Nothing doing against Dodgers
MHS matmen fall to No. 3 Fort Dodge, 64-6
Facing four ranked wrestlers and overall one of the top teams in Class 3A, the Bobcats got a first-hand experience of what level they need to wrestle at to be among the best.
Fort Dodge won five bouts by fall, another one by technical fall, two more by major decision and another pair by forfeit as the third-ranked Dodgers dominated the Marshalltown wrestling team early and often, cruising to the 64-6 CIML Iowa Conference win Thursday night inside the Roundhouse.
Bobcat head coach Mike Mann said the Dodgers were simply more athletic than the Bobcats.
“We need to match that mentally,” Mann said. “The kids find out what the high-standard bar is, so they know how much further they need to go. I thought we competed well tonight. There were some matches where we didn’t give up a pin, and that was positive.”
The lone Bobcat (6-9, 0-4 Iowa Conference) victory came from Andy Bitker at 220 pounds. Bitker held an 8-1 lead against Lazro Lerma in the third period thanks to three takedowns and a reversal before Bitker won with a pin in 4 minutes, 50 seconds.
Marshalltown had a couple other close opportunities, but didn’t find ways to pull out the wins. At 145, Wyatt Himes garnered a pair of escapes in the first two periods, but couldn’t overcome two early takedowns, coming up on the short end of a 5-2 decision to Levi Egli. At 160, Brian Trowbridge went down to the wire against Dorian Franklin. After an exchange of takedowns in the first two periods, Franklin held a 3-2 edge late in the third after a second-period escape, but a late takedown of Trowbridge put the bout out of reach for the 5-2 decision.
The 152 bout featured a matchup of ranked wrestlers. Reese Hageman, ranked 10th for the Bobcats, found himself tied 2-2 in the second against No. 3 Cayd Lara before Lara rattled off seven straight points between the second and third, running away with the 9-2 decision.
Chayton French at 182 was down 14-3 late in the third period, heading toward a major decision loss against ninth-ranked Keaton Dornath. Dornath was able to get a pin of French just ahead of the final buzzer, resulting in two more team points for the Dodgers. In the heavyweight match, Luis Ortiz and Logan Finowski wrestled to a scoreless stalemate through the first two periods. Finowski picked up three points late, about to collect three team points with the decision before Ortiz over-pursued, and got in a position where he was pinned in 5:53. Mann again stressed the Bobcats can’t get themselves into those type of situations, that they need to at times just cut their losses rather than digging a deeper hole.
“We’re only a couple points away,” Mann said. “Am I going to go for the win and jeopardize myself and get pinned? Or am I going to be happy and quit getting pinned and maybe lose 2-3? It’s a mental thing we have to get through. We’re not satisfied, but we have to quit giving up pins.
“We’re having trouble executing those big throw moves, so I’d like to see us not do it. We have to minimize the losses.”
Top-ranked wrestler at 138, Triston Lara needed just the first period to collect a 16-0 technical fall of Marshalltown’s Carlos Gomez. Eighth-ranked Damond Lockner won a 14-2 major decision against Keygan Hansen at 126. Top-ranked wrestlers at 113 and 120, Drew Bennett and Brody Teske, respectively, won by forfeit.
“Obviously they’re a pretty good team,” Mann said. “They’ve got several guys ranked. I’m sure they’d like to think they can win a state team title from the individual state tournament. The biggest thing we need to get out of it is how to compete with those kids that tie up physical, that move fast, quick, don’t hesitate. Just execute their moves. They’re strong, athletic.”
Marshalltown will travel to Cedar Rapids Saturday for the Jefferson Invitational.
Fort Dodge 64, Marshalltown 6