NORMAN — Can the hardwood Clashes yet to come be this good, too?
That has to be the question following an amazing Thursday night at Norman North, where the rebuilding Timberwolves proved at least slightly ahead of schedule, coming back more than once to stop Norman High 28-26
Long the dominant wrestling program in town, North had won 13 of 15 Crosstown Clash duals coming into the night, yet one of those two losses came last season when coach Bo Maynes’ Tigers finally turned the tables on the T-Wolves.
Thursday was supposed to be an uphill battle for the T-Wolves yet again and it played out just that way when the Tigers led 11-0 after three bouts and 14-4 after five.
Then North’s Kevin Reamey made it 14-7 in the 138-pound bout and Blake Basham followed by setting the gym on fire with a 9-4 stunner over NHS’ Colin Pasque at 145.
That put in motion a string of six straight bout victories for the T-Wolves, who scored 21 consecutive team points to lead 25-14.
And still, it came down to the heavyweights, North’s Austin McTrusty and NHS’ Jake Stinson.
As they shook hands to begin their bout, NHS was back on top 26-25 following a forfeit at 195 and a pin from Nick Webb over North’s Derric Hopkins at 220.
McTrusty was an honest young man when it was over, admitting, “I don’t like that pressure,” of the entire rivalry riding on the last bout — his — of the night.
Nonetheless, down 2-0 late in the second period, he broke free and took down Stinson, almost simultaneously, about three seconds before the period buzzer.
“He was trying to throw me, trying to toss me,” McTrusty said. “And out of instinct I threw his arm over and got the takedown.”
The atmosphere in the gym for McTrusty’s and Stinson’s final period was surreal, as the majority of both student sections, watching diagonally from each other while the grapplers occupied center court, came down to the floor, becoming almost as much a part of the action as each program’s herd of assistant coaches.