Pins Help West High Snap Four-Match Skid Against City High

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – The first time back on the mat following the holiday break presents a challenge for any high school wrestler.

“When you get a little bit of time off over break you can get into the Christmas cookies a little bit,” West High senior Will Hoeft explained.

Facing a cross-town, arch rival in the first action after break has a way of keeping a team a little more focused for two weeks of practice.

When that rival has won four straight in the series passing on the Christmas cookies gets a little easier.

That was the case for Hoeft and West High which snapped a four-match losing skid to City High with a 40-32 win over the Little Hawks on Friday at West High.

“Oh definitely that’s motivation over break,” Hoeft said. “It’s pretty exciting to come back to this dual. It definitely fueled the fire and been on our minds at practice over break.”

The teams split the 14 matches seven apiece but West High got bonus points in every win highlighted by five pins to earn its first victory over City High since a 53-24 win in 2015.  

“My eighth-grade year we lost to them and since then we haven’t beat them so it feels really good to finally get one against them,” Hoeft said. “It’s exciting.”

After back-to-back losses at City High the past two seasons West High wasted no time jumping to an early lead at home on Friday.

The Trojans got consecutive first-period falls from fourth-ranked Ashton Barker at 170 pounds and second-ranked Hoeft at 182.

Barker needed 61 seconds to pin Mohammed Abdallah in the opening match and Hoeft followed with a fall of Nick Marker in 1:14.

After Anu Dokun added a 14-2 major decision over Fritz Spencer at 195 pounds West High led 16-0 three matches in.   

“Coach talked to us about the guys that needed to get falls had to get falls,” Hoeft said. “It was great that we started at 170 because Ashton and I were able to get falls and Anu stepped up.”

West High won by forfeit at 285 and got first-period pins from fourth-ranked sophomore Grant O’Dell at 106 and top-ranked Hunter Garvin at 132.

“We need guys like Hoeft, Garvin and Ashton to get those falls because we have a team where we have a lot of guys that know what they are doing and some guys that need to figure it out,” West High coach Nate Moore said. “By figure it out I mean just figure out some wrestling positions and how to get tough in certain situations.”

Graham Gambrall secured the win with the Trojans’ fifth fall of the match, a second-period pin of Gable Mitchell at 152 pounds.

“It feels really good,” Gambrall said. “It’s not fun going over to City two years in a row and losing so it’s a big deal to beat City.”

Despite the early deficit City High wouldn’t go quietly.

Jason Lemus got the Little Hawks on the board with a 9-3 win over Brett Pelfrey at 220.

Back-to-back pins by Ethan Wood-Finley at 113 and Garrett Bormann at 120 followed by a Reese Hayden major decision at 126 pulled City High to within 28-19.  

“It was 7-7 and I told our guys coming into it I had it 7-7,” City High coach Cory Connell said. “It was finding that swing match that we could have won or getting bonus points or not giving them up.”

City High got wins from Reece Caven at 145 and freshman Ryan Ott at 138 and Ben Kueter at 160.

Ott rallied for a 10-7 win over Jackson Brennan while Kueter pinned Collin Leavy in 3:17 in his highly anticipated prep debut.

“I was really pleased with Ott, he got behind kind of early and he showed a lot of guts and a lot of fight,” Connell said. “Kueter is a stud, he is going to be great and it was fun watching him wrestle.”

West High 40, City High 32

106 – Grant O’Dell (ICW) pinned Eli Rummelhart 1:51

113 – Ethan Wood-Finley (ICH) pinned Isaac Liao 1:30                             

120 – Garrett Bormann (ICH) pinned Connor Morris 1:14

126 – Reese Hayden (ICH) major dec. Parker McBride 12-4            

132 – Hunter Garvin (ICW) pinned Cavan Magnuson :26               

138 – Ryan Ott (ICH) dec. Jackson Brennan 10-7                                        

145 – Reece Caven (ICH) major dec. Drake Davis 14-3                              

152 – Graham Gambrall (ICW) pinned Gable Mitchell 3:05                        

160 – Ben Kueter (ICH) pinned Collin Leavy 3:17

170 – Ashton Barker (ICW) pinned Mohammed Abdallah 1:01

182 – Will Hoeft (ICW) pinned Nick Marker 1:14

195 – Anu Dokun (ICW) major dec. Fritz Spencer 14-2

220 – Jason Lemus (ICH) dec. Brett Pelfrey 9-3

285 – Errol Alden (ICW) won by forfeit

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