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NWC wrestling punched out by Lights

Trapper freshman Ben Jorgensen (right) ties up with Montana State-Northern’s Cameron Neiss during the waning seconds of their match. Jorgensen suffered a 5-4 loss in the closing moments of this 133-pound match.  Trapper freshman Ben Jorgensen (right) ties up with Montana State-Northern’s Cameron Neiss during the waning seconds of their match. Jorgensen suffered a 5-4 loss in the closing moments of this 133-pound match. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

KLoetzer, Thornton pick up wins for NWC

The seventh-ranked Northwest College wrestling team was edged 27-19 by NAIA affiliated Montana State-Northern in wrestling dual action last Thursday. The dual was the college’s last before this weekend’s Apodaca Dual Showdown, which will wrap up the regular season for the Trappers.

“It was a little disappointing,” Trapper head coach Jim Zeigler said of the result. “I thought we came out a little flat in some of our matches, especially early and that cost us.”

The lightweight matches have been a staple of the Trappers’ success throughout much of the season, but on Thursday night it was MSU-Northern coming away with the early points. Cody Vichi fell by a 9-8 final score to his opponent at 125. Ben Jorgensen followed with a 5-4 loss in the closing seconds at 133 pounds, digging the Trappers into a 6-0 hole.

“Those matches set us off on the wrong path,” said Zeigler. “I thought we had them there going into the dual and it didn’t work out that way. Cody had a few moments of hesitation at key moments and that’s what did it for him. That split second can come back to bite you. He’s a young kid and he’ll learn from it. In Ben’s case, I was happy with how he wrestled aside from the last 20 seconds. When he scored to go ahead, he looked at the clock and just tried to hold on rather than finishing the match.”

Northwest recovered the dual points as Zac Loveless trotted onto the mat unopposed at 141 pounds — one of two weight classes vacated by the Lights in the dual. Colby Kloetzer followed with a 20-9 major decision victory at 149 pounds to move the Trappers into the dual lead.

Even in that victory, though, there was bad news for Northwest College. Kloetzer appeared to be breezing toward at worst a technical fall result, leading his match by 13 points in the second period and needing only another takedown to end the bout early. The Caldwell, Idaho, freshman wrenched a knee while trying for a takedown and remained on the mat for the full measure of injury time.

Kloetzer finished out the remaining two-plus minutes of the match, but clearly lacked some of the mobility and explosiveness that defined his performance early in the match as he finished out the major decision win.

“That definitely cost us a point or two on the team score,” Zeigler said of the injury. “It also took some momentum away from us, because we were just starting to build and put some stuff together and then that happens.”

The Trappers were able to chain together a third win, grabbing a 7-3 victory at 157 pounds as sophomore Colton Thornton put together a solid victory.

“I thought Colton wrestled a really solid match,” said Zeigler.

Thornton’s victory posted the Trappers to a 13-6 dual lead, but it would also be the team’s final win until heavyweight Jade Parsons came out to accept a forfeit victory at 285 pounds to end the night. In between, the Lights cruised to four critical wins.

The decisive run started with a 14-second win by fall over the Trappers’ Chase Meduna at 165 pounds. Meduna was in the lineup in place of Diorian Coleman, the Trappers’ 165-pound representative for much of the season. Cole McArthur lost an 8-4 decision at 174 pounds, moving the Lights back in front on the scoreboard. Braden Gibson (184) and Jarrett Baker (197)  were each second-period fall victims for the Trappers.

“Cole did a good job,” Zeigler said. “He lost the match, but the last time he faced that kid he got dominated. This time, he made it a competitive match. He did a real good job out there. Jarrett started out well in his match at 197, but he just hasn’t been on the mat enough to wrestle much and his gas tank was only about half full. He looked good early.”

The Trappers return to action on Friday and Saturday when they host the Apodaca Dual Showdown.

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