McTrusty started on bottom, but Stinson let him up hoping to tie the match with a takedown. The heavyweights locked up several times, each time releasing and starting over. All the way, McTrusty shunned each advance.
First-year North coach Greg Henning, who’d been out of the mat game for six years after winning five state titles and six Dual State crowns in 21 years of running Tuttle’s mat program, liked his grapplers’ grit.
“We made a lot of technical mistakes, but we had a large heart,” he said. “You can correct technique, but you can’t correct a guy that doesn’t give all he has … We fought like the Timberwolves that we are.”
If McTrusty won it, Basham picked up the night’s biggest assist, upsetting Pasque by accumulating an escape, a takedown and a near fall over the last minute or so of the third period.
Pasque, ranked No. 7 at 138 but one of three Tigers grappling up a weight as a result of Isaiah Davis’ shoulder injury (along with Jeffrey Adams and Sam Richison), had been the aggressor most of the match, yet only led 2-1 after two periods. He was up 4-2 after a takedown before Basham turned the bout round.
“I was just looking for a takedown and it opened up,” Basham said. “It’s pretty satisfying.”
It was that result that seemed to change the atmosphere in the gym. It lit a fire under the T-Wolves who followed with a technical fall from David Stanley at 152, a decision from Than Nguyen at 160, a decision from Eric Fredricks at 170 and a major decision from Josh Bradley at 182.
NHS had built its lead by getting major decisions from Nigel Jolliffie at 103 and Derek Ross at 113. Lucas Stanfield’s 8-3 decision at 120 made it 11-0 Tigers.
Hayden Hansen finally put North on the board with a major decision at 126, before Jeffrey Adams put NHS up 10 points with a 2-1 besting of Austin Wright at 132.