MP wrestlers blast Burlington
Taking six points in each of the first eight matches straight, the Mt. Pleasant wrestling team took an early lead and held on for a 54-24 win over Burlington on Thursday night.
“All the kids came out really aggressive on their feet,” Blint said.
The energy the Panthers had was a welcome change from their last home dual, against Fairfield, where the Blint thought the Mt. Pleasant wrestlers looked a little slow.
This time, they jumped out to a 48-0 lead after the first eight matches of the night.
“I think they wanted to show off for their parents,” Blint said.
The Thursday dual, the last home dual of the season, was also Parents’ Night for the Panthers. Each wrestler was recognized before the meet, and then they delivered roses to their parents in the stands.
But even with increased energy and their parents watching, the Panthers were not expecting to take such a huge lead over the visiting Grayhounds.
“We were expecting nowhere near that,” Blint said. “We scored high in a lot of matches we thought would be close. We thought they would be decisions, but we got falls.”
The rest of the dual went in favor of the Grayhounds, with Burlington taking five of the last six matches, but by then, the damage was done.
The dual started at 170 pounds, a draw that favored the home team, whose heavyweight wrestlers are some of its strongest and most experienced wrestlers.
Burlington’s strongest wrestlers — Class 3A fourth-ranked Austin Boyd and second-ranked Dalton Witte, 145 and 160 pounds, respectively — wrestled in two of the last three matches, giving Mt. Pleasant an early advantage.
“Momentum is huge,” Blint said.
Jayton Phillips took the mat for Mt. Pleasant at 170 pounds, took his opponent, Landon Summers, to the ground quickly and had him pinned in just 44 seconds.
Then came Justin Dilks (182), who got a takedown in just four seconds and pinned Broihson Turner in 1:17.
Colton Aplara, who is ranked sixth in Class 3A at 220 pounds, took a forfeit in the 195-pound match, putting Mt. Pleasant up 18-0.
Next was a newcomer to the varsity lineup, Justin Nichting.
“With Dilks back down at 182 and Aplara at 195, he filled in at 220,” Blint said.
He certainly did.
After going down early in the match Nichting came back to get a pin with 16 seconds left in the second period and put the Panthers up 24-0.
Emmett Wester (285) added another six points when he pinned Vincent Clark in 3:37, and then Colton Mertens (106) got a first-period win by fall over Tyler Rooney in 1:36.
Conner Eads got a takedown less than 30 seconds into the 113-pound match but couldn’t quite seal the deal, getting three near-fall points as time expired in the first period. He finished the match in the second period, however, getting the pin at 3:41.
At 120 pounds, Mt. Pleasant’s Tyler Lanphier pinned Zach Swink after only 1:14, giving Mt. Pleasant its biggest lead of the night at 48-0 and sealing the dual win.
The Panthers struggled in the final six matches of the night, with their only win coming from 152-pounder Michael Alderson.
Alderson pinned Kellen Kamp in just 28 seconds.
Rob Pohren lost a 5-2 decision at 138 pounds, Alex Lanphier dropped a 7-1 decision at 126 pounds, and Dillyn Mumme was pinned with just one second left in the first period in the 132-pound match. (For more on Mumme, click here.)
Boyd pinned Josh Larson and Witte pinned Noah Brown in the last match of the night, but in every match, Blint was happy with what he saw.
“We battled in our losses,” Blint said. “All the kids who lost matches still went out there and competed real hard, battled well.”
“The JV guys even wrestled real well.”
Mt. Pleasant won two of three JV matches on the night: Sterling Wickham was pinned in 2:19, but Blake Wickham won by fall in 1:54 and Kallin Crile won by a 14-10 decision.
“It was great overall, a team effort,” Blint said.
The Panthers are now 13-6 on the season and they will wrestle again this weekend in the Southern Iowa Classic at Fairfield on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.