HHS, TMP warm up with dual
By KLINT SPILLER
If the Hays High School and Thomas More Prep-Marian wrestling teams were combined, they would make a pretty solid squad from top to bottom.
The Monarchs' strengths happen to be where Hays High has struggled this season, and it showed Thursday at a dual at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
The Indians, 18-8 in duals, ran away with the dual 54-15, partly due to five open weight classes for TMP, but TMP managed to win four of the nine matches wrestled.
TMP, 2-11 in duals this season, doesn't field a full lineup, so TMP head coach Josh Peterson generally looks at how his wrestlers do in the matches that were wrestled.
"We wrestled awesome as a team," Peterson said. "... We are very, very happy with that."
Hays High's lower weight classes, which have struggled all year, ran into TMP's top-three wrestlers: 120-pound freshman Ricky Hockett, 132-pound senior Lucas Walker and 138-pound senior Jon Walker.
TMP won all three, as Hockett notched a 7-2 decision against sophomore Jake Thorell.
Lucas Walker pinned senior Dylan McKinney in a minute and 30 seconds, and Jon Walker won by a 4-1 decision against sophomore Tathan Durkhart, who was filling in for senior Cade Albert (concussion).
"I felt confident," Lucas Walker said. "I've wrestled him before. I knew what was coming, and I knew what I needed to do."
Hays High coach John Hafliger said the lower weights have been their weakness all season, citing the Dodge City dual as an example when they came back from being down 34-0 to win.
"It has been frustrating all year long, but we are working on our younger guys to get them to be better and more competitive and hopefully win more matches for us," Hafliger said.
At 145 pounds, HHS senior Jake Sedbrook won by technical fall against senior Parker Goldsberry, 18-2.
At 152 pounds, HHS sophomore Konner Buxton, filling in for injured senior Leroy Franco (ribs), won by an 11-0 major decision against junior Jared Gabel.
The 160-pound match was the closest of the night.
TMP senior Austin Werth nearly recorded a takedown in the closing seconds of the match, but senior Clay Drylie held Werth's leg, preventing him from getting behind him. If Werth had more time, he might have forced overtime, but instead, Drylie won 5-3.
Hays High senior Kyler Meyers, ranked No. 4 at 170 pounds in Class 5A, pinned junior Justin Raynesford in 54 seconds, and 285-pound Hays High junior Vincent Scott pinned junior Mason Lagree in 1:21.
The only other match TMP won besides at the lower weights was at 220 pounds, where Hays High starts freshman Braydon Delzeit. Junior Nick Schumacher won that match by a 6-2 decision.
Sedbrook, originally from WaKeeney-Trego Community, said it's fun to compete against TMP under the lights of Gross Memorial Coliseum.
"With me coming from WaKeeney, we never had a crosstown rival," he said. "In Hays, you can see these guys anywhere, and you don't really think about it. But out here (at Gross Memorial Coliseum), it's definitely cool."
Hays High and TMP will compete today and Saturday at the Bob Kuhn Prairie Senior Classic at the HHS gym.
Phillipsburg rallies late to win
As the Hays High-TMP dual occured, a dual between Phillipsburg and Spring Hill happened simultaneously on an adjacent mat.
Phillipsburg started off strong but needed two large victories at its last three weights to pull ahead for the win.
The Panthers, now 13-3 in duals this season, did exactly that.
Phillipsburg got pins from 182-pound senior Jacey Minkler and 195-pound sophomore Luke Jacobs to pull ahead 30-26.
However, with an open weight class at 285 pounds, Phillipsburg needed at least a decision from junior Seth Boswell at 220 to win the dual.
Boswell got it in dramatic fashion, taking down his opponent in the final seconds to win 3-1 and lifted his squad to a 33-32 victory.
"He had a couple nice shots, and finally, he finished that one at the end there," said Phillipsburg head coach Joe Buresh. "Typically, he's not a guy that takes a lot of shots, so we were happy for him to get that last takedown and securing the win for us in the dual."
All but one of Phillipsburg's ranked wrestlers in Class 3-2-1A won Thursday.
Senior Kyle Witmer, ranked No. 4 at 106 pounds, pinned his opponent in 3:30. Junior Riley Juenemann, ranked No. 5 at 120 pounds, won by a 4-1 decision, and 132-pound senior Caleb Studley, ranked No. 3, won by a 7-5 decision.
Only 138-pound junior Michael Dusin, ranked No. 5, lost, but he was the only ranked Panther to wrestle a ranked opponent. Spring Hill senior Corey Spader, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, pinned Dusin in 3:29.
"Mike was a little frustrated by that loss," Buresh said. "He maybe didn't look as good as he has, but he'll be all right. He'll come back."