By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Wrestlers lose the war of attrition – simply lasting in the most brutal sport – more often than the battles on the mat. It’s the nature of the beast. Only the strong, physically and mentally, survive.
Bedford North Lawrence has lost three starters, injuries the main culprit, and the Stars were already short-handed in the lower weight classes. Paoli lost nine wrestlers, a lack of will the reason.
The numbers game is hard to overcome. The Stars won the majority of the contested matches in the first half of Thursday’s unique double-barrel, double-dual match with Owen Valley, yet lost the team outcome. The Rams dominated BNL on the mat in the second match but lost on the scoreboard. Go figure.
The Patriots clipped the Stars 42-33 in the first match, thanks to three BNL forfeits, while BNL edged Paoli 36-27 as the Rams failed to fill eight of the 14 weight divisions.
BNL (12-6) recorded five victories against Owen Valley, highlighted by impressive pin wins from Isaac Johnson and Matt Lone. Paoli pounded the Stars in five of the six actual matches, but couldn’t overcome the 30 forfeit points.
Johnson, now BNL’s lone senior, crushed Owen Valley’s Charlie Campbell in 13 seconds at 182 pounds. Reese Hamblen, a freshman, got locked in the best match of the night, defeating Logan Cain 12-7 at 126.
“Reese surprised the kid and just dominated the second and third periods,” BNL coach Roy Bruce Jr. said. “Isaac had a great match. He’s had a great week of practice.”
Other winners for the Stars in the opener included Derek Hutchens (pinning Bryan Collins in 1:40 at 138), Drake Huber (who erased a quick deficit with a pin of Nathan Phelps in 2:13), and Lone (who trapped Ben Gilbert in 47 seconds at 220).
“I thought we wrestled pretty decent against Owen Valley,” Bruce said. “We’ve got a couple of freshmen hitting the wall, and that’s hard to overcome. It’s hard to break through.”
Paoli, with quality nearly trumping its lack of quantity, was paced by veterans. Chad Warren, a senior with 30 wins this season, handled Hamblen in 30 seconds at 126, senior Tim Burton (29-2 on the year and only two wins away from 100 for his career) thumped Huber in 1:17, and Logan Curts took down Lone in 1:32.
Two of the matches went the distance. BNL’s Conner Smith finally stopped Tanner Coe with only 8 seconds remaining at 145, while Paoli’s Brycen Long recorded a two-point takedown with 10 seconds left to edge Hutchens 9-7 at 132, reversing an earlier loss to Hutchens this season.
In addition to the forfeits, BNL has lost Tristan Hanners (out with a broken hand) and Jackson Ikerd (torn miniscus in his knee) for the year. Ikerd limped out to accept one of the Paoli forfeits in his final appearance.
BNL is scheduled to compete in the Hoosier Hills Conference meet on Saturday. If the prediected snowstorm materializes and forces a postponement, that event would likely be moved to the following week.
Owen Valley 42, BNL 33
106 – Kain Mobley, OV won by forfeit
113 – Thabe Sylvester, OV won by forfeit
120 – Jason Means, OV won by forfeit
126 – Reese Hamblen, BNL d. Logan Cain 12-7
132 – Double forfeit
138 – Derek Hutchens, BNL p. Bryan Collins 1:40
145 – Robbie Martin, OV p. Conner Smith 5:56
152 – Jerry McBee, OV p. Ely Houston 2:18
160 – Drake Huber, BNL p. Nathan Phelps 2:13
170 – Donnie Clifford, OV p. Christian Brown 5:31
182 – Isaac Johnson, BNL p. Charlie Campbell 0:13
195 – Bryce Bault, OV p. James Covey 3:36
220 – Matt Lone, BNL p. Ben Gilbert 0:47
285 – Byron Kyger, BNL won by forfeit
BNL 36, Paoli 27
106 – Double forfeit
113 – Double forfeit
120 – Tobias Fox, BNL won by forfeit
126 – Chad Warren, P p. Reese Hamblen 0:30
132 – Brycen Long, P d. Derek Hutchens 9-7
138 – Double forfeit
145 – Conner Smith, BNL p. Tanner Coe 5:52
152 – Ely Houston, BNL won by forfeit
160 – Tim Burton, P p. Drake Huber 1:17
170 – Jackson Ikerd, BNL won by forfeit
182 – Isaac Johnson, BNL won by forfeit
195 – James Covey, BNL won by forfeit
220 – Logan Curts, P p. Matt Lone 1:32
285 – Zane Anderson, P p. Byron Kyger 0:18