By BRETT MARSHALL
Perhaps it's not an overblown description, but Tuesday turned into a 'terrific Tuesday' for the Garden City Buffaloes' wrestling and bowling teams when they traveled the 50 miles east to face rival Dodge City in respective dual matches.
And both came home with impressive showings.
The Buffs' grapplers displayed their dominance over the Red Demons on the mat, sweeping past the host team 55-12, while the GCHS boys bowlers defeated Dodge by nearly 250 pins and the Lady Buffs keglers also were winners by nearly 250 pins.
For nearly the first time all season, the Buffs were as close to full strength as they've been and it showed against the Demons.
With GCHS coach Carlos Prieto and Dodge coach Lars Lueders agreeing to begin the dual match with the 145-pound division and end at 138 pounds, the Buffs were impressive.
The Buffs won 11 of the 14 weight classes en route to the Western Athletic Conference thrashing.
"I told the boys before that we needed to send a message, and I think they sent one," Prieto said in a telephone interview. "It was a great atmosphere and I thought the boys responded really well to an electric crowd. It was the championship team I thought we'd see. The boys wrestled hard, they really encouraged each other and we never wilted."
It didn't hurt that the Buffs had 285-pounder Montana Fuller and 160-pounder Zac Finch back in the lineup. Both garnered wins, with Finch claiming an 8-4 decision over Dylan Servis, while Fuller pinned Brennan Tate at the one-minute mark of the first period.
"Finch got a little gassed, but we expected that," Prieto said. "He provided a big momentum boost for us. Montana nearly got pinned, but came back and made a nice move to get his guy on his back and won that one."
With the match starting at 145 pounds, Chris Adler got things rolling for the Buffs with a major decision (10-2) over Tristan Hampton. Jesse Nunez followed with a 5-4 decision over Nick Killion before Finch won his match. Matt Marez (170), Sammy Reyes (195), Luis Castaneda (220), Efrain Sanchez (106), Mark Perez (113), Michael Prieto (120) and Tevin Briscoe (138) all posted wins.
"It's a big momentum boost for us and a confidence builder, too," said Prieto, whose team will host the 54th Rocky Welton Invitational on Friday and Saturday at The Garden. First day matches begin at 11 a.m.
"We'll have our full lineup for the weekend, with Alec Castillo coming back (126)," Prieto said.
One sophomore and one senior paced the Buffs' bowlers on Tuesday at Spare Time Bowl.
On the boys' side, sophomore Tristan Funk rolled a 703 series (254-250-199) to lead the way, while senior Amanda Deihl rolled a 582 for the Lady Buffs.
The boys rolled a three-game series of 2,622 on games of 845-912-865 to roll by Dodge's 2,413 (803-803-807). In their three-game Baker format, the Buffs won two of three games by rolling 186-194-238 to finish with a total pin count of 3,240, while Dodge City had Baker games of 142-245-192 and a total pin count of 2,992.
Jarett Landgraf was second with a 654 (182-234-238) and Karl Larson Jr. topped the 600-mark with a 620 series on games of 181-204-235.
For the Lady Buffs, Deihl's 582 came on games of 162-225-195. Sophomore Haily Park was next with a 526 (158-170-198). And Emma Stoecklein was right behind with a 521 (184-148-189).
It was the first loss at home for the Red Demons, and the Buffs continued to perform at a high level following impressive finishes at the weekend Great Plains Invitational in Wichita.
"I'm very happy with the way the kids bowled," GCHS coach Kip Nichols said. "We were able to go into their house, get on top of them, and then keep them down. We had a good plan, we knew where the oil (on lanes) was, and we were able to score immediately."
Nichols was particularly pleased with the team's consistency throughout the six-game match.
One of the big moments of the day came in the second game of the Baker format (five bowlers roll two frames each, not consecutively) when Park went to the 10th frame, needing three strikes to beat the Lady Demons. She came through and the Lady Buffs won that game 226-215, and then overpowered Dodge 185-140 in the final game.
"We had five in a row for the girls in game two of Baker and that was huge," Nichols said. "It just decimated them."
In Funk's first two games when he rolled his 254-250, he rolled 14 consecutive strikes from the fourth frame of game one to the fifth game of game two.
"That's the best he's thrown, and he's always liked the lanes in Dodge City," Nichols said.
Next up for the Buffs will be a Western Athletic Conference match at Liberal on Feb. 6.
Results for both in Scoreboard, above.