Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – It’s not how you start it’s how you finish.
Clear Creek Amana isn’t finished at the state wrestling meet yet. Sam Stevens and Kael Scranton made sure of that on Thursday.
Stevens and Scranton each bounced back from opening round losses with consolation wins to advance to the second day of the Class 3A state wrestling tournament on Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“It is tough coming back after a loss but I just had to flush it out of my mind and just prepare,” Stevens said. “It’s not over with yet, I’m still wrestling.”
Scranton and Stevens each sustained very different but equally disappointing losses in their state meet openers on Thursday.
Stevens (21-7) scored a pair of takedowns in the opening 30 seconds and led Cedar Falls senior Jackson Barth 4-2 before being caught and pinned less than a minute later in his opener at 126 pounds.
“We relaxed on the edge of the mat and he got carried and that was the end of it but we learned and we moved on,” Clear Creek Amana coach Kyle Forness said. “We might see that kid again.”
Stevens bounced back quickly and emphatically pinning Mason Crabtree of Muscatine in 1:57 in the consolation bracket.
The win followed the same pattern from a year ago for Stevens who went 1-2 in his state debut a year ago.
This year Stevens plans to hang around longer on Friday.
“It’s a little more intense when the tournament is on the line for you,” Stevens said. “You have to stay focused and make sure you get the job done.”
Scranton (39-10) trailed second-ranked Brock Espalin (29-1) just 1-0 late in the first period but couldn’t get any offense going in a 6-0 loss to the three-time medalist from Des Moines East in a 132-pound opening-round match.
It didn’t take Scranton long to reverse that trend in a 10-1 major decision over Carson Murray of West Des Moines Dowling in a consolation win.
“It was a little bit frustrating in the first match, not because of what he was doing, he’s a great competitor but what I was doing. I wasn’t moving my hands, I wasn’t moving my feet and trying to get to attacks all the time,” Scranton said. “I had to think, the next match I had to let it fly. This is the last tournament of the season and this is a make or break moment and I had to get it done.”
Scranton went 0-2 in his state meet debut last season as a freshman.
In his return trip Scranton wasn’t going to have his season end on the opening day.
“If you lose you have to go and get the next best thing so my mind never turned from what I was trying to do and that was to wrestle to the best of my ability,” Scranton said. “The first match I didn’t do that, I was a little sloppy but the next match I got my mind right, got ready to attack and I was ready to go.”
Scranton and Stevens will both attempt to keep their season alive on Friday in second-round consolation matches that get underway at 9 a.m.
“It’s tough to get a win down here no matter what and it’s even tougher coming off a loss to win,” Forness said. “To be honest, our schedule is the reason we can win on the back side. We don’t have an easy tournament all year, both of these guys have been on the back side, they know what it is to lose and to have to wrestle again and our schedule is the reason why they won today and why they have a chance to place tomorrow.
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. Waverly-Shell Rock 33; 2. Southeast Polk 32; 3. Fort Dodge 27; 4. Linn-Mar 23.5; 5. Johnston 22; 6. Bettendorf 21; 7. North Scott 19.5; 8. Norwalk 19; 9. West High 17.5; 10. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 17; 16. City High 11; 27. Clear Creek Amana 5
126 – Jackson Barth (Cedar Falls) pinned Sam Stevens (Clear Creek Amana) 1:19
132 – Brock Espalin (Des Moines East) dec. Kael Scranton (Clear Creek Amana) 6-0
126 – Sam Stevens (Clear Creek Amana) pinned Mason Crabtree (Muscatine) 1:57
132 – Kael Scranton (Clear Creek Amana) major dec. Carson Murray (West Des Moines Dowling) 10-1
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