PARK HILLS — The Central wrestling team relied on two of its youngest talents to salvage a mere glimmer of hope for victory during its home dual against Sikeston on Tuesday night.
Freshman Noah House and sophomore Jonathan Goheen delivered back-to-back imperative falls, forging an identical score through 14 bouts and causing an exciting meet to ultimately be decided by eight tie-breaking criteria.
Following a lengthy discussion and review of each individual match involving the referee, coaches and scorekeeper among others, the Rebels emerged with a rewarding 38-37 triumph.
Central claimed the first point in seven of the 13 contested matches, and that narrow margin proved to be the clincher.
“It’s probably been about five years since I had a tie-breaker situation like that,” said 15th-year Central coach Scott Aholt. “We were tied on matches won, falls, major decisions, and there were no penalty points or unsportsmanlike conducts.”
Sikeston’s Ty Fowler (106) scored a 9-0 major decision over Todd Boyer and teammate Ethan Martinez (113) received a forfeit to create a 37-25 spread with two matches remaining.
House sparked the comeback after executing a takedown early in the second period. He secured the left shoulder of Noah Curtis for nearly 30 seconds, and finally dispersed his weight evenly to prevail at 2:56.
“Noah is a freshman wrestling varsity, and it’s been tough on him at times this year,” Aholt said. “But he keeps showing up with a positive attuitude and thinking ‘I’m going to win’ each time he steps on the mat.”
“One thing we’ve been working on is shot. He did it perfectly tonight, and just aggressively took a half and went for the pin.”
That result set the stage for a suspenseful and somewhat uncomfortable final match with Goheen needing a fall and nothing less to square the dual.
Sikeston’s Luke Blanton suffered a left arm injury in the first period, and the action would be delayed on three separate occasions.
He courageously battled through visible pain plus a bloody nose in the hope of at least lasting the full six minutes without allowing a pin.
Goheen began the third period with an 8-1 advantage in points, and quickly focused his attack on Blanton’s arm. His relentless effort finally commenced in the tying fall at 4:44.
“That’s the second time he’s been in a situation where the team absolutely needed a pin from him,” Aholt said of Goheen. “I told him to wrestle his match and not force anything. When an opponent gets hurt, you can’t back off. You have to keep battling, and that’s what he did.”
Central gained early momentum with three consecutive wins after Sikeston got a second-period fall from Luis Valdez (132) to open the varsity card.
Senior Matt Moss (138) continued his resurgence since returning from a broken leg with a convincing effort against Chanze Martinez.
He was nearing a technical fall leading 13-0 through two periods. Aholt implored Moss to generate a pin from the top position, which soon occurred at the 4:18 mark and gave the Rebels another crucial point.
“Matt really attacked and showed confidence in what he could do,” Aholt said. “When we wrestle duals, team points matter, and he got six big ones.”
Michael Clark (145) remained in control after gaining an early takedown and near fall, and topped his opponent at 2:33. The Rebels then built a 16-6 lead when Kyle Schwantner recorded a 13-3 major decision.
The Rebels also notched a fall by junior Brandon Maberry (182) and 4-0 decision from senior Justin McWilliams, who competed well below the 285-pound limit for his heavyweight match.
Sikeston surged with four wins in a span of five matches, collecting falls by John Rowland (160), Braydon Reynolds (195) and Mitchell Garner (220), and a 6-0 shutout from Christian Crumpecker (170),
Central’s Dustin Saunders was briefly ahead 9-8 over Rowland before being pinned in a contest that saw both men score a reversal and near fall.
Reynolds defeated Brenden Jones just 15 seconds into the second period after blocking an initial shoot attempt.
Central will compete today in a quad-meet involving Herculaneum, Hancock and host squad Potosi.
132 – Luis Valdez (S) fall Ethan Branch, 3:55
138 – Matt Moss (C) fall Chanze Martinez, 4:18
145 – Michael Clark (C) fall Michael Porter, 2:33
152 – Kyle Schwantner (C) m-dec Taylor McIlwain, 13-3
160 – John Rowland (S) fall Dustin Saunders, 3:44
170 – Christian Crumpecker (S) dec Cody Woodard, 6-0
182 – Brandon Maberry (C) fall Jordan Wheatley, 3:30
195 – Braydon Reynolds (S) fall Brenden Jones, 2:15
220 – Mitchell Garner (S) fall Russell Harrington, 3:30
285 – Justin McWilliams (C) dec Brendan Morgan, 4-0
106 – Ty Fowler (S) m-dec Todd Boyer, 9-0
113 – Ethan Martinez (S) win by forfeit
120 – Noah House (C) fall Noah Curtis, 2:56
126 – Jonathan Goheen (C) fall Luke Blanton, 4:44