Times Sports Editor
The Northview wrestling team is a little shorthanded with some injuries and illness as the holidays approach, but the Knights aren't using that as an excuse as the team followed up its invitational win over the weekend with a dual match win over a conference foe.
The Knights started and finished strong to overcome three middle weight forfeits to claim a 48-30 victory against Edgewood. The win avenged last year's dual match loss that the Knights suffered at the Mustangs' hands.
"We got big wins from our upper and lower weight classes," commented coach Dan Mikesell. "The key is getting a lot of pins when you have to give up forfeits. Starting out with three straight pins, I told the kids, 'now we're even so we can't complain about having forfeits.'
Austin Nicosin and Skyler Hall made short work of their opponents, with Nicosin winning at 103 in just 21 seconds over Mike Mest. Hall lifted Tyler Bryant shortly after the opening whistle and deposited the Mustangs' 112-pounder on his back for a win in 1:11. Austin Bell went up 2-0 with a quick takedown and then put Cody Cowden on his back for six team points.
The Knights gave up forfeits at 125 and 130 pounds to narrow the gap to an 18-12 Northview lead. With the Knights' Luke Pingleton, celebrating senior night at 135, the Mustangs tried a bit of strategy.
Originally the Mustangs were slated to forfeit at 140 pounds, but opted to add Blake Edwards into the spot since the team had the option to potentially move him into the 135 spot opposite Pingleton. Anthony Thompson was slated to wrestle in that spot, but the Mustangs could swap each wrestler in the chance to get a better match-up. However, the coin flip before the match forced the Mustangs' wrestlers to check in first and Edgewood coach Andy Bengston ultimately went with Thompson at 135.
Pingleton and Zach Mishler at 140 pounds made the bit of gamesmanship moot by each pinning their opponents to increase the gap to 30-12.
Edgewood got back to within 30-18 on a forfeit at 145 pounds and the Mustangs' Wes Adams was able to contain a final escape attempt by the Knights' Larry Shaffer to win an exciting 2-1 battle at 152.
Shaffer took a 1-0 lead with an escape in the second period after narrowly missing a take down to close the first period. Adams was able to pick up a two-point reversal early in the final period to grab the lead and Shaffer wasn't quite able to knot the score with an escape from the bottom position.
Edgewood continued its comeback with a 10-5 decision by Zach Ferguson , who started the season 10-0, over the Knights' Brady Silvers, which Mikesell felt dampened the spirits of the win a bit.
"It was tough for Brady (Silvers) to lose on senior night, it was kind of a bummer, but he'll bounce back he's a tough-minded kid," Mikesell said. "He just needs to get a little lighter on his feet, he gets flat footed sometime so we just need to keep working on that."
At 171 pounds, Nathan Duregger very nearly put Jeff Spicer on his back during an opening period flurry of action that resulted in the Knights' junior taking a 5-0 lead. Spicer crept back to within 5-3 after a reversal in the second period and was able to put Duregger on his back for the fall and a 30-all tie.
Despite the forfeits taking its toll on the team scoring, Mikesell wasn't about to let his team get down on themselves and use the point swing as an excuse.
"We're just taking the idea right now that taking forfeits isn't an excuse, you just have to figure out a way to get it done," Mikesell said. "We kind of knew it was going to come down like it did and we'd have some tough matches at 152 and 160 that went (Edgewood's) way. The matches that we thought would go our way, did go our way. So we were pretty happy with that."
With the match knotted with three matches to go, the Knights got outstanding efforts from Brandon Pleake at 189, Aaron See at 215 and Beau Judd at heavyweight. Each competitor earned pins as Northview pulled away with 18 points over the final matches.
Pleake came out aggressive and didn't allow his opponent any breathing room in a fall in just 1:28. See did much the same, riding his opponent into a fall at the 1:18 mark and Judd made short work of Seth Sturgeon, pinning him in 14 seconds.
The Knights' weekend schedule continues as Northview competes in a tourney at Bloomington North on Saturday.
Northview 48, Edgewood 30
103 -- Austin Nicosin (Nv) wins by fall over Mike Mest (EW), 0:21
112 -- Skyler Hall (Nv) wins by fall over Tyler Brant (EW), 1:11
119 -- Austin Bell (Nv) wins by fall over Cody Cowden (EW), 0:44
125 -- AJ Kerr (EW) wins by forfeit
130 -- Jordan Mapler (EW) wins by forfeit
135 -- Luke Pingleton (Nv) wins by fall over Anthony Thompson (EW), 1:14
140 -- Zach Mishler (Nv) wins by fall over Blake Edwards (EW), 1:18
145 -- Jordan Richardson (EW) wins by forfeit
152 -- Wes Adams (EW) wins by dec. over Larry Shaffer (Nv), 2-1
160 -- Zach Ferguson (EW) wins by dec. over Brady Silvers (Nv), 10-5
171 -- Jeffrey Spicer (EW) wins by fall over Nathan Duregger (Nv), 1:42
189 -- Brandon Pleake (Nv) wins by fall over Ben Patton (EW), 1:28
215 -- Aaron See (Nv) wins by fall over Jeremiah Terrell (EW), 1:18
285 -- Beau Judd (Nv) wins by fall over Seth Sturgeon (EW), 0:14