Panthers clipped by Trojans in final SEC dual
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
It was an action-packed night of wrestling at Mt. Pleasant High School on Thursday night between two Southeast Conference rivals.
Fairfield and Mt. Pleasant met on the mats for the first time this season. A few close wins in the middleweights propelled the Trojans to the win, 39-34.
The night started out with a pin at 285 lbs. by Fairfield’s Brendon Lunsford. Mt. Pleasant won the next two matches with forfeits, but Fairfield won five of the next six matches to take control of the meet.
Gannon Courtright and Dallas Peebler both had pins to help the Trojans pull into the lead at 18-12, but it was a back-and-forth match at 132 lbs., which gave Fairfield an early advantage.
Zach Barnes stepped in for Fairfield and faced Mt. Pleasant’s Avante Henley. Henley was ahead for the majority of the match, but Barnes was able to steal the win with a pin towards the end of the second period.
“Zach Barnes at 132 was really slow on his feet tonight and he was getting taken down a lot,” said Fairfield coach Steve Miller after the meet. “I just knew if he could get his hands on the kid, he could be alright. Luckily he caught him and that was a big pivotal match.”
Nate Wallace picked up a big pin for Mt. Pleasant at 138 lbs., but Fairfield struck right back with another come-from-behind win.
Jaden Davis and Charles Heisel faced off in another tight match, that was won by Heisel with a takedown late in the third period that pushed him ahead for a big swing victory.
Fairfield was able to close their run with a pin at 152 lbs., by Noah Stone, one that Miller says flipped the math in favor of the Trojans.
“Noah Stone came out and that’s honestly the turning point in the whole meet,” Miller said. “Noah gets that pin and now it’s set in our favor.”
Mt. Pleasant was able to stage a comeback with three straight wins. James DeMeyer had a come from behind win over Bailey Jones at 160 lbs. Tyler Davis held on for a 4-2 win at 170 lbs., and Zach Beason earned the extra point with a 10-1 major decision at 182 lbs.
The score was 33-31 in favor of Fairfield going into the final two matches. Michael Fritz, at 195 lbs., put the match on ice with a pin that clinched the win for the Trojans.
Dalton Shull was able to give Mt. Pleasant the last win of the night. He won on a 10-3 decision at 220 lbs.
Panther coach Anthony Blint said after the dual that the Panthers just couldn’t get the toss-up matches to go in their favor.
“There were probably about nine of them that were pretty much toss up matches,” said Blint. “We ended up winning three of the nine.”
Blint also spoke of the emotional swings taken with Fairfield’s pins, which were the big difference on the night.
“Anytime you are ahead in the match and you end up giving up a fall, that’s points you should have had. It’s pretty emotional for the kids to see the kid that was up give up a fall.”
Both Mt. Pleasant and Fairfield ended the SEC schedule at 2-2, which puts the two teams in a tie for second place. Washington finished 4-0 and both Keokuk and Ft. Madison went 1-3.
Both teams will be in action again on Saturday, Jan. 21. Fairfield will be at the Clinton tournament, at 9 a.m. Mt. Pleasant will be at the Williamsburg tournament on 10 a.m.
Full results from Thursday night’s meet can be found below.
FAIRFIELD 39 vs. MT. PLEASANT 34: 285: Brendon Lunsford (FF) pins Anthony Carrasco (MP) (1:59). 106: Brayden Ackles (MP) wins by forfeit. 113: Corbin Broeker (MP) wins by forfeit. 120: Gannon Courtright (FF) pins Tyler Raub (MP) (3:21). 126: Dallas Peebler (FF) pins Jamie Johannes (MP) (2:26). 132: Zach Barnes (FF) pins Avante Henley (MP) (3:30). 138: Nate Wallace (MP) pins Derek Beasley (FF) (2:57) 145: Chalres Heisel (FF) dec. Jaden Davis (MP) (6-3). 152: Noah Stone (FF) pins Jeff Taylor (MP) (3:05). 160: James DeMeyer (MP) (4:29). 170: Tyler Davis (MP) dec. Simon Spalla (FF) (4-2). 182: Zach Beason (MP) major dec. Josh Kessel (FF) (10-1). 195: Michael Fritz (FF) pins Dalton Bass (MP) (4:34). 220: Dalton Shull (MP) dec. Trenton Hanen (FF) (10-3).