• Val T.

‘Our whole team didn’t wrestle well tonight:’ Gard disappointed by Zebras’ lack of focus in loss to

Basham, B. Beck, Fishback win by fall; Holloway, Deming win by decision


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

RUSSIAVILLE — D.J. Basham, Brady Beck and Marshall Fishback each won by fall, but the Rochester wrestling team lost a dual to host Western 44-30 at Richard Rea Gymnasium Wednesday.

Ethan Holloway and Alex Deming added wins by decision for the Zebras. Aaron Swango won by forfeit.

Rochester wrestled without Cooper Winn (106) and Greyson Gard (152) due to knee and wrist injuries, respectively, and the Zebras forfeited both of those weight classes.

Kaleb Shaffer (182) missed the meet due to an illness. Eli Swango, who typically wrestles at 170, bumped up to replace Shaffer at 182, and Braydn Furnivall (145) and Wesley Meadows (170) got spots in the varsity lineup.

Western filled 13 of the 14 weight classes, but coach Chad Shepherd made a late lineup adjustment, bumping junior Aiden Raab up from 126 to 132. That gave Aaron Swango a forfeit instead of Joey Spencer.

Raab cradled and pinned Spencer in 42 seconds.

Rochester led 30-20 after Basham pinned Nolan Miller in 1:51 at 138. Western won the last four matches by fall, forfeit, fall and fall, respectively.

Rochester coach Clint Gard credited Western and said they were ready, but he also said his team lacked focus. Rochester is the reigning Three Rivers Conference and sectional champion while Western is the reigning regional champion.

Western has won the regional three of the last four years.

“Our whole team didn’t wrestle well tonight,” coach Gard said. “That’s on these guys. Their mind’s on Christmas break. And they’re thinking about other things. We had the same issue with some of our JV guys going to Lafayette Jeff. We’ve got guys who are out of the lineup because of injury, if you want to call it that. So I just think we’ve got too many guys worried about being on Christmas break and wanting to be like every other kid who’s on Christmas break, and unfortunately, that doesn’t work. … This has kind of been an ongoing issue with our kids. We’ve got some things we need to work through.”

Shepherd, a Western grad who wrestled against Gard in high school when Gard wrestled for Richmond, has known coach Gard for at least 30 years.

“He was good,” coach Shepherd said of Clint Gard the 138-pound high school wrestler. “I think he had only two or three losses his senior year maybe.”

He has been the Western coach since 2001 and has not had a losing record in dual meets since 2003.

This was also senior night for Shepherd’s son Hayden. Hayden Shepherd was sixth at state at 145 last year, and he pinned Meadows in 1:45 to close out the night.

“So Clint’s got a good team,” coach Shepherd said. “I come in, and I knew they had a good team. We were talking to him at weigh-ins, and he gets everybody in the lineup, I feel like in 1A, they’re going to have a shot. I don’t know if they can win it or not, but that’s a solid dual meet team for a 1A team. … I knew it was going to be close.”

Beck, who has lost only once all year, stuck Wade Ryan in 1:16 at 220, taking him down four times before turning him with a hammer lock.

Fishback, an undefeated senior heavyweight, controlled Cole Armstrong and pinned him in 1:59.

Deming got a single-leg takedown against M.J. Norman at 195 to start the scoring. He gave up an escape but got another takedown to lead 4-1 after one period.

He started the second period from the bottom position but got an escape and later got another takedown to go up 7-1. He went on to win 7-2.

Holloway defeated Ty Linser 5-4 in their showdown at 120. Linser got two takedowns in the first period and led 4-1. Holloway, who said he worked over the summer on improving from the bottom position, got a reversal in the second period to make it 4-3 and a takedown in the third period to take his first lead of the match.

He then fought off Linser’s late shot attempt in a compelling final 30 seconds.

In perhaps the night’s most anticipated match, Western’s Tanner Tishner defeated Wyatt Davis 10-2 at 113.

Davis was coming off a Rochester John McKee Memorial Invitational title in which he pinned all four of his opponents in the first period. Tishner was eighth at state at 106 last year and is ranked No. 5 in the state at 113 this year.

Tishner got a takedown on a single-leg maneuver in the first period and squirmed out from bottom to get a reversal in the second period. He got three more takedowns in the third period.

Davis is aggressive but needs to work on technique, according to coach Gard. Weight management is also an issue.

“Part of the problem is we’ve got to quit having to worry about his weight so much,” coach Gard said. “Yesterday, instead of worrying about wrestling, we’re trying to get him down to weight. Today, instead of worrying about wrestling, he’s got to come in and lose a pound. He’s got to get his weight under control and stop using that as a reason to have excuses.

“We can’t become a better wrestler if he can’t get his weight under control. So he’s got to do that.”

Western 44, Rochester 30

(match started at 182)

106 – Benton Kanable (WEST) won by forfeit.

113 – Tanner Tishner (WEST) def. Wyatt Davis (RHS), 10-2

120 – Ethan Holloway (RHS) def. Ty Linser (WEST), 5-4

126 – Aaron Swango (RHS) won by forfeit.

132 – Aiden Raab (WEST) def. Joey Spencer (RHS), fall, 0:42

138 – D.J. Basham (RHS) def. Nolan Miller (WEST), fall, 1:51

145 – Myreon DeVost (WEST) def. Braydn Furnivall (RHS), fall, 1:44

152 – Mitchell Betz (WEST) won by forfeit.

160 – Deaglan Pleak (WEST) def. Gavin McKee (RHS), fall, 3:27

170 – Hayden Shepherd (WEST) def. Wesley Meadows (RHS), fall, 1:45

182 – Brayden Shoaff (WEST) def. Eli Swango (RHS), 12-0

195 – Alex Deming (RHS) def. M.J. Norman (WEST), 7-2

220 – Brady Beck (RHS) def. Wade Ryan (WEST), fall, 1:16

HWT – Marshall Fishback (RHS) def. Cole Armstrong (WEST), fall, 1:59


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