Northwest’s Jordan Bell had one thought circulating through his mind in his 220-pound match against Kapaun’s Sam LaFleur on Monday. One thought that made him forget about the exhaustion he was experiencing.
If Bell lost the match, Kapaun would still have a chance to win the dual. But if Bell won the match, it would put Northwest’s lead out of Kapaun’s reach.
“When it came down to it, it was more about what the team needed instead of me being tired, I just had to get over that,” Bell said. “When you get tired and you know it’s for the team, and they were out there sacrificing for you, so you’ve got to do it for them.”
Bell won, 6-5, and Northwest defeated Kapaun 33-32 for the Grizzlies’ 39th consecutive dual victory.
Kapaun gained momentum early with a last-second takedown from Braden O’Donnell at 113 to defeat Kodi Gandeza 4-2. The Crusaders won the first four matches, two by falls, when the dual got to 132. Kapaun’s Patrick Burrus went down 6-2 to Northwest’s Shane Brock after the first round, but tied the match at nine by the third round. He gave up a point to take the neutral position, but couldn’t take Brock down in the final seconds and lost the match 10-9.
“I went into the match up 6-1 and I had a lot of confidence, and then I kind of stopped wrestling and slowed the pace down, and I shouldn’t have,” Brock said. “That’s why he came back so close, and it’s something I have to work on to pick up my pace throughout the rest of the season and finish.”
It isn’t a secret that Northwest’s strength lies in the second half of its lineup — from 160 to 220 the Grizzlies have four ranked wrestlers—but when its three, ranked lower-weight wrestlers came up 2-1, Prichard began to question whether his heavier weights could pull off a win.
After Kapaun’s Luke Wilson defeated Dylan Beckner with a major decision at 145, Kapaun’s Branden Williams defeated Northwest’s Kevin Folsom with a major decision as well, taking a 26-9 lead after 152.
“They came out and beat us at 145, and I didn’t think that would happen; at 145 and 152, I give props to them, they about beat us there. We picked up a good win at 132,” Prichard said. “When we lost at 113 and 145, I thought we were in trouble.”
Kapaun remained close enough to take the dual until the match at 220, when Northwest led Kapaun 30-26. Bell was down 5-4 to LaFleur, and got a takedown to end the match 6-5, putting Northwest’s team lead out of Kapaun’s reach.
Northwest will lead the City League heading into the league tournament Saturday in pursuit of its third consecutive league title.
Northwest 33, Kapaun 32
106—Egan, Kapaun, pinned C. Brown, Northwest, 1:32; 113—O’Donnell, Kapaun, def. Gandeza, Northwest, 4-2; 120—Howell, Kapaun, pinned Wesley, Northwest, 0:37; 126—J. Le, Kapaun, def. D. Brown, Northwest, 5-1; 132—Brock, Northwest, def. Burrus, Kapaun, 10-9; 138—Brazell, Northwest, pinned Ayala, Kapaun, 2:58; 145—Wilson, Kapaun, def. Beckner, Northwest, 11-2; 152—Williams, Kapaun, def. Folsom, Northwest, 13-3; 160—Ortiz, Northwest, pinned B. Le, Kapaun, 0:50; 170—Robinson, Northwest, pinned Hand, Kapaun, 3:36; 182—Turner, Northwest, pinned Nece, Kapaun, 5:08; 195—Jackson, Northwest, def. Harp, Kapaun, 4-1; 220—Bell, Northwest, def. LaFleur, Kapaun, 6-5; 285—Powers, Kapaun, pinned McCoy, Northwest, 3:22.