While Creston/O-M was busy building a 21-0 lead over Glenwood in a matchup of Hawkeye 10 Conference unbeatens here Tuesday night, it was the coach facing the deficit that was smiling inside.
While giving up a technicall fall, major decision and pin among the five Panther wins to start the match, Ram coach Brad Asche was pleased that all but one of his wrestlers in that stretch avoided a six-point hit in the team score with a pin defeat.
As it turned out, those extra bonus points would have been valuable to the Panthers, who lost 34-30 in a key league showdown in front of a near-capacity crowd in the Creston High School gym.
“We were getting bonus points, but just one or two,” Creston/O-M coach Darrell Frain said, after watching his team fall to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in league matches. Glenwood improved to 5-0 and 4-0.
“The big difference was, we didn’t get pins and we couldn’t fight off our back,” Frain said. “It was seven matches (won) to seven, they just pinned us. There were a couple of matches that should not have been bonus points for them.”
After the Rams fell behind 21-0, Asche saw his team seize some momentum with pins at heavyweight and 106 pounds in bouts Frain thought could be close matches.
“We needed a spark and we got one from Alex Killpack there in the heavyweight match,” Asche said. “Then Hunter Acherson is one of our JV 106-pounders, and he stepped in and got a big fall for us.”
Frain saw his team as the underdog in nine of the 14 matches if he didn’t switch some people around and look for some extra bonus points. So, he opened the meet with Gavin Leith moving up from 152 to 160 pounds and Adam Baker and Trevor Frain also moving up.
All of them won, including a 3-0 win by Frain, ranked fourth at 160, over Glenwood’s Frank Hoffman, ranked seventh in Class 3A at 182.
But, Creston/O-M got the maximum points in only two matches, both by the team’s top-ranked wrestlers. Keaton Hulett earned a fall in 1:02 at 195 pounds, and Jake Marlin got a forfeit win at 145 after Glenwood’s Andrew Tilley had clinched the meet with a pin at 145 over freshman Joey Huntington, up from 132 pounds.
“Jacob Johnston didn’t make weight at 145, so I was just looking to get a win there somehow,” said Frain, who inserted Zack Peppmeier in at 138 against the formidible Jesse Bendt, who earned a pin.
With Creston/O-M trailing by four (28-24), even a decision win by Tilley would sew up the meet and make it impossible for Marlin, the team’s three-time state champ, to make up the difference with a pin. Tilley got an early takedown and then the fall in 1:11 for a 34-24 lead.
“We told Tilley we had to have it, and they had to, too,” Asche said. “We knew what was coming (Marlin). He did a good job with pressure on him.”
Asche’s decision not to wrestle one of his top kids, Josh Clark, at 152 was met with jeers from the home crowd wanting to see Marlin take the mat.
“I couldn’t get my kid hurt,” Asche explained. “Last year his shoulder was in his ear before the match was over with. I’d rather have a full team the rest of the year.”
Actually, Asche was missing his 113-pounder, Cole Peckham, so varsity 106-pounder Chase Evans moved up and came up one point short against Creston/O-M’s Wyatt Thompson, 4-3.
Creston/O-M, the defending conference champion, now needs some help in someone knocking off Glenwood to earn a repeat crown.
“That’s a huge win for them,” Frain said. “Now it’s probably in LC’s hands to determine what happens. We’ll see. As long as we get better from this, I’m OK.”
Both teams handled Denison-Schleswig, with the Rams sailing 63-15 before Creston/O-M routed the Monarchs, 72-9, on the strength of 10 pins.
The Panthers are in the prestigious 40-team Kansas City Classic Friday and Saturday at Kale Arena, part of the Kuemper Arena complex. Bettendorf and West Des Moines Dowling are other Iowa schools in the event.
Frain said www.trackwrestling.com is carrying live scoring updates from the tournament. There may also be webcast video coverage. Information on that will be published later in the week.
Glenwood 34, Creston/O-M 30
160 — Gavin Leith (Cr) tech fall Sterling Stouder (Glen), 17-1 (6:00).
170 — Adam Baker (Cr) major dec. Jordan Krewson (Glen), 8-0.
182 — Trevor Frain (Cr) dec. Hunter Hoffmann (Glen), 3-0.
195 — Keaton Hulett (Cr) pinned Logan Ruth (Glen), 1:12.
220 — Cole Tanner (Cr) dec. Drayton Slaughter (Glen), 7-3.
285 — Alex Killpack (Glen), pinned Nathan Robinson (Cr), 1:01.
106 — Hunter Ackerson (Glen) pinned Stone Hammons (Cr), 5:36.
113 — Wyatt Thompson (Cr) dec. Chase Evans (Glen), 4-3.
120 — Matt Malcom (Glen) dec. Kruz Adamson (Cr), 15-8.
126 — Sam Jameson (Glen) dec. Spencer Wray (Cr), 16-12.
132 —Seth Warren (Glen) major dec. Gage Cheers (Cr), 8-0.
138 — Jesse Bendt (Glen) pinned Zack Peppmeier (Cr), 2:22.
145 — Andrew Tilley (Glen) pinned Joey Huntington (Cr), 1:00.
152 — Jake Marlin (Cr) by forfeit.
Creston/O-M 72, Denison-Schleswig 9
152 — Gavin Leith (Cr) pinned Manuel Borroso (D-S), 3:24.
160 — Dakotah Collins (D-S) dec. Adam Baker (Cr), 7-0.
170 — Trevor Frain (Cr) pinned Ivan Medina (D-S), 1:25.
182 —Seth Maitlen (Cr) by forfeit.
195 — Keaton Hulett (Cr) pinned Joe Thomsen (D-S), 1:02.
220 — Cole Tanner (Cr) pinned Preston Van Arsdol (D-S), 1:41.
285 — Nathan Robinson (Cr) pinned Andrew Overton (D-S), 1:28.
106 — Josef Rogers (D-S) pinned Stone Hammons (Cr), 4:33.
113 — Wyatt Thompson (Cr) pinned Jorge Partida (D-S), 4:00.
120 — Kruz Adamson (Cr) pinned Gerardo Chino (D-S), 4:38.
126 — Spencer Wray (Cr) pinned Parker Preul (D-S), 5:52.
132 — Gage Cheers (Cr) by forfeit.
138 — Joey Huntington (Cr) pinned Jeffrey Jovel (D-S), 1:48.
145 — Jake Marlin (Cr) pinned Carlos Bravo (D-S), 1:16.