The No. 6-ranked Cody Broncs wrestling team squared off against the No. 4 Powell Panthers Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the last home dual of the season for Powell. It came down to the final match, with the Broncs escaping with a 38-32 win.
“It was an exciting dual,” said head coach Nate Urbach. “It went back and forth and it came down to the last match and we ended up not getting it.”
The dual started at the 285 pound weight class with Powell’s Brandon Thompson, a senior who’s ranked sixth in the state, versus senior Eric Flores, ranked second.
Thompson scored the first points to lead 2-0 at the end of the first period and went on to win by a 5-2 decision.
The win started Powell off with a 3-0 lead.
The second match was between freshman Emma Karhu and junior Drew Morris at 106 pounds. Morris pinned Karhu in 48 seconds, giving Cody a 6-3 lead.
In duals, pins are worth six points and victories by decision (a win by seven or fewer points) give three points.
The third match was a forfeit by Cody at 113 pounds, awarding six points to Powell and giving the Panthers a 9-6 lead in the dual.
The fourth match was between seniors Brian Brazelton and Andrew Sandoval, No. 7, at 120 pounds. Cody’s Sandoval won by a 9-1 major decision. Major decisions are won by a margin of eight to 14 points and award the team four points. Cody took a one-point lead, 10-9.
At 126 pounds, Cody forfeited to award Powell six points and the Panthers reclaimed the lead, 15-10.
The sixth match of the evening was between PHS senior Stephen Preator and sophomore Zain Fitzgerald at 132 pounds. Preator was ranked third at 126 pounds and Fitzgerald was ranked seventh at 132 pounds.
Neither opponent scored in the first period. To start the second, Preator chose the down position and got an escape in 19 seconds to take a 1-0 lead.
With about 30 seconds remaining in the second period, Fitzgerald got a takedown and a near fall, and was awarded three back points to take a 5-1 lead going into the final period. Thirty seconds into the third period, Preator was taken down for two points and Fizgerald won by a 7-1 decision.
The win decreased Powell’s lead by two points, 15-13 going into the seventh match of the evening, the 138-pound weight class. It featured top-ranked sophomore Reese Karst against No. 6 Jon Sanchez.
After the first period, Karst led 10-0 with a takedown and back points and in the second period, Karst won by a 16-0 technical fall. Technical falls are matches won by 15 or more points and award the team five points.
That increased Powell's lead to 20-13.
The next two matches were won by Powell by pins. Freshman Seth Horton, ranked sixth at 145 pounds, pinned Liam O’Hara in 1:07. At 152 pounds, sophomore Brody Karhu, No. 7, pinned Orin Oilar in 46 seconds. The two pins increased Powell’s lead to 32-13.
At 160 pounds, senior Seena Ashtaini faced off against Cody senior Dan Beaudrie, ranked No. 1, and was pinned in 34 seconds. That awarded Cody six points for a dual score 32-19.
The 11th match of the evening was the 170-pound weight class, with sophomore Bo Dearcorn, No. 5, facing off against Josh Jones, No. 2.
About 40 seconds into the first period, Dearcorn got a takedown to take a 2-0 lead. But with two seconds remaining, Jones pinned Dearcorn. The pinned decreased Powell’s lead to 32-25.
The next match featured the 182 pounders: Powell junior Cameron Schmidt and Cody sophomore Charlie Beaudrie, who’s ranked third in the state.
Beaudrie scored a takedown 51 seconds into the first period, but Schmidt got an escape to trail by one, 2-1, going into the second period. Charlie Beaudrie then scored another takedown and an escape, while Schmidt had two points for a reversal to bring the score to 5-3 going into the final period. Beaudrie won by a 8-5 decision.
With two matches remaining, Powell held a tenuous 32-28 lead. The second to last match was the 195-pound weight class, with Powell sophomore Matthew Seckman against senior Ira Mickelson, ranked No. 6 in the state.
To start the second period, Seckman chose down and about halfway through the period, Mickelson was awarded three backpoints.
With about 30 seconds remaining in the second period, Seckman got an escape, but Mickelson got a takedown shortly after and was awarded two backpoints to take a 7-1 lead heading into the final period. Mickelson won by a 9-1 major decision.
The four points from the major decision win by Mickelson tied the score at 32 going into the final match of the evening, junior Duy Linh Hoang against sophomore Jeff Williams.
Hoang scored a takedown with 35 seconds remaining in the first period for two points but about 10 seconds later, Williams got an escape to end the first period with a score of 2-1, Hoang.
To start the second period, Hoang choose down and 20 seconds in, Williams got two backpoints to take a 3-2 lead. Eleven seconds later, Hoang got an escape to tie the score at 3-3. At 1:03 remaining in the period, Hoang got a takedown to take a 5-3 lead; then the wrestlers went out of bounds.
Escapes, takedowns, reversals, points for stalling and an illegal hold ended the second period with the two wrestlers tied at 9-9. Williams chose down to start the third period and eight seconds in, the Cody wrestler got an escape to take a 10-9 lead. With 46 seconds remaining in the match, Williams got a takedown and pinned Hoang at 5:20.
The pin awarded Cody six points, and the win over Powell 38-32.
Of the dual as a whole, Urbach said, “I felt all around that we wrestled really well.”
Next up for the Panther wrestling team is the 3A West Regional tournament Friday and Saturday in Lyman. The tournament will start at 4 p.m. Friday and resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. The top eight places in each weight class will advance to the state tournament, Feb. 23-24 in Casper.