The second-ranked Trojans won eight of the 14 weight classes against the third-ranked Cougars, but first-year Carrollton coach Ryan Wilman was still frustrated that three of his guys lost via pin in the dual format.
“I think we’ve got a lot of work to do. I said that the last time, and [Wednesday] was magnified going up against better competition. You could really see where we’re weak. I’m not really pleased with the fact that we gave up three pins in that dual meet. Our guys had a mission [Wednesday], which was you go out and you battle for six minutes and you come off the mat and you don’t give up six points,” Wilman said.
“So from the standpoint of the pins, I still think we need some work. We were exposed on several different technical areas, but I’m definitely very happy that we walk out with a win against a quality team like Alexander.”
The match started in the 120-pound weight class and the Cougars opened with back-to-back pins, as Bryce Hollomon put Christian Gutierrez on his back, followed by Cody Starnes doing the same to Will Gordy at 126 pounds, quickly giving Alexander the 12-0 edge.
The Trojans answered behind reigning state champion and sophomore sensation Jake Adcock, who recorded a pin of Ryan Ashe at 126, which was followed by Rhett Hembree earning a 17-4, major decision over Chris Achenbach to pull Carrollton within 12-10.
That set up the controversial match of the night at 145 points, where Carrollton’s Alex Molina earned a win over Tony Johnson. With Johnson up 9-1 in the third period, Molina slightly brushed his shoulder into Johnson during a break from the action to which Johnson retaliated with a two-handed shove to Molina’s chest. Both coaching staffs quickly separated the two, and the referee DQ’d Johnson, swinging the match’s points and momentum to the Trojans.
Wilman said it was an unfortunate situation, and not the way he wants his team to put points on the board.
“I actually had my back turned when the confrontation started. I didn’t see what happened. I hate to see a match end that way. I would have rather have seen them wrestle it out and settle it out on the mat than ever put it in a referee’s hands. So I was definitely disappointed to see the match stopped and I’m sure the fans were, too,” Wilman said.
With the Trojans now on top for the first time all night at 16-12, Alexander came right back when Cody Dickerson won a 22-7 tech fall over Jim Edgar at 152 pounds. And even though Edgar lost the battle, Wilman said that’s the kind of fight he wants his guys to display on the mat.
“I’m extremely proud of Jim Edgar, who wrestled his tail off to stay in the match and not get pinned. That’s the kind of effort that I’m talking about. When it comes time for tough duals like this in a state dual tournament, you’ve got to have guys that battle, battle, battle and just won’t give up,” Wilman said.
Dickerson’s win put the Cougars back on top at 17-16, but the Trojans took the lead for good following a pin at 160 pounds from Turner Martin and the Cougars opting to not even bother with sophomore standout Taylor Lujan at 170, giving Carrollton a 28-17 advantage.
From there, Alexander’s Deandre Sims won a 26-11 tech fall over Dan Harris at 182, Carrollton’s Travis Joyce earned a 15-2 major decision against Spencer Gray at 195 and Murphy Hagen capped off another Trojan win with a 13-4 major decision against William Brown at 220.
Carrollton heavyweight Cole Glommen suffered a 3-1 setback, but Daniel Parivechio’s pin of Austin Starnes at 106 sealed the Carrollton victory. Trae Green of Alexander closed out the night with a pin of Bryan Johnson at 113.
And on a night where there was plenty of intensity from both sides, the Trojans were able honor their five seniors — Joyce, Martin, Harris, Chris Foster and Tyler Melson — in winning fashion.
“That’s a big match back for Turner Martin. His first match of the season, coming out and he’s got a hard weight to set. He did exactly what I asked of him. He went out and attacked his opponent and put him from his feet to his back in the first period and almost had him pinned. Then through the course of the match, he got better opportunities and took him from his feet to his back and stuck him. That was incredible,” Wilman said.
“Then Travis Joyce, who is a guy that doesn’t put a whole lot of points on the board, to see him go out and major decision somebody and give us an extra two points, I definitely love what I saw there.”