The Stone Memorial Panther wrestling team went 4-1 and tied for fifth at the Seymour Duals on Dec. 14, beating Karns 56-11, Chattanooga Central 33-27 and Powell 39-24, but lost to Wayne County, KY 51-28.
They defeated Hardin Valley in a close match 42-40 Dec.12.
In the Hardin Valley match, the Panthers had five pins in the the first six matches to take a 30-6 lead. The pins came from Joel Hernandez (160), Patrick Guinn (170), Justin Johnson (195), Dakota Karge (220), and Chase Eichner (285).
Hardin Valley won five of the next six matches to make the score 36-34 in favor of the Panthers. With the Panthers getting a pin at 145 by Connor Heavilon and losing by pin at 152, Stone took the victory by 2 points.
“Giving up three forfiets made this a close match. The differnece in the match came at 138 pounds where Jacob Flannery fought off his back several times to give up a major decision instead of a pin. The two points that Jacob saved the team allowed us to take the win,” said Coach Brian Parker.
In the first round of the Seymour Duals against Karns, the Panthers had pins by Johnson, Karge and Eichner. They also had wins from McCarl, Ismael Matias, Flannery, Justin Hicks, Hernandez, Connor Crockett, and Patrick Guinn.
In the second round, they defeated Chattanooga Central in a very close match with pins by McCarl, Matias and Steven Amsden. Johnson had a decision over the highly-ranked Central wrestler and Guinn and Karge received forfiet wins. Three of the Panthers loses were by regular decision which allowed the Panthers to take the team victory by six points.
“Justin set the tone for this match by beating one of the their best kids who is currently ranked number one in A-AA. He wrestled very well. The other key to this victory was not giving up bonus points in our loses. Conner, Joel and Chase all had tough matches and wrestled tough to keep the score close when they were not able to win. Their efforts made the difference,” said Parker.
The Panthers did not fair as well in the third round against Wayne County. They secured pins from McCarl, Matias, Heavilon, Karge, and Eichner, but were pinned in most of the other matches. Johnson lost a very close match to a likely Kentucky state medalist.
“Wayne County is always tough and usually places high in Kentucky. Our youth could not compete with their experience in a lot of weights. Our guys that won showed a lot of grit and resilience in winning their matches, some with come-from-behind pins,” said Parker.
After getting second in their pool, the Panthers wrestled and defeated Powell to tie for fifth in the team tournament. They received pins form McCarl, Matias, Heavilon, Hernandez, Karge and Eichner. Anthony Alegria won by decision and Johnson received a forfiet.
“This was a good match to finish the day with and good victory. Anthony showed a lot of improvement in his win as did several others. This was a good day of wrestling for us and we plan to keep the momentum going,” added Parker.
SMHS will play Kingston and CCHS in the Jet wrestling complex Thursday evening at 5:30 and then will compete in the CAK duals Friday.