Early lead gives Panthers win over Trojans
Down 42-12, Fairfield’s Bryce Lunsford started the comeback.
When Lunsford (160) pinned Mt. Pleasant’s Josh Larson, it gave the Trojan wrestling team a chance to salvage a tie out of the Panthers’ visit to Fairfield High School. Three more Trojan victories were rattled off before state qualifier Justin Dilks (220) pinned Fairfield senior Brett Scott to the mat, ending the comeback bid and sealing a 48-36 Southeast Conference victory for Mt. Pleasant.
“I’m really happy with their performance,” Mt. Pleasant coach Anthony Blint said. “Some of the kids really need to work on some things before the end of the year, but our guys competed hard.”
Five total forfeits and very quick matches made Mt. Pleasant’s visit to Fairfield one of the fastest wrestling duals one can imagine. If you blinked you might have missed it.
Larson was bumped up a weight class to face Lunsford. Blint did this in an attempt to cover up a weight class where Mt. Pleasant is normally open. It resulted in one of the best matches of the evening. Lunsford nearly pinned Larson earlier in the match, but in the third round Lunsford was able to finish the deed.
“It was a good match for Josh,” Blint said. “We knew Lunsford was a tough kid and Josh handled the matchup well.”
As for Scott’s matchup against Dilks, Fairfield coach Steve Miller considered bumping Scott up to 285 to face junior Jackson Kelley, but Miller wanted Scott to face Dilks. The Mt. Pleasant senior is ranked No. 4 in Class 3A.
“We’ve wrestled against [Dilks] before and we knew it was going to be a tough match,” Miller said. “We thought about moving some guys around but I wanted Brett to face their toughest guy.”
The Panthers used the lightweights to build their lead. A back and forth match at 126 resulted in a Conner Eads third round victory over Fairfield’s Charles Heisel, making the score 18-12 in favor of Mt. Pleasant. The Panthers earned 24 more points before Lunsford ended the streak.
“It takes every piece to win a team dual,” Miller said. “All the pieces didn’t come together for us tonight. Which is unfortunate, because I had every intention of winning this dual.”
The Panthers compete again Saturday at the Williamsburg Invite. Fairfield travels Saturday morning to Clinton.
Mount Pleasant (MOPL) 48.0 Fairfield (FAIR) 36.0
285: Jackson Kelley, MOPL, forf. . 106: Dallas Peebler, FAIR, forf. . 113: Chris Workman, FAIR, forf. . 120: Colton Mertens, MOPL, pinned Bailey Jones, FAIR, 2:30. 126: Conner Eads, MOPL, pinned Charles Heisel, FAIR, 4:30. 132: Tyler Lanphier, MOPL, pinned Bailey Kemp, FAIR, 0:27. 138: Blake Wickham, MOPL, forf. . 145: Tyler Davis, MOPL, forf. . 152: Alex Lanphier, MOPL, pinned Mitchell Taglauer, FAIR, 0:34. 160: Bryce Lunsford, FAIR, pinned Josh Larson, MOPL, 5:04. 170: Zane Richmond, FAIR, pinned Jarrett Wilson, MOPL, 3:15. 182: Michael Fritz, FAIR, pinned Dalton Shull, MOPL, 1:04. 195: Maxwell Spalla, FAIR, pinned Kallin Crile, MOPL, 1:24. 220: Justin Dilks, MOPL, pinned Brett Scott, FAIR, 3:31.