After falling behind 21-0 against Pratt to start Thursday’s home double dual, all Hays High wanted was a chance.

The Indians gave themselves an opportunity in dramatic fashion, using three pins and four decisions to fight back to take the lead heading into the final match.

Hays ended up falling short, 36-31, but the late surge against Pratt and a 42-31 victory over Plainville in the last dual left the Indians feeling good about their overall showing.

“I thought all of them wrestled really well,” Hays High coach John Hafliger said. “Pratt has a really, really good team, a really tough team. I thought we battled back hard against those guys. Some of our younger guys in the upper weights really stepped it up. All in all, I thought we wrestled really well against those guys.

“I told the guys in the locker room, ‘Hey, we were in the hunt going into the last match.’ That’s where wanted to be, in the fight. We were there, just came up a little bit short. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I thought we wrestled really well.”

After the Indians dropped the first four matches against Pratt, Creighton Newell put Hays High on the board with a pin at 132 pounds. Hazen Keener (138) then earned a 4-1 decision and Kyle Casper came up with a pin in 49 seconds at 145 to swing the momentum in the Indians' favor. 

The Indians would later take four straight matches, starting with Chase Voth’s 9-1 major decision at 170 pounds. Gavin Meyers took a 4-0 decision at 182, Cole Schroder got a pin at 195 and Gavin Nutting picked up a hard-fought 6-5 decision at 220.

Pratt’s Raiden Kohman clinched the dual for the Greenbacks with a pin in the final match.

“I thought Kyle Casper came out and wrestled really well,” Hafliger said. “Creighton Newell came out and wrestled really well. I thought Meyers wrestled well against a good, ranked kid.

“Cole Schroeder had seven straight pins going in, and he comes in and pins the Pratt kid. Really impressed with what I saw from those guys.”

Against Plainville, Hays got pins from Brayden Hines (113), Corey Hale (126), Newell, Keener, Voth and Nutting to take the dual.

“Those are good guys,” Hafliger said of the Cardinals. “They're tough. I told our guys that they were going to be physical and they were going to come after us, and that’s exactly what happened. It was a really, really good dual.”

Hafliger said he’s excited about his group of underclassmen, led by freshmen Meyers and Nutting.

“You got to be really impressed with those guys — underclassmen wrestling upper weights,” he said. “Hats off to those guys.”

The Indians will be back in action today at the Russell Invitational.

“I would like to see us get healthy so we can get our full lineup back and get everybody ready to go,” Hafliger said. “We’ll go to Russell and wrestle in a round-robin there and then we can kind of get healed up over Christmas break.”

In the second dual, Pratt cruised to a 59-12 win over Plainville.

Jordan Finnesy (160) and Ryan Junkermeier (195) went 2-0 on the day for the Cardinals. Junkermeier got a pin against Pratt and won his match against Hays after an injury to Meyers. Finnesy took a 7-0 decision in the Pratt match and earned a pin against Hays High.

Pratt 36, Hays 31

106: Devon Weber (PRAT) over Devon Mayfield (HAYS) (Fall 0:35)

113: Kaiser Pelland (PRAT) over Brayden Hines (HAYS) (Fall 4:30)

120: Tarrant Young (PRAT) over Grant  Karlin (HAYS) (Dec 11-4)

126: Koda Dipman (PRAT) over Corey  Hale (HAYS) (Fall 2:58)

132: Creighton Newell (HAYS) over Dylan Cox (PRAT) (Fall 5:12)

138: Hazen Keener (HAYS) over Cody James (PRAT) (Dec 4-1)

145: Kyle  Casper (HAYS) over Hogan Thompson (PRAT) (Fall 0:49)

152: Kadence Riner (PRAT) over Landon Summers (HAYS) (Fall 5:06)

160: Jadon Koehler (PRAT) over Kreighton Meyers (HAYS) (Dec 4-3)

170: Chase Voth (HAYS) over Derek Roadhouse (PRAT) (MD 9-1)

182: Gavin Meyers (HAYS) over Caden Blankenship (PRAT) (Dec 4-0)

195: Cole Schroeder (HAYS) over Sevren Hance (PRAT) (Fall 3:36)

220: Gavin Nutting (HAYS) over Hunter Huber (PRAT) (Dec 6-5)

285: Raiden Kohman (PRAT) over Colter Conger (HAYS) (Fall 1:28) 

Pratt 59, Plainville 12

106: Dalton Weber (PRAT) over Logan Normandin (PLAI) (Fall 0:00)

113: Kaiser Pelland (PRAT) over Jesse Mackey (PLAI) (Fall 2:00)

120: Tarrant Young (PRAT) over (PLAI) (For.)

126: Koda Dipman (PRAT) over Conner Stahl (PLAI) (Fall 0:00)

132: Dylan Cox (PRAT) over Trenton Wray (PLAI) (Fall 0:00)

138: Trevor Stimatze (PRAT) over Gabe Kerns (PLAI) (SV-1 9-7)

145: Brandon Rohr (PLAI) over Hogan Thompson (PRAT) (Dec 7-2)

152: Kadence Riner (PRAT) over Ben Hansen (PLAI) (TF 20-5 4:00)

160: Jordan Finnesy (PLAI) over Jadon Koehler (PRAT) (Dec 7-0)

170: Luis Garcia-Jimenez (PRAT) over Draxtin Hovis (PLAI) (Fall 0:00)

182: Caden Blankenship (PRAT) over Kobe Spiess (PLAI) (Fall 2:00)

195: Ryan Junkermeier (PLAI) over Sevren Hance (PRAT) (Fall 0:00)

220: Hunter Huber (PRAT) over Christian Ostrom (PLAI) (Dec 2-0)

285: Raiden Kohman (PRAT) over Dakota Yost (PLAI) (Fall 0:00)

Hays 42, Plainville 31

106: Logan  Normandin (PLAI) over Devon Mayfield (HAYS) (MD 13-0)

113: Brayden Hines (HAYS) over Jesse Mackey (PLAI) (Fall 4:56)

120: Grant  Karlin (HAYS) over   (PLAI) (For.)

126: Corey  Hale (HAYS) over Conner Stahl (PLAI) (Fall 1:45)

132: Creighton Newell (HAYS) over Trenton Wray (PLAI) (Fall 2:18)

138: Hazen Keener (HAYS) over Gabe Kerns (PLAI) (Fall 3:39)

145: Brandon Rohr (PLAI) over Kyle  Casper (HAYS) (Dec 8-4)

152: Ben Hansen (PLAI) over Landon Summers (HAYS) (Dec 8-5)

160: Jordan Finnesy (PLAI) over Kreighton Meyers (HAYS) (Fall 1:33)

170: Chase Voth (HAYS) over Draxtin  Hovis (PLAI) (Fall 0:35)

182: Kobe Spiess (PLAI) over Gavin Meyers (HAYS) (Inj. [time])

195: Ryan Junkermeier (PLAI) over Cole Schroeder (HAYS) (Dec 4-1)

220: Gavin Nutting (HAYS) over Christian Ostrom (PLAI) (Fall 3:55)

285: Dakota Yost (PLAI) over Colter Conger (HAYS) (Fall 0:33)