Goddard’s wrestlers spotted host Arkansas City an early 9-0 lead, but once the Lions, No. 1 in Class 5A, reached the middle weights Thursday night, they were able to pull away for a 41-25 AV-CTL Division II victory.
Sophomore Garrett Lange’s quick pin of Corbin Hockenbury gave Goddard a 17-14 lead it would not relinquish.
“Once it gets to (the middle weights), that’s our core group, and that’s where we start picking teams apart,” Lange said.
After Lange, brothers Kameron and Kendall Frame won their matches, followed by victories from Troy Fisher and Austin Andres, and the second-ranked Bulldogs found themselves in a 32-13 hole.
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In those five classes, the Lions picked up 25 points, providing an insurmountable cushion.
The two teams featured 13 state-ranked wrestlers in 14 weight classes, but Goddard’s heart of the order was just too powerful.
“They’re very strong at the lower weights, but the middle’s where we’re really powerful,” Goddard coach Brett Means said. “I knew the key to the match would be for us on the matches that we lost not to get pinned, and for us to get pins on some of the matches that we won.
“Garrett started us on a run at 138, then we won at 145, 152, 160 and 170, then won at 195 and 220.”
Goddard was able to prevail in two of three matches featuring two ranked wrestlers. Second-ranked Will Spexarth took a hard-fought decision over No. 4 Montez Robinson at 120, and top-ranked Corey Atkins won in overtime on a contested penalty point for stalling over No. 4 Shawn Dent.
Ark City’s Marcus Robinson, top-ranked at 113, captured an overtime decision over No. 6 Logan Pirl.
The Bulldogs were missing Bryson Nuckles at 138 and Kendall Biddle at 160, and Means said things could get tougher once they return.
“They’re missing a couple of their kids,” he said. “We’ll see them at Chanute in a week and a half, then at regionals and at state, so it’ll be a battle.
“We’re not even close to being over.”
Ark City coach Greg Buckbee said he was proud of the effort his squad put in.
“We went out there and wrestled with the team we had, and we went out and competed,” he said. “They get to 138, and they’re pretty darn tough, aren’t they?
“We kind of knew that going in, and we were kind of hoping to sneak maybe one or two out, and maybe make it a little closer.”
106 – Gabe Buckbee, AC, pinned Gabriel Holmes, 5:27. 113 – Marcus Robinson, AC, dec. Logan Pirl, 5-3 (OT). 120 – Will Spexarth, G, dec. Montez Robinson, 6-3. 126 – Christian Bowen, G, def. Dakota Taylor, tech. fall (18-3). 132 – Jake Beeson, AC, def. Cayden Atkins, maj. dec. (13-8). 138 – Garrett Lange, G, pinned Corbin Hockenbury, 0:43. 145 – Kameron Frame, G, dec. Colton Watters, 12-8. 152 – Kendall Frame, G, def. Montez Jones, maj. dec. (23-11). 160 – Troy Fisher, G, def. Mason Manning, tech. fall (15-0). 170 – Austin Andres, G, pinned Gabino Beraza, 3:20. 182 – Zach Combs, AC, pinned Thomas Parks, 1:08. 195 – Dayton Driskill, G, pinned Dalton Collins, 1:29. 220 – Corey Atkins, G, dec. Shawn Atkins, 3-2 (OT). 285 – Tyler Shannon, AC, pinned Elijah Holloman, 2:29.