MP wrestling returning to full strengthPanthers get most wrestlers back on the mat, defeat Louisa-Muscatine for first dual win of the season
The Mt. Pleasant wrestling team is returning to full strength, and it showed Tuesday night as the Panthers claimed 38-33 win over Louisa-Muscatine.
It was the first dual win of the season for the Panthers, who have been plagued with injury so far this year.
“We’re finally getting most of the guys back in the lineup,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Anthony Blint said. “We have to work on conditioning now.”
Many different Panthers have missed time for injuries this season, forcing the Mt. Pleasant team to put inexperienced underclassmen on the mat and forfeit matches.
On Tuesday night, the Panthers forfeit just one match, at 106 pounds — a weight class they’ve had open all season.
“It’s good to get some guys back this week,” Mt. Pleasant’s 120-pounder, Colton Mertens, said.
Mertens was one of the Panthers who missed the weekend’s Linn-Mar dual tournament, along with Class 3A No. 5 220-pound wrestler, Justin Dilks.
“It was a big blow this weekend when we had to wrestle without him (Dilks) and Mertens,” Blint said. “And we were using Rob Pohren and Josh Larson only a little.”
Larson and Pohren missed a lot of time early in the season.
“It’s good to have Pohren back; he got that nice fall (against L&M),” Blint said.
Pohren (145 pounds) had the fastest fall of the night, pinning opponent Tristan Rinnert in just 33 seconds.
“Now if we could just get Noah Brown back.”
Brown is the final piece of the puzzle for the Panthers — he’s the only wrestler still out with injury who was expected to be in the varsity lineup this season.
Last night’s lineup started at 132 pounds with Mt. Pleasant’s Tyler Lanphier, a returning state qualifier who got the Panthers off to a strong start with a win by fall over Adam Starweather in 1:55.
The win gave Mt. Pleasant a 6-0 lead.
L&M got three points back in the 138-pound match on a 6-1 decision, but then came Pohren’s pin and a win by forfeit for Larson at 152 pounds, and the Panthers were up 18-3.
In the next four matches, Mt. Pleasant claimed another win by forfeit at 182 pounds, but lost by fall at 160, 170 and 195 pounds — which narrowed the Panther lead to just three points, 24-21.
Dilks stretched it back to seven with a win by major decision over Ryland Crawford, 12-3, but L&M claimed a win by decision in the heavyweight match, 3-1.
The Falcons took their only lead of the dual when they accepted a forfeit at 106 pounds, but it lasted only a few moments until Mt. Pleasant’s Simon Phanthouvong received a forfeit at 113 pounds to put the Panthers back on top, 34-30.
With just two matches left, Mertens was given the chance to put the dual out of reach and seal the team’s first win — and he took it.
Mertens won by major decision, 11-3, against Aaron Allen.
“That was a real tough kid there, so it was a real nice win,” Blint said.
It was big win for the team, but Mertens said he hadn’t felt any extra pressure during his match.
“I just try to treat them all the same,” he said.
L&M claimed three points in the final match of the night, 126 pounds, but it wasn’t enough.
The Panthers are now 1-15 on the season and host Southeast Conference foe Washington on Thursday.