Wrestling: Stanhope Elmore bests Bulldogs at home tri-meetPublished 11:19am Monday, January 13, 2014
Five days after Hunter Scott, Holtville wrestling’s 160-pound reigning state champion, went down with an elbow injury at a Cleburne County tournament, the Bulldogs hit the mat for a tough tri-meet against Stanhope Elmore and Auburn Thursday.
No doubt the team lost its leader, Holtville coach Jared Sellers said, but as a whole, the team can improve.
“I told them this sport’s not like other sports,” Sellers said. “We should be getting better anyways. (Scott’s) our leader, leader at practice, the one that goes through drills. He’s the guy we lean on to win every time come out. Just because he goes down doesn’t mean that’s our season by any means.
“It’s bad because he’s a great guy to be around and a great teammate, hopefully he can get back. But we’re going to keep working for sectionals and state.”
In the nightcap, Stanhope Elmore defeated the Bulldogs 51-27.
“I thought we wrestled a lot better,” Mustangs coach Brian Bradford said. “We lost some close ones that we didn’t finish, just being sloppy and rusty. I thought overall, we wrestled well.”
Two matchups between the Elmore County foes went down to the final buzzer, and HHS came away with both. In the 182-pound bout, Zak Jones charged from behind SEHS’s Malik Hibley to capture the 4-3 win and in the 152-pound contest, Nick Baker pinned Mustang Jared Mercer two seconds before the final horn.
“(Hibley) always wrestles (Jones) great,” Sellers said. “He’s won one, Hibley’s won one, now Zak won again. They’re friends and they have a good time talking to each other. That’s kind of a rivalry that’s starting to brew a little bit in his senior year. It was a good win for him.”
As time wind down, Bradford said Hibley was one step away.
“We got the stalling call, and he was just one step from getting the escape the whole time,” he said. “If he could’ve gotten out I know he could’ve gotten the take down, so he just waited until the very last second because he was gassed. There at the end he kept falling out of bounds, just coming too short. If he could have just mustered up a little bit more, a little quicker, then he could’ve won it.
“They’re a good match for each other. He’s a great kid, the Jones kid from Holtville.”
For Baker, Sellers said, it was great for him to hand in there and finish.
“Nick’s was great because he held on. He was gassed and the other guy was gassed. He held on for the entire period, and that’s one of the few times he was successful in doing that. Most of the time, he’s the bad luck loser, but this time he ended up pulling through, finishing all the way.”
Other results: Ty Naquin (SEHS) won by 15-0 technical fall over Alex Sears in 106-pound; Terence Burke (SEHS) won by 12-2 major decision over Cody Gibson in 120-pound; Travis Gartman (SEHS) pinned Lance Hilyer in 132-pound; Brandon Householder (SEHS) pinned Chase Smith in 138-pound; Peyton Johnson (HHS) pinned Caton Fisher in 145-pound; Kip Willis (SEHS) pinned Nathan Smith in heavyweight.