Wrestlers employ takedowns to avenge losses
Against Prairie View, it was all about paybacks for three Eudora senior matmen.
Luke Powers, Mike Paxton and Shane Grant all avenged earlier losses that cost them championships at their home tourney. Back on Dec. 14 at the Eudora High School Invitational, each suffered defeat in his respective weight class to finish second to Buffalo opponents.
At Wellsville Jan. 29, takedowns were the weapon of choice in the reversal of fate.
Powers used five takedowns to best Prairie View's Brandon Sommer 12-7 in the 171-pound bout. In their earlier meeting, Powers lost 5-3 without a takedown. This time, Powers intentionally let Sommer up so he could score another two points with the takedown.
"Luke was feeling comfortable on his feet," Cardinal coach Bill DeWitt said.
Paxton was edged 6-5 in this season's first meeting with Michael LawRance, but he held the upper hand at 7-6 after the second period of the 215-pound match this time. An escape and takedown sealed Paxton's 10-6 win.
Grant faced an old nemesis in heavyweight senior Dennis Kimzey. Grant evened this season's score with a 7-3 win using an aggressive style and scoring a takedown with two seconds left in the opening frame and adding two more in the third period to work the victory.
"The (payback) incentive was there, but it went farther than that," said DeWitt. "We gave tremendous effort and were better prepared than they were. State is bearing down on us and it is crunch time. Our lightweights stepped it up and got it rolling, and we fed off the excitement."
The 37-22 team win started with a forfeit received by sophomore Andy Coffman at 103 pounds. Then three freshmen claimed victories for an early lead. Miles Cleveland won 10-6 with a hard-fought decision at 112. Wrestling up a weight class at 125, Kyle Brouhard helped with a pin, and Jacob Gillihan worked a 9-6 decision at 130.
Senior Austin Roberts scored the first takedown and one at the buzzer, plus eight points in between, to score a 12-3 major decision at 140. Rounding out the scoring was senior James Barr, who took a forfeit at 160.
Against the hosting Wellsville Eagles, only seven matches were contested. Ryan Pittman (135), Roberts, Powers and Paxton each received forfeits to post 24 team points that aided in the 42-30 victory. Coffman nailed the fastest pin of the evening with a 55-second effort, and James Barr and Grant also added pins.
Those that lost for Eudora faced tough competitors. The Eagles are a good tournament team that has taken four trophies this season. Scott Russell won the only Cardinal junior varsity match with an 18-0 tech fall over Wellsville at 103.
"Everyone wrestled to their strengths and within themselves," DeWitt said. " This will be a good week to work on mental toughness. Practice has been lively and we are working hard to improve. There can be no let-ups."
Saturday the junior varsity took to the mats in Gardner, and Pittman (135) and Josh Snider (189) each took second place. Bobby Kurtz placed fourth at 145 pounds. Gillihan added a win at 130 and Josh Love competed at 152.
League duals continue with Eudora, now 3-0, pitted against Osawatomie at Spring Hill in makeup action Tuesday (with results in next week's edition) and Louisburg at Anderson County today. Coming up Feb. 13 is the last home action of the season with league favorites Paola and Baldwin. The Cardinals are planning special events to fill the gym. (see related story in this week's issue).