NORMAN — The Tigers had their chance to punch their ticket to Dual State on Tuesday, but came up just one match short against Midwest City. Tuesday’s dual was a win-and-in for Norman High, and though the Tigers wrestled well at some weights they ultimately fell, 42-35, to the Bombers.
Hope isn’t lost for Norman High. Midwest City travels to Edmond Santa Fe on Thursday, and if the Wolves defeat the Bombers then the Tigers will still be the ones heading to their first-ever Dual State. A Bomber victory on Thursday means the district’s slot will be decided by tiebreakers, an area that doesn’t favor the Tigers but doesn’t eliminate them either.
NHS was hoping to avoid all of that with a victory on Tuesday, but it was the Bombers who won nearly every close match. Midwest City came away with narrow wins at heavyweight, with Korey Walker pinning Jake Stinson; at 145 pounds, where Iris Conley won 7-6 over
freshman Trevaon McVea in an extra period; at 182 pounds, where Anthony Seezer pulled off another one-point victory, 1-0, over Collin Kappel; and in the final match of the day at 195 pounds, where Patrick Clason came back from a 4-0 deficit to pin Cale Stumpff to win the dual for Midwest City.
The Tigers were missing three starters. Peter Hardisty was out with a concussion and won’t return until Thursday, Nic Popp was hurt and won’t return for another week and Jordan Townsend, whom coach Bo Maynes said was having an excellent season, is out for the rest of the season with a dislocated elbow.
Even with those wrestlers out, the Tigers came within one win of securing a spot in the state tournament, but couldn’t come up with the big victory they needed. It was a disappointing night for the Tigers, who were looking to make their first trip to Dual State, and one that Maynes said he hopes his team will learn from.
“You can’t wrestle with three guys out and not wrestle well if you want to win, and we didn’t wrestle well tonight,” he said. “We had our good spots and our bad spots, but we’ve beaten those guys before. We just didn’t wrestle well today.”
One of those bright spots was Lane Stephens, who gave the Tigers their only close win of the night when he turned what was a scoreless match into a six-point swing on the scoreboard when he pinned Larry Boatwright midway through the second period. Another was 220-pounder Cade Parker, who also went deep into the second period before pinning Ryan Tillbury.
“Lane wrestled really well for us tonight; we’re proud of the way he came out,” Maynes said. “Cade also looked really good.”
While the Tigers will have to wait for the results from Midwest City’s dual on Thursday, they’ll be busy getting back on the mat. NHS will travel to Del City for a 7 p.m. dual. They’ll then head to Chickasha for a two-day tournament that begins on Friday.
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