Cowboys rip depleted Lynx, take 2nd in NCC

CLARION – Bronze will have to do for the Webster City wrestling team.

With a pair of key pieces to the puzzle out of the lineup, the Lynx dropped their second straight North Central Conference dual here last night and finished up the league slate in third place.

Clarion-Goldfield (10-2, 7-1 NCC) won nine of the first 11 matches and clinched the dual on the 100th career victory for 145-pounder Matt Odland in a 39-22 victory over the Lynx (9-6, 6-2 NCC).

The Cowboys seized outright ownership of the runner-up slot in the conference dual standings behind Humboldt.

WCHS competed without 138-pound junior Tanner Hild and 152-pound NCC tournament champion Alex Oswald, also a junior. Hild continued to sit out with a back injury while Oswald stayed on the sidelines with a partially separated shoulder that he sustained in the league championship match against Hampton-Dumont’s Bailey Miller on Saturday.

Lynx head coach Ted Larson said the absences played a part in the setback, but he refused to use them as an excuse.

“I didn’t sense that the guys were down (because of the absences),” he said. “None of the matches that we lost were for a lack of effort, but we’ve got to start feeling when we’re out of position and start making the right decisions.”

Clarion-Goldfield won nine of the 14 bouts and held a 12-7 advantage in bonus points. The Cowboys picked up four falls, including three in a row at the lower weights, and they built a 39-7 cushion before WCHS rallied with three consecutive wins to close it out.

“We just need more mat time with those young guys at the lower weights to catch up with the guys that are successful at the upper weights,” Larson said.

Odland – ranked No. 6 (Class 1A) at 138 – beat Jake Powers for the third time this season. His 9-6 decision pushed the advantage to 36-7 and made it impossible for WCHS to mount a comeback.

Brandon Patten stopped a six-match run for the Cowboys with a fall in 1:13 against Jordan Lee at 160.

Third-ranked (3A) Connor Larson, a WCHS junior, and No. 4 (1A) Jake Haberman both bumped up from 160 to 170 and met for the second time in five days. Larson scored five takedowns and was never in jeopardy in a comfortable 10-4 win.

Connor Larson thumped Haberman by major decision, 13-5, in the NCC tournament final on Saturday. He holds a 3-0 career record against the Cowboy grappler.

“They weighed Haberman in at 170 and Connor wanted to wrestle him,” Ted Larson said. “Connor looked really good again. There was never a time when he wasn’t in control of that match.”

Gus Gasca (195) opened the dual with a 10-2 major decision win over Bailey Kothe to give the Lynx a 4-0 edge. Clarion-Goldfield reeled off three straight wins before Freddie Seeley (113) slowed the momentum with a 7-4 win over Joey Helgeson.

During the Cowboys early stretch of success, No. 8-ranked heavyweight Mitch Gambrill held off Landon Johnson, 4-3, to avenge an 11-8 loss to the Lynx senior in the gold-medal match of the NCC tournament.

“That match could have gone either way in the conference finals, and it could have (last night), too,” Ted Larson said. “There were two scramble situations where Landon just didn’t win.”

Third-ranked Dylan Fielder (182) was awarded a win by forfeit to finish out the dual.

WCHS will be at home on Saturday to host the Lynx duals beginning at 10 a.m. OA-BCIG, Des Moines Roosevelt and Indianola will also be in attendance.