Dragons dominate MHS in league dual

Ninth-ranked Johnston tops Bobcat matmen

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Marshalltown’s Reese Hageman works to pin Johnston’s Elliot Pohlmeyer on Thursday night. Hageman remained undefeated this year (16-0), but the Bobcats lost 59-18.

Three Marshalltown wrestlers exemplified what head coach Mike Mann has been preaching all year: Win, but learn something while you’re wrestling.

In the 59-18 loss to Class 3A No. 9 Johnston on Thursday, wrestlers Reese Hageman, Chayton French and Jordan Fox all found ways to battle through their matches and come away with wins. Freshman Zach Bitker, too, earned a forfeit win to kick things off at 106.

But four of Johnston’s five ranked wrestlers handed the Bobcats an early 36-6 deficit.

“I thought we looked better conditioned than some of their guys,” Mann said. “When you’re trying to get better, and you’re trying to improve your technique, you want an iron lung. You want to be in shape. I thought our conditioning looked good.

“So what we’re trying to build here, and get going, that’s what you want to get. The more matches you can get like that, the crowd gets into it. Man, that’s awesome.”

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Marshalltown’s Chayton French readies to pin Johnston’s Steven Linn on Thursday night during the teams’ duals. French grabbed seven points in the final 30 seconds to comeback and win 9-5.

Hageman got the winning ways started for the Bobcats at 152. The senior wrestler was the only one to get out of the second period at that point in the dual. Tied at 4-4, Hageman earned an escape to go up 6-5 and polished it off with a takedown for an 8-5 decision against Johnston’s Elliot Pohlmeyer.

But the win didn’t come easy for the 10th-ranked wrestler.

“There are certain people who have certain styles,” Mann said. “And Pohlmeyer is what I call a clinger. He’s clingy, he’s grabbing legs, he’s trying to wrestle in a stalling way. And when you wrestle a guy like that, it’s got to be clear, cut, decisive, quick technique, without leaving your limbs anywhere where he can get into any kind of funky scramble.”

Hageman had to battle back on a handful of occasions, but flexed his strength and conditioning in the latter minutes of the third period.

At 182, French had a thrilling match which ended in a 9-5 decision, one he was forced to score six points in the final 30 seconds to win.

Entering the third period, French was down 5-2, but earned an escape to narrow the deficit. After a stalling penalty on Johnston’s Steven Linn, French earned two takedown points. With three more near fall points as time expired, French showcased the conditioning Mann desires of his wrestlers.

“It’s in those matches, where Chayton comes out [in the end],” Mann said “You’ve got to go, man. That’s when you want to be mentally and fresh to go and know you’re going to put the killer instinct in and you’re going to finish this thing for yourself.”

The Dragons were deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct on Linn for slapping the mat after the match was over.

Fox followed up French’s heroics with some of his own. The junior wrestler was down 12-7 in the early minutes of the third period, but earned a quick reversal to grab a win by fall in 4 minutes, 29 seconds. It was the last victory of the night for the Bobcats, however, as the two wrestlers fell in the last two bouts.

Despite it being a trying season, Mann has liked the progress he’s seen throughout the year so far. Next, the Bobcats will host a granddaddy of a tournament at the Allie Morrison Duals on Saturday. Teams such as East Marshall, Class 2A No. 2 Solon, 2A No. 4 Creston/Orient-Macksburg and even Johnston will be on hand.

Mann said it won’t only be a nice head-to-head afternoon for the two Marshall County schools, but other teams will see brilliant competition throughout the tournament. The day will kick off at 9 a.m. at the Roundhouse.

Johnston 59, Marshalltown 18

106–Zach Bitker (MHS) won by forfeit; 113–James Edwards (J) pinned Jay Drummer 2:56; 120–Colby Laub (J) won by forfeit; 126–Zach Price (J) pinned Keygan Hansen :49; 132–Cade Moss (J) pinned Tristen Traylor 3:17; 138–Sterling Brunk (J) pinned Carlos Gomez 3:17; 145–Nick Graham (J) pinned Wyatt Himes 1:20; 152–Reese Hageman (MHS) dec. Elliot Pohlmeyer 8-5; 160–Collin Hushagen (J) pinned Brian Trowbridge 1:04; 170–Riley Romick (J) pinned Kegan Jass 3:14; *182–Chayton French (MHS) dec. Steven Linn 9-5; 195–Jordan Fox (MHS) pinned Bobby Piagentini 4:31; 220–Ben Standish (J) pinned Andy Bitker; 285–Jake Ryan (J) pinned Luis Ortiz 1:23.

* — Johnston docked one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct