Wrestling triangular with Pontiac, PC and IVC
Prairie Central might not have been looking to make a statement but the Hawks made one with victories over Pontiac and Illinois Valley Central in the first Illini Prairie Conference triangular wrestling meet Tuesday at PTHS.
The Indians came away with a split with their 47-28 victory over the Grey Ghosts. The Hawks posted wins of 72-8 over IVC and 57-24 over Pontiac.
“I don’t think IVC had their full lineup but they were tough last year and they’re still tough this year. That was a nice win,” Prairie Central head coach Mark Payne said. “Pontiac has a nice team, they always do. It’s nice to get a win over a team like that.”
The Hawks got going quickly against Pontiac as Seth Travis pinned Lucas Giovengo at the horn at the end of the second period at 152 pounds. Kaleb Featherly followed with 37-second pin of Trey Edinger.
PC took a forfeit at 170 pounds to lead into top-ranked Drew Hoselton’s bout at 182 with Tyler Lanning. Hoselton came into the evening after winning his fourth Pontiac Invite championship. Lanning took second at 182 at the tournament, losing a tough 1-0 decision.
This time it was Hoselton dominating with a pin at 1:03.
Baby brother Brandon Hoselton, also a winner at the PTHS Invite, stuck Jacob Matern in 21 seconds at 195 pounds.
PC’s Cade Kerns repeated in getting the better of Liam Melvin in a rematch from the 220-pound PTHS Invite title bout. This time, however, Melvin made Kerns go the distance to earn the 6-0 decision.
Alex Steidinger, also an Invite champion, gave the Hawks their seventh straight win over the Tribe in this match with a pin of Tanner Sullivan at 1:53.
Jonathan Romero handled Harrison Ifft in 32 seconds at 106 pounds for Pontiac’s first points. Giovani Romero accepted a forfeit at 113 and Kristian Wiles pinned Christian Fever at 4:54 in the 120-pound bout.
Mark Jackson pinned George Smith at the three-minute mark of the 126-pound bout. Corbin Moser stuck Skyler Gibson in 40 seconds at 132.
At 145, Pontiac’s Frank Smith overpowered Tatro for a pin in 1:45. Connor Casner finished the match for Prairie Central with a 23-second pin of Adam Ledford.
“After this weekend, we had the long tournament, I liked how our guys came out and I thought we wrestled pretty well,” Pontiac head coach Corey Christenson said. “I thought our younger guys wrestled PC’s older guys well. I’m proud of how our guys battled.”
Prairie Central took four forfeits against IVC but got pins from Ifft (106, 4:39), Braiden Travis (113, 3:15), Fever (120, 1:24), Jackson (126, 41 seconds), Moser (132, 45 seconds), Casner (145, 41 seconds), Ashman (170, 2:47) and Kerns (220, 47 seconds).
“We have kids really starting to improve. That’s what we’re looking for, improvement more than wins and losses right now,” Payne said of his Hawks. “Harrison Ifft at 106 looked a lot better against IVC. He’s getting better every match.”
Christenson is also looking at his team making steps forward. The win over IVC helped.
Things did not start out well for the Tribe as the Grey Ghosts won the first four matches in taking a 19-0 lead.
Pontiac got on the board at 182 pounds when Lanning registered a tech fall at the final horn, winning 15-0 with a near-fall call. Matern followed with a pin in 3:56 at 195 pounds and Melvin needed 59 seconds to win by fall at 220.
Tanner Sullivan got a pin in 23 seconds at heavyweight to give the Indians the lead, 23-19. After a loss at 106, Pontiac came back with Giovani Romero winning by fall in 1:02 at 113 pounds. Wiles was a winner by fall at 120 pounds with a stick at 2:57.
Freshman George Smith took the mat at 126 pounds for his first varsity match. When he stepped off, he was a winner with his first pin at 3:27. Frank Smith capped the Tribe’s win with a pin in 49 seconds at 138 pounds.
“Everybody is contributing in some capacity,” Christenson said. “George Smith comes out in his first varsity match and wins. We were down 19-0 in the first match and charged our way back.”