When No. 1 comes to your house, you want to put up a fight. Unfortunately for North Platte, it didn’t go as hoped.
Grand Island upended the Bulldogs 66-12 in a dual match on Friday at North Platte High School.
“Grand Island is a heck of a team,” said North Platte head coach Dale Hall. “We have some guys missing due to the holidays and we had some guys who wrestled well, but didn’t get a win.
“It’s hard to wrestle Grand Island because no matter who they face, they expect to win and they have the team and program to do just that.”
The Bulldogs got off to a good start. Jonah Navarette earned a pin at 5:55 of his 113-pound match against Skylar Schmidt. Navarette got off to a 6-2 first period lead and led 9-6 after two periods, but Schmidt scored a reversal to start the third period and cut the margin to 9-8.
Navarette escaped, going up 10-8 and used a head-and-arm headlock to take Schmidt down and to his back, getting the pin just before the third period ended.
“Navarette’s a tough wrestler,” said Grand Island coach Mike Schadwinkel. “We kind of cobbled a team together, moving some kids up to fill in areas we had guys missing.
“Then we had some weight issues when we got here. After it being scheduled [Thursday] and then having to get everyone moving again after it was postponed, it was a rough start.”
The Islanders would tie the team score at 6-6 in the next match when John Mottl pinned North Platte freshman Alex Murphy in 1:28 in their 120-pound match.
From there, the Islanders took off. Grand Island won seven matches in a row — five by pin — to take a 36-6 lead going into the 170-pound match.
The best matches in those seven were at 138 and 145. At 138 pounds, Andrew Rojas of Grand Island outlasted Paul Kraye 5-2. The two wrestlers were tied at 0-0 after the first period.
Rojas chose down to start the second period and earned an escape, followed by a takedown to lead 3-0. Kraye earned a reversal to cut the margin to 3-2, but Rojas got a reverse and a 5-2 edge heading into the third period.
In the third period, Kraye chose down, but Rojas maintained control and earned the win.
At 145 pounds, Rigo Barragan of Grand Island got a 7-4 win over Austin Matthews. Barragan took a 2-1 lead in the first period, earning a takedown and giving up and escape.
Barragan stretched the lead to 5-1 in the second period with an escape and takedown.
Matthews started the third period with an escape to cut the lead to 5-2. The North Platte wrestler got a takedown midway through the period to cut the deficit to one at 5-4, but while trying to turn Barragan, Matthews lost control and the Grand Island wrestler got a reversal and the 7-4 win.
North Platte’s only other win came at 170 pounds when two-time state medalist Grant Holscher pinned Manuel Pienado in 2:43.
“It was a good match for us before the holiday break,” Schadwinkel said. “Now, we have a week off with no practice before we travel to Creighton Prep.
“That might be a tough one, depending on how the guys do on break.”
For Hall, it’s a reminder of what North Platte still needs to do.
“We’re not happy at all,” Hall said. “We have a lot of work to do. We’re getting better, but not having our full varsity and wrestling some matches where we didn’t execute.
“We are getting there. It will be up to the kids how much they want it come February.”
North Platte hosts Ogallala and McCook in a triangular next Friday. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m.
Following are the match results:
Grand Island 66, North Platte 12
113: Jonah Navarette (NP) over Skylar Schmidt (GI), pin 5:55; 120: John Mottl (GI) over Alex Murphy, pin 1:28; 126: Dante Rodriquez (GI) over Dylan Peterson (NP), pin 2:33; 132: Trey Trujillo (GI) over Zach Huerta (NP), pin 1:15; 138: Andrew Rojas (GI) over Paul Kraye (NP), dec. 5-2; 145: Rigo Barragan (GI) over Austin Matthews (NP), dec. 7-4; 152: Jared Fortune (GI) over Levi Thomlinson (NP), pin 3:27; 160: Billy Thompson (GI) over Shawn Roblee (NP), pin 5:58; 170: Grand Holscher (NP) over Mauel Pienado (GI), pin 2:43; 182: Haris Talundzic (GI) over Tyson Chromy (NP), pin 2:53; 195: Chase Reis (GI) over Jordan Trujilo (NP), pin 3:28; 220: Edgar Silva (GI) over Jason Lienemann (NP), pin 1:59; 285: Juan Medina (GI) over Alex Morales (NP), pin 1:54; 103: Blake Coen (GI) over Alex Guerra (NP), pin 1:19.