No one was surprised when the two teams were announced for the first place dual at the St. Pat’s Dual Tournament on Friday night.
The surprises were delivered in the match that had longtime rivals Maxwell and St. Pat’s wrestling for the tournament crown. Maxwell earned the title with a 42-31 win over the host Irish.
“We’ve wrestled them in the final a few times,” said St. Pat’s head coach Kevin Wood. “It’s what we expected.”
“We’ve been either champion or runner-up six of the last seven years,” said Maxwell coach Ryan Jones. “We always want to be in the final for first.”
The Irish started the final dual with three straight victories and a 15-0 lead. Miguel Martinez earned a 3-1 win over Charley Kesterson at 220 pounds, followed by Bryan Shurigar pinning Houston Crane at 285 and Cody Weaver pinning Ziara York at 106 pounds.
“We started the way we wanted to,” Wood said. “However, it didn’t work out like we had it on paper.”
The tide turned at 113 pounds. Ryan McKeeman of Maxwell pinned Trey Dodson, cutting St. Pat’s edge to 15-6.
“McKeeman’s win over Dodson was huge,” Jones said. “That’s what got us the win, right there.”
At 120 pound, Nathan Chrisman earned an 11-1 decision for St. Pat’s over Josh Meyers and the lead grew to 19-6. However, Jones said Meyers’ effort helped Maxwell too.
“Chrisman pinned him last week at Southwest,” the Maxwell coach said. “Plus, Chrisman pinned him all last year.
“For him to stay off his back and lose 11-1, that’s two team points we gain.”
After Maxwell’s Keenon Kincheloe won by forfeit at 126 pounds, the match of the night featured Maxwell’s Ethan Lunkwitz against St. Pat’s 132-pounder Adam Pasquinelly.
Both wrestlers qualified for state a year ago, with Pasquinelly finishing fifth.
The two wrestlers were tied at 4-4 after the first period and Lunkwitz held a slim 8-7 lead after two periods. As the third period went on, Lunkwitz seemed to have an answer for every Pasquinelly attack and the Maxwell wrestler won 11-9.
“Ethan Lunkwitz had a really good win,” Wood said. “If Dodson losing was the start of our loss, Pasquinelly’s loss was the nail in the coffin.”
“That was a great win by Ethan,” Jones said. “Last week against Adam, Ethan was pinned in 22 seconds.”
Lunkwitz was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
“I just tried to stay calm and remember my training,” Lunkwitz said after the tournament. “That’s a big win for me. Now I need to build on it.”
Lunkwitz’s decision cut the Irish lead to 19-15. Following a forfeit to Drew Riggs at 138, the Wildcats held their first lead, 21-19. Jaylon Sturdivant of
Maxwell pinned Matthew Ferguson to up the lead to 27-19 and then Maxwell’s Christian Simmons earned a forfeit win and the margin increased to 33-19.
Maxwell’s Jacob Whisenhunt pinned Alex Mackley at 160 pounds to increase the Wildcats’ lead to 39-19. Joel Melton, the Irish 170-pounder, and Henry Aufdenkamp, the Irish 189-pounder, each collected pin victories to cut the margin to 39-31. In the final match of the night, Maxwell’s Dylan Gage earned a 1-0 win over Pedro Martinez at 195 pounds.
Lexington JV defeated Hershey 42-33 in the third place dual. Hyannis edged Hitchcock County 31-30 in the fifth place match, while Southwest handed Dundy County-Stratton a 54-24 loss in the seventh place dual.
Eustis-Farnam claimed ninth with a 42-30 win over Lutheran Northeast.