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Tiger wrestlers hand Lowry defeat

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas wrestling team handed the Lowry Buckaroos their second Northern 4A Conference loss of the season -and their second of the night – Wednesday at DHS.

Galena defeated Lowry, 37-25, in the first dual match of the day. The Tigers then put on a convincing show, winning four of the final five matches, in a 42-27 win over the Buckaroos in the second match.

Both Douglas and Lowry were missing several starters, but it was the Tigers who were able to respond best to the shuffling of the lineups.

Lowry coach Brant Corak, who recently suspended four wrestlers for disciplinary reasons, didn’t want to make any excuses after the match.

“Douglas deserved it,” the Lowry coach said. “If we had had everyone here, I don’t know if we would have won.

“Douglas wrestled harder than we did and they wanted to win more than we did.”

The match was tied 24-24 after the Tigers were forced to forfeit the 152-pound match because Duston Maynes is suffering from an elbow injury.

The Tigers then charged to victory with wins by Drew Hall at 160 pounds, John Hillenbrand at 171, Nathan Bennett at 189 and Carl Wymer at 215.

Hall won a 4-2 decision over Paul Cataldo and Hillenbrand followed with an 8-1 win over Clinton Diong.

“I thought we could win, but I didn’t think we’d win by that big of a margin,” Hillenbrand said. “I was nervous (before the match), but I’m always nervous. I’m pretty happy with the way I wrestled.”

Hall was 2-1 against Cataldo coming into the match, including a loss to the Lowry wrester at the Spring Creek tournament.

“I just knew I had to get some team points, because I knew it was going to be close,” Hall said. “I knew we needed every team point we could get.

“I think it was a huge team win.”

Bennett pinned Huber Oachoa in 36 seconds and Wymer clinched the victory by pinning Ian Belingher in 54 seconds.

Tim O’Brien got things going for the Tigers with a pin at 103 pounds.

Romaine Smokey registered a first-round pin at 119 pounds. Leonard Arredondo had a second-round pin at 145 pounds.

Richard Blackowl won the 125-pound match, 10-8, in overtime. He tied the match with a reversal with less than 20 seconds remaining in the third period and won it with a takedown 47 seconds into overtime.

David Tingle stopped a run of two Lowry pins with a 14-8 decision at 140 pounds.

Smokey and Tingle each wrestled for the first time since the Spring Creek tournament, nearly three weeks ago. Smokey was recovering from a strained back muscle. Tingle was academically ineligible. Both Tigers were happy to get back on the mat.

“That felt great,” Smokey said. “I was a little nervous that I might have been rusty, but I knew I was going to be able to overpower him.

“This was a pretty good win for the team.”

Tingle avenged a loss to Anderson at the Spring Creek tournament Wednesday night.

“That was a pretty upsetting loss,” Tingle said. “Everybody on the team was saying we need the points, so I just went out and did what I had to do.

“(Lowry) is a really strong team. We stepped it up and came together as a team.”

Douglas coach Ron Hall said the Tigers continue to improve while getting ready for the zone tournament, scheduled for Feb. 11-12 at Galena High.

“The kids are progressing well,” he said. “They’re working hard.

“I think our kids are wrestling with a fair amount of confidence.”