WALKERTON — Culver’s problem at John Glenn Wednesday was the same one the Cavaliers have been plagued with all season long.
With only seven wrestlers facing a full Falcons lineup, Culver’s chances at a team win were dead on arrival in Walkerton.
Still the Cavs put up one heck of a fight on the way to an all-but-inevitable loss, 47-28, in the two teams’ final Northern State Conference dual meet before the NSC Championships Saturday.
“We focused on what we can control, and what we can control is the seven contested matches,” said Culver head wrestling coach Louis Posa. “I’m proud of the way our guys wrestled tonight. It wasn’t always the prettiest, but it’s a tough group of kids and they’re willing to work hard to get it done.”
Culver senior Matt Hurford — who recently moved up to the No. 1 state ranking at 182 pounds — sparked the Cavaliers with an early pinfall win over Troy Brassel to stay unbeaten at 31-0 this season, and after two forfeits, Cavs junior Don Clark evened the team scores up at 12-all with his first-round fall over Glenn sophomore Andrew Hanson.
Jarrod and Allen Betts earned a pair of decisions over Devon Becker and Austin Coach at 106 and 113, respectively, to give Culver its final lead of the night at 19-12, but Falcons upperclassman Andrew Frey celebrated Senior Night with an 18-3 technical fall versus Austin Brissette, and Glenn got forfeit wins in five of the next six matches — John Ahlenius earned Culver its final win via a 7-3 decision over Derek Hiler at 145 — on the way to the NSC win.
The win was pretty much assured by 42 points on forfeit. Culver’s best possible finish would have been a 42-42 draw had the Cavs managed pinfalls in the seven live matches Wednesday, and with the Falcons celebrating Senior NIght, Glenn coach Tim White wasn’t pleased with his team’s showing against Culver.
While the Falcons boss gave plenty of credit to the visitors, he was hoping for better performances Wednesday, especially after a lackluster finish at the Northern Indiana Conference Super Duals over the weekend and with the NSCs looming this Saturday.
“You try and keep them focused. When they see that many forfeits, I don’t know if they take it for granted or what, but it wasn’t our best performance,” said White. “I’m not happy with it.”
“The thing with that program is he has got some solid kids,” added White of Culver. “Every one of his kids — the little Betts boys, the Hurfords — you can’t take anything away from them. When you wrestle kids like that you’ve got to be on top of your game. You can’t give points away — we’re locking hands at this point in the season; I’m not happy about that.”
Nevertheless, a win’s a win as the saying goes, and the Falcons will take it.
They move to an impressive 25-4 overall record with a 6-1 NSC mark, good enough to be in the hunt for the league title along with New Prairie and Jimtown — both of whom also enter the NSC meet with 6-1 conference records — in Elkhart Saturday.
“I’m not happy with what we did tonight, but, hey, we’ve got two days, and hopefully we shake it off and come back and look good in the conference,” White said.
“You never overlook Jimtown because that’s a very good program, but (they) have some kids that are out, and that’s hurting them… New Prairie’s the one we’re going to have to really watch. They’ve got some real solid kids. I think with as tight as this race is with the three schools it’s going to come down to the consolation matches, the wrestlebacks; I think that’s going to be the key to whoever wins it.”
Even more than at Wednesday’s dual meet, barring a miracle, the Cavs can’t compete for a team title at the big NSC tilt Saturday. But the scrappy small school program is eyeing some top individual finishes at Jimtown.
“We’ve won a couple (NSC duals), but not many,” said Posa. “It’s hard with seven guys. We had a good day at Rochester, and coming off this dual, we expect to have a good day this Saturday. We’re excited about the preparation that we’ve put in and seeing what we can do on Saturday.”
• JOHN GLENN 47, CULVER COMMUNITY 28
106: Jarred Betts (C) dec. Devon Becker 12-4; 113: Allen Betts (C) dec. Austin Coach 12-7; 120: Andrew Frey (G) Tech Fall Austin Brissette 18-3; 126: Alex Salyer (G) by FF; 132: James Frey (G) by FF; 138: Ryan Ishmael (G) by FF; 145: John Ahlenius (C) dec. Derek Hiler 7-3; 152: Nathan Ferch (G) by FF; 160: Adam Dodson (G) by FF; 170: Mark Hurford (C) pin Troy Brassel 5:25; 182: Matt Hurford (C) pin Mason Strycker 1:21; 195: Cole Jacobson (G) by FF; 220: Jacob Ayers (G) by FF; Hvywt: Don Clark (C) pin Andrew Hanson 1:06.
Records: Glenn 25-4 (6-1 NSC)