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Prep wrestling: Marshall wins two, WHS tops JCC in triangular

Trojan Kyle Mullaney rolls Marshall senior Zach Felcyn over during a wrestling match in Worthington Thursday night. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- Twin brothers Kent and Tom Lais are still learning how to win varsity wrestling matches consistently. But they both took big strides Thursday night as the Worthington Trojans split a pair of bouts at the local high school.

Kent had trailed Marshall freshman Coltyn Marcy at 138 pounds in Worthington’s first match of the triangular, but he rallied to flip his opponent onto his back, using a whizzer, at the edge of the mat to win in a fall in 1:41.

Tom also won a key matchup, this time in Worthington’s late match against Jackson County Central. The Huskies desperately needed a win when they sent freshman Will Freking against him at 170 pounds. But with less than a minute remaining in a tight battle, Tom threw Freking onto his back for near-fall points and prevailed, 11-6.

Marshall defeated the Trojans, 49-18. The Trojans recovered to beat JCC 36-26.

In the first match of the night, the Tigers were 45-29 winners over the Huskies.

Sophomores Kent and Tom are twins, but they differ in height and weight, as Tom has his brother beat in both categories. But they are similar in that they compete hard at their craft, although both of them are still learning tactics. This season marks Tom’s first year of wrestling since he was in Worthington’s youth program.

In his match with Freking, the lanky Tom fought to a virtual standstill with his JCC counterpart until Freking bore in on a takedown attempt that failed. Tom threw him onto his back and held on for the win, which evened the team score at 23-23. WHS won three of the final four weight classes.

“We were both kind of struggling to get any points. He was 10 pounds lighter than me,” said Tom. “I just used my strength, pushed  him up and got around.”

There are other matches the brothers wrestle where their jobs are to avoid getting pinned, or avoid giving up major decisions. But this time, they knew they had a chance to win, and they took advantage of the situation.

“Before I went up, (head coach Ben) DeRynck told me my only goal was to go out and win my match. I tried my best to do that, and it happened,” Tom said later. “It’s like my first year. Sometimes I struggle. When he tells me I have a chance, I feel real good.”

Kent’s win against Marcy was the team’s second against the Tigers in the first six matches, and it gave the team an emotional lift.

“(Coach DeRynck) just told me that was a kid I could beat, that I should have a good chance,” he said. “(Marcy) was putting too much pressure on, and I caught him. It felt really good.

“I didn’t know how he was doing this year. I just knew I had a shot against him. I always think I have a shot. This one was better than the others.”

Marshall’s two wins on Thursday put an exclamation point on the program’s recent improvement. Against the Huskies, the Tigers moved out to a 15-0 lead and never trailed. JCC got pins from Matt Mohning at 126, Caleb Vancura at 138 and Eli Edlin at 285. And Ethan Hendrickson (145) and Justin Heckard (152) scored major decisions. Sam Dunker, at 220, secured JCC’s other win with a 7-3 decision.

Though the Trojans couldn’t keep up with MHS, they produced some excitement at 113 pounds when Erik Artiga went up against the Tigers’ Hsa Kee Lar, who is ranked No. 6 in the state in Class AA. Artiga went toe-to-toe with Lar and led 6-3 in the second period, finally losing by a mere point (8-7) although he nearly produced an escape or a reversal as the third period ended.

At 126, Worthington’s Damon Schutz won by fall. Brayden Donkersloot won 11-5 at 152 and Kyle Mullaney won 3-2 at 220.

Schutz, Donkersloot and Mullaney also won their JCC matches, and Artiga soared to a technical fall in his match with Dylan Withers. Trojans Lay K Paw (138), Cole Hennings (a fall at 182) and Jacob Neuberger (195) were also winners.

JCC got wins from Ivan Martinez (106), Payton Handevidt (120), Vancura (132), Hendrickson (145) and Edlin (285). Handevidt, Vancura and Hendrickson earned falls.

Marshall 45, JCC 29

106: D.Louwagie (M) pin Butzon 5:53; 113: Khee Lar (M) pin Withers 3:23; 120: Law Eh (M) dec. Handevidt 6-3; 126: Mohning (JCC) pin Roth 3:11; 132: L.Hodges (M) pin Beaver 3:57; 138: Vancura (JCC) pin Marcy 1:20; 145: Hendrickson (JCC) MD Jensen 11-3; 152: Heckard (JCC) MD Hughes 10-1; 160: G.Louwagie (M) pin Mix :44; 170: Sterner (M) pin Freking 4:57; 182: Stahl (M) pin Michelson 1:49; 195: Bahr (M) by forfeit; 220: Dunker (JCC) dec. Z.Felcyn 7-3; 285: Edlin (JCC) pin C.Felcyn 1:01.

Marshall 49, Worthington 18

106: D.Louwagie (M) dec. Martinez 13-6; 113: Khee Lar (M) dec. Artiga 8-7; 120: Law Eh (M) pin Abdulrahman 1:25; 126: Schutz (W) pin Roth 1:11; 132: Hodges (M) MD Paw 12-3; 138: K.Lais (W) pin Marcy 1:41; 145: Jensen (M) dec. Hennings 3-2; 152: Donkersloot (W) dec. Hughes 11-5; 160: G.Louwagie (M) by forfeit; 170: Sterner (M) pin T.Lais 5:10; 182: Stahl (M) pin Hennings 4:39; 195: Bahr (M) pin Neuberger 4:41; 220: Mullaney (W) dec. Z.Felcyn 3-2; 285: C.Felcyn (M) pin Cam 4:35.

Worthington 36, JCC 26

106: Butzon (JCC) dec. Martinez 4-0; 113: Artiga (W) TF Withers 16-1; 120: Handevidt (JCC) pin Abdulrahman 1:29; 126: Schutz (W) dec. Mohning 1-0; 132: Vancura (JCC) pin Alvarez :52; 138: Paw (W) pin Beaver 3:39; 145: Hendrickson (JCC) pin K.Lais :15; 152: Heckard (JCC) dec. Hennings 8-4; 160: Donkersloot (W) pin Mix 4:49; 170: T.Lais (W) dec. Freking 11-6; 182: Hennings (W) pin Michelson 3:48; 195: Neuberger (W) dec. Dunker 5-2; 220: Mullaney (W) MD Drahota 10-1; 285: Edlin (JCC) dec. Cam 6-2.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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