CLAYTON — “Avoid cradles” was written in large letters on a grease board in the wrestling team’s practice facility at Northmont High School.
Northmont coach Scott Newburg wrote those words as his team prepared to battle Brookville. Unfortunately, his team failed to heed his warning. The cradle hold is the Blue Devils’ go to move and they executed it to perfection in several matches Jan. 21 to pin a 49-26 loss on the Thunderbolts.
“We wrestled terrible,” Newburg said after the match. “We stress being aggressive and getting the first takedown all the time and tonight none of them did it except a couple of our kids. Brookville got the steamboat rolling and we couldn’t come back.”
Brookville scored seven pins against Northmont out of the 14 contested matches.
Northmont won the first match of the evening by a pin. Phil Tracey won the 195 pound match by a fall in 1:07 vs. Sadler Henson.
Brookville’s Matthew Hamm won by a fall (3:49) vs. Jake Staley in the 220 pound match.
Heavyweight Seth Frantz scored a 15-0 technical fall over Jonathan Mitchell to give Northmont a short lived 11-6 lead.
Khayden Jacobs put Brookville back on top 12-11 winning by a fall in 2:51 vs. Vince Perkins in the 106 pound match.
At 113 drake Givens scored a 10-5 decision over Logan Jones as the teams traded the lead again with the T’bolts on top 14-12.
Bailey Larson put Brookville back on top 18-14 winning by a fall in 1:27 vs. Brennan Wilson in the 120 pound match.
At 126 freshman Christian Pendleton won by a fall in 5:15 vs. Timothy Davis as Northmont regained the lead 20-18.
After that Brookville took the lead and never looked back.
At 132 Mason Esterline scored a 7-3 decision over Ryan Stowers.
In the 138 pound match Owen Ashworth won by a fall in 1:37 vs. Cody Jenkins and at 145 Devon Myers scored a 12-2 major decision over Noah Wilkins to give Brookville 31-20 lead.
Northmont scored its final victory at 152 where Andrew Knick, 31-2 with 20 pins overall, won by a fall in 3:20 vs. Gianni Carey to narrow Brookville’s advantage to 31-26.
Brookville swept the final three matches with three consecutive pins.
At 160 Dylan Starnes won by a fall in 43 seconds vs. James Wilson. At 170 Chase Dyer won by a fall in 1:44 vs. Owen Wise and at 182 Luke Williams won by a fall in 1:27 vs. Payton Lupton to give Brookville a solid 49-26 victory.
“We had a couple of starters out tonight, but that’s not the reason why we lost,” Newburg said. “We’ve got kids that can’t figure it out yet. We take a step forward and take a step back. About every couple of weeks that is how we do it. It’s frustrating as a coach to come in here work with these guys and stress being aggressive and then they go out there and do the total opposite.”
Brookville coach Sam Sampson, who has a physique much like the legendary Biblical figure “Samson,” was pleased with his team’s performance but modest about the margin of victory.
“Sometimes the score doesn’t reflect how competitive some of the matches are,” Sampson said. “We are getting stronger every day.”
The victory bolstered Brookville’s dual meet record to 13-3 overall. He feels his lineup is solid from top to bottom.
“We are solid all the way through,” Sampson stated. “We’ve had some adversity just like everybody else. We had a couple guys out tonight, but we’ve got to pull through and make it happen.”
Owen Ashworth stepped in to take one spot vacated by a starter and at 195 Sadler Henson filled another void. He said both wrestlers will probably become starters.
“Northmont is a very well coached team. We have a lot of respect for the Newburgs and it was a great dual tonight,” Sampson added.
Despite loss Newburg recognized a few of his athletes for their performances.
“Christian Pendleton did a great job. He is getting better every week,” Newburg said. “That kid is aggressive, works his butt off in practice and even when he was down by three or four points out there, he got a reversal and took his opponent and pinned him. We need to have more kids like that. Andrew Knick continues to do well, as well as Seth Frantz and Phil Tracey. They all wrestled well tonight. We just need to get the majority of the rest of the kids on the same wave. Right now, we are not there. It is going to be a tough rest of the season if that keeps up.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @RonNunnari