Tenth-ranked Tigers too much for MHS
Marshalltown High School wrestling coach Mike Mann put his arm around freshman 120-pounder Luke Hageman and was in his ear as he walked him off the mat following a loss by major decision to one of Valley’s four returning state qualifiers.
Mann was proud of his varsity newcomer for showing the kind of fight he wants out of the rest of his predominantly inexperienced lineup.
Hageman’s loss was the last of nine for the Bobcats, who were defeated 48-22 by Class 3A No. 10 Valley in a CIML Iowa Conference dual meet Thursday night at the Roundhouse.
Hageman’s 16-5 loss to seventh-ranked Logan Stotts was about more than the final score, according to Mann. It was about putting up a fight for every point surrendered and refusing to relent, even when it’s clear the other guy is going to win the match.
“We’ve got to concentrate on being more physical, being more tenacious,” Mann said. “I had a couple kids I was really proud of that did not quit in their matches and kept fighting — Javier Rodriguez and Luke Hageman. Luke was still battling and getting controlled in most situations in the match and yet he’s grabbing on a leg and hanging on and still trying to score, trying to stall out with the guy, trying to get a stalemate, fighting off his back.
“If you’re outgunned, you’re outgunned, but don’t help a guy out, and Hageman did a great job of fighting.”
Hageman was taken down eight times but never turned to his back in the loss to Stotts. Neither was Rodriguez in his 9-2 loss by decision to Valley’s Nate Bierma in their 113-pound bout.
In addition to two tough losses that Mann raved about after the match, the Bobcats (7-8, 1-3) had five wins to look fondly upon as well. Marshalltown jumped out to a 12-0 lead on the 10th-ranked Tigers through three matches, getting a 7-2 decision from Zach Bitker at 132 to start the dual, a pin from eighth-ranked Bennett Hageman at 138 and a 5-3 victory by Jay Drummer at 145.
Valley countered, and with authority, collecting the next six bouts by pins, including ninth-ranked C.J. Stillman’s 44-second pin of No. 7 Carson Williams.
Fourth-ranked Bobcat heavyweight Jordan Anderson got MHS back in the win column with his second-period pin of Bryan Jurado, but the dual had all but been decided.
The Tigers notched three more wins before Saul Pantoja closed out the dual with a 17-6 major decision at 126 for the Bobcats.
“I told them I was disappointed,” Mann said of his post-game meeting with the team. “I thought we wrestled flat. We weren’t aggressive, we still aren’t finishing our moves that we’ve worked on. We drill the stuff every day and yet I don’t know why it seems to hard to execute.
“When you have an opportunity to take advantage of a situation — and maybe we’re not as strong, big, fast, skilled or whatever — now it’s about positioning and mental toughness. It’s hanging on a guy’s head, frustrating him and scoring out of a frustration shot by that guy because you’re in his face and changing his style. But we’re not imposing any kind of our will on other people, and then we’re letting that will get imposed on us and we’re taken out of our game and we’re struggling.”
After third-ranked Caleb Corbin cut Valley’s early deficit in half with his second-period pin of Damion Castellanos at 152, Coltin Grimm appeared to be in a position to help the Bobcats recover that lost advantage. He was ahead of Jack McCabe 4-0 after the first period and opened the second with a reversal for a 6-0 lead, tacking on two nearfall points for an 8-0 cushion. But McCabe managed to catch Grimm out of position, rolled him over and pinned him.
Sergio Zaragoza was deadlocked in a 1-all tie when he was pinned by Valley’s Ryan Myers at 182.
“There was a couple matches we had them on the ropes and that’s a 12-point swing and you’ve now dug yourself a hole,” said Mann. “There were several matches I thought that we should have won that we were going to be able to compete in, and then there were some matches you knew were going to be bubble matches. You hope you match up good and you can pick away at those bubble matches and if you don’t win them, that’s a 6-, 9-, 12-point swing.”
The Bobcats are scheduled to return to action on Saturday at the South Hardin-BCLUW Tournament in Eldora.
Valley 48, Marshalltown 22
132–Zach Bitker (MHS) dec. Jake Caster 7-2; 138–Bennett Hageman (MHS) pinned Aidan Feldman 1:22; 145–Jay Drummer (MHS) dec. Chase Hutchinson 5-3; 152–Caleb Corbin (V) pinned Damion Castellanos 2:59; 160–Bobby Cobine (V) pinned Nick Rebik 3:16; 170–Jack McCabe (V) pinned Coltin Grimm 2:43; 182–Ryan Myers (V) pinned Sergio Zaragoza 4:39; 195–Blake Underwood (V) pinned Jose Martinez 1:45; 220–C.J. Stillman (V) pinned Carson Williams :44; 285–Jordan Anderson (MHS) pinned Bryan Jurado 2:48; 106–Ezra Kristensen (V) tech. falled Edgar Almanza 18-2; 113–Nate Bierma (V) dec. Javier Rodriguez 9-2; 120–Logan Stotts (V) major dec. Luke Hageman 16-5; 126–Saul Pantoja (MHS) major dec. Levi Schultz 17-6.