Times Sports Editor
An expected close dual wrestling match between Northview and West Vigo never materialized on the Knights' home mat Wednesday night.
Justin Sampson, Jesse Miller, Coan Williams, Zach Williams and Mike Miller were recognized before the match on senior night so it was only fitting that Sampson took the mat to open the match.
Sampson quickly set the tone for the night as he overpowered Tyler Bell in the opening period with a pair of takedowns before sealing the win by fall in 1:43. The victory improved his season record to 27-0 at 285 pounds.
After Cale McCoy received a forfeit at 106 pounds and there was a double forfeit at 113, the match settled in with the Knights seizing momentum at 120.
Shane Ryan fell behind Gage Lynch with a first period take down, but tied the score with a reversal and grabbed the upper hand at 4-2 with 1:03 left in period number two. Ryan fired off the bottom in the third period to take a 6-2 advantage and held it the remainder of the way for a decision.
Freshman Stephen Gibson maintained the momentum at 126 as he withstood an early scramble to tie the score at 2-all in the opening two minutes. He was able to put Doug Wilkins on his back for three near fall points at the first period buzzer. Gibson wasted little time in finishing the match as he pinned Wilkins just nine seconds into the second period.
The quick start and the energy from his team obviously had Knights' coach Dan Mikesell excited.
"I've been waiting to see a complete team effort and that is what we got tonight. We kind of put a challenge to a couple of the kids. Shane Ryan went up to 120 (pounds) and wrestled a kid that beat him last year," Mikesell said. "Shane wrestled a real smart match. (West Vigo) has been touting their 126-pound freshman, but I said, 'my 126-pound freshman is pretty good too.' Stephen (Gibson) wrestled really well."
Trance Kelley continued the roll at 132 as he came from behind 4-1 in the second period with a reversal at the buzzer. He snuck ahead, 5-4 with a third period reversal with 55 seconds remaining before riding out the win over Sam Bowden.
"Trance (Kelley), we knew if we could just weather the storm and hang in there, he had a good game plan," Mikesell said of his 132-pounder. "Trance wrestled with a heavy heart today. I'm proud of him for doing that kind of thing for the team."
The hits kept on coming for the Knights with Jackson Copper wearing down Zac Otte of the Vikings. Copper led 4-2 when Otte gave him an escape, but the plan backfired as the Knights' sophomore caught him and gained the pin with 12 seconds left in the match.
"Jackson (Copper) wrestled one of their better kids and he put together a good match," Mikesell said. "The kid got out of position and Jackson got on top to score some points, got the lead and held on to it and ended up pinning him."
Conditioning proved to be a pivotal aspect as the Knights came from behind in several matches and earned team bonus points via fall in the third period of another.
"I honestly think our conditioning was the difference in a lot of these matches. It looked like we wore them down. Jackson Copper's match was definitely one of those," Mikesell said.
Leading 30-4 in the team scoring, Trey Boor added to the momentum with a victory over Kevin Stewart at 152 pounds after moving up a weight class. Scotty McGuffin trailed 4-0 in his match at 160 before snagging a fall over Casey Noblitt. Levi Brown followed with a pin at the 3:15 mark at the 170-pound class to seal the victory.
"I think Trey Boor wrestled an outstanding match. He was outsized and bumped up a weight class," Mikesell said. "The kid was a lot stronger than him, but he just out-techniqued him. Trey looked good.
"People say wrestling isn't a team sport, but it absolutely is a team sport," Mikesell added. "When you get on a roll and the guy in front of you wins, it really motivates you. Momentum is a big part of wrestling."
In the final matches of the evening, Northview's Jesse Miller made quick work of Josh Beasley at 195 pounds, winning by fall in 1:37. Zach Williams finished the evening with a 10-4 major decision to cap the victory.
The Knights are back in action Saturday at the Sullivan Winter Duals.
Northview 55, West Vigo 10
285: Justin Sampson (Nv) wins by fall over Tyler Bell (WV), 1:43
106: Cale McCoy (Nv) wins by forfeit
113: Double forfeit
120: Shane Ryan (Nv) wins by dec. over Gage Lynch (WV), 6-2
126: Stephen Gibson (Nv) wins by fall over Doug Wilkins (WV), 2:09
132: Trance Kelley (Nv) wins by dec. over Sam Bowden (WV), 5-4
138: Jackson Copper (Nv) wins by fall over Zac Otte (WV), 5:48
145: Jacob Creasey (WV) wins by maj. dec. over Coan Williams (Nv), 12-4
152: Trey Boor (Nv) wins by dec. over Kevin Stewart (WV), 8-4
160: Scotty McGuffin (Nv) wins by fall over Casey Nobblitt (WV), 3:54
170: Levi Brown (Nv) wins by fall over Jack Belleu (WV), 3:15
182: Jacob Lewis (WV) wins by fall over Mike Miller (Nv), 5:11
195: Jesse Miller (Nv) wins by fall over Josh Beasley (WV), 1:37
220: Zach Williams (Nv) wins by maj. dec. over Dakota Short (WV), 10-4