, winning five out of the last five matches of the night to run away for a 43-22 conquest.
“We thought we could win quite a few matches up on top. We knew that, down below, we’d have to win two out of the first three or four matches, which we were able to do, and that was key,” Trojans coach Mark Prunty said after the outing. “Also, in the middle there were a lot of tossups.”
Worthington eighth-grader Jacob Prunty came out at 106 pounds, winning an exciting 7-5 decision with a three-point near fall late in the tussle. Also early in the dual, sophomore 113-pounder Hser Moo Pwae gained a win, giving the homestanding club a 6-0 lead through two bouts.
St. James rallied with two wins of their own, earning pins at 120 and 126 to go up 12-6 in the dual. Worthington clawed back to gain a 13-12 lead on a pin at 132 from sophomore Jeffrey Camacho and a decision, at 138, by King Blanchette.
The Saints again built a lead, this time their biggest of the night, on wins at 145 and 152. Then came a spark the Trojans desperately needed.
Trojans senior 160-pounder Zach Kempema needed just 36 seconds to pin his opponent and Blake Schroeder claimed the team’s lead for good, earning a pin in the closing seconds of the first period in his match. The pair provided a strong one-two punch that fed into even more the team had to give.
As a key component in the surge for his team, Schroeder praised his entire team’s try on the night as they chased the win. Whether wins came or not, wrestlers were fighting to stay off their backs the entire night, trying not to give up pins.
“It was a close dual and probably shouldn’t have been that close, but we wrestled hard and stayed off our backs,” Schroeder said at the end of the night. “I knew I had to go out and get six points for the team and get an extra lead so we wouldn’t have to mess around at the end. We got some wins up top and it was a pretty good team win.”
Following Schroeder’s fall, junior Peter Abraham pinned St. James sophomore Evan Stick late in the third period, in thrilling fashion, and juniors Carson Hagen and Trevor Wietzema stuck their opponents to widen the gap.
While the match was in hand late, Prunty applauded his wrestlers in the upper weights for fighting for pins. Many times, falls are the difference between winning and losing a dual.
“Going into the upper weights, when you start seeing Zach, Blake and Carson up on top, we felt pretty comfortable there,” Prunty said. “With Trevor getting the pin there at the end, the match was over, but it was still a good win for him.”
The victory was Worthington’s first team dual to begin the 2014 portion of their schedule. The crew traveled to Fargo for the Rumble on the Red Tournament recently and took 17th place along with several solid individual efforts. Now for the Trojans, it is a matter of fine-tuning. The next test comes Thursday in Jackson against Class A’s top-ranked Jackson County Central and Marshall.
“We gave the kids a few days after the Rumble, but we still need to get better on the bottom and also on our feet, where we need to take advantage of defensive positions to score points,” Prunty said. “We saw some progression forward but still need more work in those areas.
“Individually our kids have already faced some very, very tough competition this year,” Prunty added. “Jackson is a solid team coming off of The Clash. They’ve been able to put another solid team together to make another run. What do you in a match like that? It’s a great opportunity for our kids to see some good wrestlers. You have to wrestle the matches and we’ll make the best run at them as we can.”
WHS 43, Saint James Area 22 106: Jacob Prunty (W) dec. Mario Garcia 7-5, 113; Hser Eh Pwae (W) dec. Angel Zammaripa 9-3, 120; Hser Moo Pwae (W) pin Joe Dominguez 1:07; 126: Bailey Santhala (W) pin Chase Bottin; 132: Jeffrey Cammacho (W) dec. Daniel Camacho 6-5; 138: King Blanchette (W) major dec. Max Svalland; 145: Mark Alvarado (SJ) dec. Cody Michelson 6-2; 152: Kody Curry (SJ) major dec. Torey Rogers 12-4; 160: Zach Kempema (W) pin Josh Stordalen :36; 170: Blake Schroeder (W) pin Alejandro Lara 1:50; 182: Chris Johnson (SJ) dec. Nic Putnam 7-0; 195: Peter Abraham (W) pin Collin Hoppe 4:40; 220: Carson Hagen (W) pin Ethan Stick 3:07; 285: Trevor Wietzema (W) pin Andrew Kinnetz 3:07.
Marshall Triangular MARSHALL —Class A’s fourth-ranked Adrian Dragons flexed their muscles to two blowout wins in a triangular meet in Marshall.
Adrian defeated Marshall 53-17 on the effort of pins by 113-pounder Skyler Hieronmimus, 126-pounder Ryan Elias, 138-pounder Michael Preuss, 145-pounder Logan Rogers, 170-pounder Matthew Slater and 195-pounder Andy McCann.
Against Fulda/MCC, Adrian trailed 3-0 early but gained wins in each of the remaining weight classes, in some fashion or another, to run away and claim a 58-3 victory.
Greg Kern (120), Elias (126), Logan Nelson (132), Preuss (138), Hunter Hietkamp (152) and Slater (170) all won by fall against F/MCC.