Northview senior wrestler (from left to right) Austin Nicosin, Brian Walden, Greg Stultz, Rob Pasalich and Chris Sambrotta were honored on senior night at Northview on Tuesday.
If Northview's wrestlers needed any more fuel in their pursuit for a repeat Western Indiana Conference championship this season, they should have gotten all they need on Tuesday when visiting Edgewood pinned a 36-25 dual match loss on the Knights.
Coming in, the Knights had defeated all four of the remaining WIC opponents in prior matches, but the Mustangs got a couple of upsets and took care of business in earning the victory.
"I hope we respond," commented coach Dan Mikesell of his Knights. "We're still defending WIC champions, but we failed to step up tonight."
The Knights claimed a 16-9 lead after Brian Walden earned a huge pin at 275 by quickly taking his opponent to the mat and rolling him for a fall in just 28 seconds. "Walden's match was one of the six we felt could go either way," mentioned Mikesell. "For him to get that was huge."
Freshmen Nick Hensler battled Matt Mest at 103 strong through two scoreless periods. Mest had earned a fall versus Hensler in junior high last season, but Hensler went toe-to-toe with Mest before losing a tight 3-0 decision.
The decision and an Edgewood forfeit at 112 had the Knights ahead by seven points before Steven Spicer narrowed the gap with a fall at 125.
With the Knights leading 16-15 as a team, freshman Chris Craft took a 6-0 advantage over the Mustangs' Jared Snyder. But a reversal by the Mustang grappler got him within 6-4 through two periods and an early escape in the third period narrowed the lead to 6-5.
Craft got a takedown to take an 8-5 lead but Snyder responded with a takedown of his own.
In the closing moments of the match however, Snyder took advantage of a mistake by Craft to put him on his back for three points and a 10-8 upset victory that swung momentum to the Mustangs.
"The 130 pound match killed us as far as momentum," admitted Mikesell. "And then they came back with a pin at 135 and it was sort of like the roof collapsed."
But the Knights weren't through just yet.
Zach Stultz had a tough matchup with 2005 regional qualifier Kyle May. He trailed 6-3 in the third period, but closed to within a point at 6-4 with an escape, but was unable to even the score in a close loss.
The Mustangs would extend their lead by winning 11-9 at 145 and dropped a decision at 152 as well to give Edgewood a 33-16 team lead.
Northview would rally however as Hank Weishaupt fell behind 3-1 in the second period but would reverse the situation against Ryan Jackson and put him on his back for a fall. The victory closed the gap to 33-22 and gave Northview hope for a comeback as Greg Stultz controlled his match at 171.
Stultz would fall behind 2-0 in the early stages but would take a 3-2 lead following a takedown and an escape in the first period. He would earn a 5-2 advantage heading into the second period against Paul Weaver.
Stultz would extend his lead in the second period to 10-6 and hold Weaver off in the closing seconds for a 12-10 decision.
The Mustangs would take a 6-3 decision at 189 to close out the dual match victory.
"As young as we are, we have to work on our consistency," said Mikesell. "At times we have shown we can put matches together, but we have to be on our 'A' game or teams will sneak up on us."
The Knights will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Bloomington North at 9 a.m.