NCC STALEMATE: Lynx, Lions, Wildcats beat each other; stay tied in league

WEBSTER CITY – After more than four hours of wrestling absolutely nothing was decided in the race for the North Central Conference dual championship in front of a loud crowd last night inside the WCHS gymnasium.

Sixth-ranked Humboldt, eighth-ranked Clear Lake and 14th-ranked Webster City all went 1-1, leaving them all with one loss heading into the final month of the regular season.

Clear Lake (17-4, 5-1 NCC) opened the night with a comeback 36-32 victory over Webster City (15-3, 5-1 NCC), but the Lions were denied the 400th career dual win for head coach Gary Weber when Humboldt (14-1, 5-1 NCC) dumped them, 36-30. And after more than an hour of rest, the Lynx returned to their home mat with something to prove in a 37-18 dismantling of the Wildcats.

It wasn’t exactly what WCHS was after, but head coach Ted Larson wasn’t complaining after the marathon night came to a conclusion.

“I’m just really proud of how we battled and how we fought and how we executed what we’ve worked on,” Larson said. “And I’m really proud of how we shook (the loss to Clear Lake) off. We didn’t pout and we didn’t hang our heads; we came back in here and worked our butts off.”

WCHS won 10 of 14 matches against Humboldt, including the last five in succession to turn a tight battle into a blowout, and beat all three of the Wildcats highly ranked individuals.

The Lynx had the edge on Clear Lake as well, 8-6, but the Lions owned a 17-7 advantage on bonus points and that was ultimately the difference. Clear Lake picked up five falls and a technical fall.

“Clear Lake is really tough where we’re inexperienced and it played huge there,” Larson said. “We ended up on our backs a lot and you can’t do that.”

WCHS opened up an early 19-0 lead on Clear Lake, highlighted by 182-pounder Brandon Patten’s 11-9 sudden-victory over fifth-ranked Connor Nosbisch. Patten, who lost handily to Nosbisch last month, scored off a Nosbisch shot near the edge of the mat with 25 seconds left in the extra period.

It was a match Patten wanted and he proved he was up to the task.

“I weighed in at 170, but I just told Ted I wanted to wrestle (Nosbisch) because I knew I could beat him,” Patten said. “I wanted to go to overtime because I could tell he was getting tired.”

Clear Lake dominated when the dual went to the lightweights though, rolling up six consecutive bonus points wins to vault ahead to stay, 35-19.

But whatever issues the Lynx had against the Lions were quickly shucked aside when they faced Humboldt.

Fifth-ranked 195-pounder Dylan Fielder set the stage for the upset with a 3-2 win over No. 2-ranked Reed Dreyer in the opening bout. Fielder hit a textbook double-leg and planted Dreyer on the mat early in the first period for the only takedown of the match.

“I love to wrestle those types of matches. You’ve got to come up with them,” Fielder said. “We both shot in a bunch of times and hit heads a bunch of times, but I just came up with that first one right away and it decided the match.”

Lynx heavyweight Gavin Dinsdale kept the train rolling two matches later when he beat a third ranked opponent in the last five days. This time it was second-ranked Dylan Hendricks who couldn’t fend off a Dinsdale shot in on the legs that resulted in the winning takedown with nine seconds left on the clock to give him a 4-2 triumph.

Earlier in the match Dinsdale showed his 219 pounds were more than enough against the 276-pound Hendricks when he tossed the Humboldt senior off his back and to the mat for a reversal.

“Anybody that can pick up a 276-pound guy with one arm … wow,” Larson said. “That’s our strength and conditioning program that we’ve got and it’s awesome.”

Cole Nokes (113) and Freddie Seeley (120) picked up key falls for the Lynx and then Jacob Powers (145), Tanner Hild (152), Alex Oswald (160), fifth-ranked Connor Larson (170) and Patten (182) did the rest.

Hild won a tightly-contested 6-3 decision over Thaylan Bowman at the same moment that Oswald was wrapping up a 6-1 dismantling of Gus Arnold on the other mat; those two wins cemented the dual victory.

Connor Larson added a cherry on top of the sundae with a narrow 4-3 decision over third-ranked Nikko Wheeler. Larson hit a roll through near the edge of the mat that put Wheeler’s shoulders to the mat long enough for a two count and two near-fall points to put him in the lead for good.

Adam Mickelson, who also beat Nosbisch, had nothing to offer against Patten. The WCHS senior turned Mickelson once and was never in danger in a 6-2 win.

“Patten had an outstanding night,” Ted Larson said. “We wrestled really smart against Humboldt. We got a lot of takedowns on the edge of the mat that we needed and we won a lot of the close matches.”

WCHS will face an even tougher task on Saturday when it travels to Ames to take part in the Mendenhall Invitational. Humboldt will also be in attendance, as will many of the premier Class 3A programs in the state.

Wrestling will get underway at 10 a.m.