An incredible string of South Central Conference dual meet victories was broken Thursday night in Knoxville when Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont edged three-time defending SCC champion Albia 37-33.
Albia’s dual meet winning streak was right at four years, in fact the last time the Blue Demons lost was to EBF in the same gym in Knoxville four years ago. The Blue Demons had won 19 straight conference duals before last Thursday’s loss. Albia has won the last six of 10 SCC titles, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-19 and 2017-18. The other titles went to EBF.
The Blue Demons had already dispatched Knoxville 46-23 prior to the meet against the Rockets for the SCC title.
“We moved into the Eddyville meet knowing that there were several different scenarios that could have played out from a match up standpoint,” said Coach Dave Wenger. “I felt that our coaching staff and our kids did a really good job of preparing and giving us the pieces that we needed in order to be competitive. As the dual with Eddyville progressed, we weren’t able to get some of the match ups that we absolutely needed in order to win the dual. They did an outstanding job of doing their homework and in the end we just couldn’t find an answer.”
The meet started with Aden Reeves pinning Alex Garman in 1:02. Then Rocket Trestin Sales returned the favor with a pin over Eli Zanoni in 1:05 at 132.
Michael Thomas started a string of four Albia victories with a 6-5 decision over Tayton Ricard at 138. Barrett Bonnett pinned Jacksen Kargol in 1:14 at 145 and Landon Turner, back from an injury, decisioned Alan Angle 5-1 at 152 and Tate Padilla pinned Chayse Irving in 3:05 at 160 giving Albia a 24-6 lead.
The Rockets rolled off three pins with Sage Walker pinning Shawn Good in :45, Mason Roberts pinning Gavin Shaw in 1:59 at 182 and Conner Reed pinning Doug Flattery in 1:16 at 195, tying the score at 24.
Jer McAninch put Albia back on top with a thrilling 5-4 overtime win over Nolan Stetter. In one of the key matches of the night, Brandt Hughes scored a 5-4 victory over Albia’s Jaquan Stallworth to lead the meet tied at 27. Carter Anderson would score Albia’s last points with a pin in 39 seconds over Dayton Menuis at 106. At 113 Caydn Hall scored a major decision over Dawson Bonnett 9-0 and at 120 Tyler Landgrebe pinned Logan Carter in 4:40.
“It was an incredible wrestling environment that ended up being exactly what a championship dual is supposed to be like,” said Coach Wenger. “It was a back and forth dual that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Admittedly, those guys always get the best out of us, but conversely, I think that we motivate them to perform at a high level as well. I think we do a pretty good job of making each other better.”
In the undercard meet, Albia handled Knoxville 46-29, receiving forfeits at 120 and 106.
At 126 Sean Collins pinned Albia’s Logan Wingett and at 132 Gabe Gordon scored a 17-2 technical fall over Eli Zanoni in 4;18. Michael Thomas pinned JJ Beaver in 4:58 at 138 and Barrett Bonnett pinned Koby Gordon in 39 seconds at 145. Landon Turner scored a major decision over Jax Bellon 11-1 at 152 and Tate Padilla pinned Nash Linsley in 5:35 at 160.
Eli Hamilton pinned Shawn Good in 3:40 at 170, Coby Meyer pinned Gavin Shaw in 1:24 at 182 and Doug Flattery lost 9-3 to Ryan Baker at 195.
At 220 Jer McAninch pinned Milo Johnston in 1:45 and Jaquan Stallworth lost a tough 4-0 decision to Zack Elliott at 285. After a forfeit at 106 to Carter Anderson, Logan Carter pinned Jordan Brandon in 2:37 at 113 to close out the match.