McPherson High’s wrestling team continued its high-wire act without a net here Thursday, storming back to win an important AVCTL Division III dual with Winfield, 35-30.
Just as they did last week against Buhler, the Bullpups had to win their final four matches to pull out the victory, which improved them to 2-0 in D-III and 9-3 overall.
Trailing 30-20, Kaleb Jost started the final MHS run by receiving a forfeit at 182. Dylan Baldwin then scored a last-second 4-2 victory at 195 to pull MHS within 30-29. Alex Grennan, no stranger to a clutch situation as his fall last week kept the Bullpups alive, also scored two points in the closing seconds for an 8-7 win at 220 before Ty Goss clinched the dual with a 2-0 win at 285.
“Effort goes a long way,” a beaming MHS coach Doug Kretzer said after his team left it all on the mat with several down-to-the-wire matches. “We’ve got a pretty good dual team. Everybody on the team understands how every point means something. Every match is about fighting until it’s over. Win or lose, what kind of effort are you giving and a lot of those things translate right on down to the next match.”
MHS rocketed out of the gates by winning four of the first five matches for a 20-6 lead, then it hit a wall as the experienced Vikings reeled off five straight wins to go up 30-20.
EJ Kretzer and Cole Kretzer scored early falls, Seth Morgan gutted out a 10-7 win and Austin Eldredge put on a clinic in a 15-0 technical fall during the Bullpups’ early run.
When Kretzer talked about effort, he mentioned 145-pounder Brice Kasting. While he lost 9-3, he came up with an escape with 2 seconds left in his match that saved the Bullpups a team point. Had MHS wound up winning by a point, that never-say-die attitude would have been a highlight.
“Kasting, getting those points late in the match, changed the energy in the gym,” Kretzer said.
Grennan has been Mr. Clutch, as a few times this year he has pulled out last-second victories when the Bullpups were facing extinction in the dual.
“If you had to wrestle Ty Goss every day (in practice), you’d learn how to survive,” Kretzer said. “He’s got a tough practice partner. He’s got one of the best heavyweights in the state.”
MHS has precious little time to get ready for the Newton Tournament of Champions, which starts at 9 a.m. Friday.
• Varsity Results •
106 — EJ Kretzer pinned Ray
113 — Seth Morgan dec. Stockton, 10-7
120 — Cole Kretzer pinned Cam. Conover
126 — Ben Hopkins lost by a fall to Ledford
132 — Austin Eldredge won by technical fall over Rojas
138 — Scott Radke lost by a fall to Bailey
145 — Brice Kasting lost 9-3 to Smith
152 — Garrett Rausch lost by a fall to Co. Conover
160 — Luke Thompson lost 9-4 to Braungardt
170 — Caleb Giddings lost by a fall to Landwehr
182 — Kaleb Jost won by forfeit
195 — Dylan Baldwin won 4-2 over Viravong
220 — Alex Grennan won 8-7 over Gibson
285 — Ty Goss won 2-0 over Ging
• JV Results •
113 — Hannah Moore lost by a fall; lost by a fall
113 — Mya Kretzer won by a fall; lost by a fall
132 — Brynton Crews won by a technical fall
138 — Tyler Scott lost 9-5; lost 6-5
145 — Noah Scott lost by a fall; lost 6-1
152 — Cade Harris won by a fall; won by a fall
220 — Seth Spainhour lost by a fall; lost by a fall
220 — Donavon Bailey lost by a fall