By JASON ELMQUIST
T he Garden City High School wrestling team held off Class 4A powerhouse Scott City on Thursday in a dual at The Garden, 36-34.
Scott City, the No. 6-ranked team in Class 4A by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association, battled to the very end against the Buffaloes, the No. 4-ranked team in Class 6A, scoring 13 points in the final three matches to make it a two-point deficit.
"I don't remember either one of us blowing the other one out," GCHS coach Monte Moser said. "It always seems like it's tight. I knew it was going to be tough, I just didn't know it was going to be that tough."
Scott City got out to a 6-0 lead with Clay Mulligan getting points in the 103-weight class with Garden City leaving it open. The Buffaloes cut the deficit in half in the 112-pound contest with Anthony Calderon defeating Alex Kough, 9-7, in an overtime match.
Freshman A.J. Hurtado went in place of Colt McElroy in the 119-pound division and fell to Paco Antillon by major decision, 16-3, to push Scott City's lead to 10-3.
But from there, Garden City would overcome the deficit and jump out to a big lead. Starting the surge was Aaron Anguiano pinning Scott City's Miles Pearson in the 125-weight class, which was followed with GCHS pins by Lane Greenlee over Zach Niles in the 130-weight division and Braxston Medina over Alex Lenard in the 135-pound match.
Anthony Gardner wrestled in place of Dillon Stucky a fourth-place finisher at state last year in 135. Gardner took on GCHS freshman Derrik Ortiz in the 140-pound weight class. Ortiz won by major decision, 10-1, to push Garden City's lead out to 25-10.
"Derrik stepped it up and looked good," Moser said of Ortiz, who making his first appearance at home. "He's not your average freshman. He's wrestled in some big tournaments. I'm pretty pleased with him."
Garden City's stretch of winning matches was halted by Scott City's Dakota Hayes the sixth-place finisher last year in the 140 weight class.
Hayes took down GCHS sophomore Jonathan Heiman in a way that so many of his opponents have fallen before by a pin in the defensive position.
"We've wrestled I don't know how many times before and every time it just keeps getting closer and closer," Hayes said. "But this time, I just found something I was able to capitalize on. My better part is off bottom because I've got really good hips and he kind of rode to one side, so I could hip over and stick it to him."
Heiman was actually ahead in the match by points, 4-0, and looked to have the Scott City senior on the ropes before Hayes pulled out the pin.
"I got caught," Heiman said. "It was my fault. I wasn't wrestling as smart as I should have been. I thought since I was ahead, I would let up a little bit and I can't do that. I'm glad I learned that early on, rather than later in the season."
Senior Joey Dozier picked up Garden City's fourth fall of the night in the following match by pinning Manuel Carrillo in the 152-pound match.
Scott City's Morgan Numrich who is ranked fifth in the state in the 152-pound division took down Eddy Gomez in the 160-pound match. Numrich won by technical fall, 18-3, to cut Garden City's lead down to 10 points.
But GCHS junior Aaron DeLeon matched Numrich's outing by winning the 171-pound match over Jon Avritt by technical fall, 16-1.
Scott City's Luke Hayes picked up the win in the 189-pound division due to a disqualification of Garden City's Dane Myers in the final 10 seconds of the match and put the Beavers just nine points down with two matches remaining.
In the 215-pound bout, Scott City's Calvin Erven won by major decision, 16-5, over GCHS' Eric Requenez, setting up for a fierce fight in the 285-pound match-up with Scott City trailing by five points.
The final match of the night went to a third overtime before Scott City's Michael McEachern pulled out a 7-4 victory over Jason Carreron, but left the Beavers two points shy of the Buffs.
"We've got to have a little bit more gas, we can't burn our time when we think we're tired on our belly," Scott City coach Jon Lippelman said. "We had aggression on our feet, I liked that. My young kids are going to need some more time out there not all of them. ... I think the crowd got their money's worth. I saw a lot of things I liked and I'm not going to panic about it."
Both the Beavers and the Buffaloes will be back in action today at the Colby Eagle Invitational. The dual match tournament was scheduled to begin today at 2 p.m. with action concluding on Saturday.
Thursday at The Garden
Garden City 36, Scott City 34
103 Clay Mulligan, Scott City open (0-6)
112 Anthony Calderon, Garden City def. Alex Kough, 9-7 (3-6)
119 Francisco Antillon, Scott City major dec. A.J. Hurtado, 16-3 (3-10)
125 Aaron Anguiano, Garden City fall Miles Pearson (9-10)
130 Lane Greenlee, Garden City fall Zach Niles (15-10)
135 Braxston Medina, Garden City fall Alex Lenard (21-10)
140 Derrik Ortiz, Garden City major dec. Anthony Gardner, 10-1 (25-10)
145 Dakota Hayes, Scott City fall Jonathan Heiman (25-16)
152 Joey Dozier, Garden City fall Manuel Carrillo (31-16)
160 Morgan Numrich, Scott City tech. fall Eddy Gomez, 18-3 (31-21)
171 Aaron DeLeon, Garden City tech. fall John Avritt, 16-1 (36-21)
189 Luke Hayes, Scott City disqualification Dane Myers (36-27)
215 Calvin Erven, Scott City major dec. Eric Requenez, 16-5 (36-31)
285 Michael McEachern, Scott City def. Jason Carreon, 7-4 (36-34)