NORMAN — It’s Norman High, not Norman North, still with an even or better shot to reach Class 6A Dual State, needing only to knock off Midwest City next week when the two programs meet Tuesday night.
Of course, that was cold comfort inside the NHS Gym Thursday, were Norman North once again re-established its Crossotwn Clash mat dominance, handling the Tigers without great difficulty 44-24.
“It was very disappointing,” NHS coach Bo Maynes said. “We really thought we were going to have an opportunity to win.”
Maynes thought so even though the flu caused him to hold back Jordan Townsend at 132 pounds and, because of a dislocated elbow, Peter Hardisty at 152.
Instead, though many of the bouts were good ones, hard-fought and competitive, it was the Timberwolves who came out ahead in almost all of them.
“The kids wanted this one real bad,” North coach Greg Henning said. “They went out there and fought their hardest … All of our front-runners did a real good job; they had to win and they did.”
A few of the bouts may still be getting talked about in the two schools’ hallways today.
The most compelling arrived at 182 pounds, where NHS’ Collin Kappel was a little better than North’s Colton Jones, securing an 11-7 decision.
Jones, Henning said, weighed in at just 164 and was grappling up in a big way. So there was that. Then, though Kappel secured the first two points with a takedown, the next six points of the bout were all scored via reversals, which almost never happens.
Additionally, so hard fought, with 19 seconds remaining in the second period, both wrestlers asked for injury timeouts so they could station themselves above trash bins, thinking they were about to throw up from the effort.
The most stunning bout belonged to North, at 126, where Justin Furr pinned Lucas Stanfield.
The two met once last year, when it was Stanfield posting a technical fall. This time around, though Stanfield scored first with a takedown, it was Furr taking a 3-2 edge with an escape and a takedown of his own. Next, as Stanfield appeared close to earning a reversal, he couldn’t quite finish the move. Instead, he landed on his back and, moments later, the referee’s right hand was slapping the mat.
“I very well surprised myself,” said Furr, a sophomore. “Going into the second period I was really nervous, but I put him on his back. It was awesome.”
At that point, that match was already well decided. Furr’s pin made it 38-18 T-Wolves and the only remaining bout, at 132 pounds, produced the night’s only other fall, when North’s Jake Thornton pinned NHS’ Jeffrey Adams.
North also picked up technical falls from Joseph Messer, at 145 pounds, in the dual’s first bout, and from Jakob Houston at 106 pounds. The only other bonus point were earned by North’s Levi Berry, at 170 pounds, who grabbed a 17-8 major decision from NHS’ Lane Stephens.
Still, the surprise in that bout was Stephens, who gave up no back points to the reigning 160-pound state champion.
“I think Berry was expecting a pin,” Maynes said. “Our guy fought him off and he barely got a major.”
Follow me @clayhorning
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