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Wrestling: Turnaround at HWT lets Adrian stun JCC

JACKSON — Sophomore heavyweight Gavin Engelkes came off his back to record a fall Friday night, turning a team loss into a team victory as the Adrian Dragons edged Jackson County Central 35-28 in a battle of area wrestling giants.

JCC trailed by a point, 29-28, heading into the heavyweight match where JCC’s Nathan Horn worked out to a 5-0 lead with back points. But Engelkes turned the match around later, finally earning a pin in 2:52. The key moment occurred very early in the second period after Horn chose to be in the down position. “Our guy got an arm bar in and turned him over, and settled in,” said Adrian head coach Gregg Nelson.

Engelkes worked Horn on his back for at least 30 seconds before the match ended.

The match pitted a Jackson County Central team that was ranked No. 1 in Class A when it lost 37-31 Tuesday against fourth-ranked Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial.

New rankings emerged on Friday, before Friday night’s showdown. JCC is No. 4. Adrian is No. 6.

“We were kind of mad at Lake Crystal for beating them,” Nelson said Friday night. “Because we wanted to be the ones to knock ’em from No. 1.”

On Friday, the two teams traded victories throughout, and neither the Huskies nor the Dragons could pull away.

Worthington won at 106 pounds and at 120 with Skylar Hieronimus and Ryan Elias, both by falls sandwiched between an 8-6 decision by JCC’s Dalton Wagner at 113 pounds. The Huskies won at 126 and 132 with Ryker VanderWoude and Jordan Biehn but Adrian came back with victories at 138 and 145 with Tony Lynn and Logan Rogers.

Jackson County Central prevailed at 152 with Paden Moore and at 160 with Luke Norland. Adrian won at 170 with Carter VanDyke. JCC’s Keegan Moore won by fall at 182 but Adrian’s Jesse Slater won by fall at 195. JCC’s Jack Ziemer won by decision at 220 to set up the decisive match.

“Adrian is a good squad. We won seven matches, they won seven matches. They just got more big points than we did,” said JCC head coach Randy Baker.

Baker noted that his Huskies will need to improve. “When you wrestle good people it exposes your weaknesses. Things you gotta do to get better,” he said.

Adrian 35, JCC 28

106: Hieronimus (A) pin Twinnereim 1:35; 113: Wagner (JCC) dec. Kern 8-6; 120: Elias (A) pin Cleberg 1:48; 126: VanderWoude (JCC) dec. Nelson 9-8; 132: Biehn (JCC) dec. Preuss 10-4; 138: Lynn (A) MD Rossow 11-3; 145: L. Rogers (A) MD Pygman 11-3; 152: P. Moore (JCC) MD Slater 13-4; 160: Norland (JCC) by forfeit; 170: VanDyke (A) dec. Baker 7-5; 182: K. Moore (JCC) pin Taracena 2:25; 195: Slater (A) pin Oeltjenbruns 2:56; 220: Ziemer (JCC) dec. Taracena 3-0; HWT: Engelkes (A) pin Horn 2:52.