A second dual trip for Trojans
STATE CENTER – Tyler Casady’s reaction said it all.
The Trojan senior had lost the two previous times he went against Dike-New Hartford’s Lucas DePriest this season. But when he maneuvered himself out of a takedown and then put DePriest on his back for the bonus-point win during the early stages of the regional dual championship, the Trojan fans went crazy and Casady high-fived his coaches and teammates.
That victory put the host Trojans in front 12-7 and set the tone for the rest of the bout as West Marshall recorded four of its seven wins by fall and edged the Wolverines, 33-31, to clinch its second straight Class 1A regional dual championship.
West Marshall started the night with an easy 45-27 victory over Iowa Valley and will take its 14-6 dual team record into the Iowa High School State Wrestling Dual Championships, which takes place next Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena.
“He wouldn’t give up anything. He was trying to hang on there and happened to fall and hit his hips just right and kept rolling,” West Marshall coach Lonnie Ferguson said. “Was it beautiful? No. Was it planned? No. But it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes you just end up in those positions and you have to take advantage and we did. And then he actually got the fall, which was huge.”
The state dual championships will be Feb. 19 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The eighth-ranked Trojans drew No. 2-ranked and second-seeded Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (28-1) in the opening round. That match will take place at 9 a.m.
The Rockets currently have six ranked wrestlers, according to the Predicament, including top-ranked Jeren Glosser at 138, second-ranked Tucker Black at 152, third-ranked Blake Marolf at 145 and fifth-ranked Tyler Foubert and Dillon Pigsley at 160 and 170, respectively.
“It’s going to be tough. I have to see where we are with injuries,” said Ferguson. “I have some kids battling sickness, too. We have to figure out where the strengths are and try to put ourselves in the best position to compete.”
The eighth-ranked Trojans and 16th ranked Wolverines split the 14 matches right down the middle. The difference though was bonus points. West Marshall recorded four pins, while D-NH had three pins and a major decision.
Third-ranked Dale Hilleman began the bout with Dike-New Hartford with a win by fall. He had two pins on the night and is 6-0 with six pins since losing to 2A No. 8 Tyler Lutes of South Hardin-BCLUW in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
“That loss has made me determined to not lose again,” said Hilleman, who is now 49-3 on the year. “That was the worst feeling in the world. I am on a mission, and I don’t want to lose again.”
No. 10 ranked Cole Needham (48-4) also went 2-0 with two pins, while Casady, Ross Randall and Jared Johnson also finished 2-0. Randall had one pin and one win by forfeit, while Casady and Johnson each had a pin and a win by decision.
“That was pretty big,” said Casady of his win by fall over DePriest. “The whole team worked really well together and there were a couple key matches tonight. We can’t give up six and got to get six.”
Casady (33-21) lost to DePriest both times by 5-3 decisions earlier in the year. He reversed the outcome Tuesday and managed bonus points in the process. Those extra points ended up helping the team survive and advance against their North Iowa Cedar League rivals.
“We couldn’t give up six,” Ferguson said. “If you want to be in duals and want to win duals, you can’t give up six. And they did that for the most part. A lot of the guys wrestled their tails off.”
The Trojans led Dike-New Hartford 12-7 after Casady’s win at 220. Alex Schaper lost at 285 to Tommy Irvin but stayed away from bonus points. Randall (36-11) then rallied with a second-period pin at 106 before Needham’s pin at 113 gave the Trojans a 24-10 advantage.
Dakota Callan (120) and No. 6 Trent Johnson (126) got the Wolverines to within 24-22 with consecutive pins before Chad Berrey scored an 8-1 win over Anna Poyner at 132.
Jake Goecke avoided bonus points during his 4-2 loss to Alex Mooty at 138 and then Lane Kline came up with a big 7-0 win at 145.
That meant all Johnson had to do was win at 152 and the Trojans were headed back to state. Johnson (47-8) couldn’t quite get bonus points but his 9-2 decision wrapped up the dual, giving West Marshall an insurmountable 33-25 lead with one match to go.
“Someone gets majored instead of pinned or loses by decision instead of pinned, that is great,” said Hilleman. “That saves us points because we might only win by a couple of points. Schaper is a good example. If he gets pinned, we lose the dual. He stalled the whole match, but that’s what we needed.”
The Trojans won eight of the 14 matches against Iowa Valley and recorded six pins and one win by forfeit along the way. Iowa Valley got bonus points in only three of its wins and settled for decisions in the others.
West Marshall was forced to go on the road and upset Don Bosco last year when it claimed its first-ever regional dual championship.
Tuesday, the Trojans got to perform in front of their home crowd and clinched a second consecutive berth despite losing three placewinners off last year’s squad.
“To have it at home, when we only had two duals at home prior to this, was huge for us and we took advantage,” said Ferguson. “This one is without any controversy. The kids have been good all year long. I can’t say enough about how the kids have gone to work and battled every day. They deserved this.”
Dike-New Hartford upset No. 11 Ogden 39-29 in its opening round. The Wolverines were later denied their first-ever trip to the state duals by the host Trojans. … West Marshall went 1-2 and finished seventh at state last year.