BG wrestlers find tough test in Napoleon

By Jeff Ratliff AIM Media Midwest

NAPOLEON — Napoleon took advantage of four pins and two forfeits to defeat invading Bowling Green 50-21 in high school wrestling Wednesday night in the Grand Canyon.

With no conference season for the Northern Lakes League, the dual meet was a potential preview for the league meet at the end of the season.

Napoleon is 14-4 on the season, so for BG coach K.C. Hale, it was a good test for his Bobcats.

“Napoleon is a tough team,” said Hale. “I am happy with how we wrestled tonight. In the matches where we were in it, we wrestled really well.

“I think we showed a lot of promise,” added Hale. “Things are starting to go in the right direction.”

“Credit Bowling Green, they wrestled well,” said Napoleon coach Jason Seiler. “We had them overmatched in a couple of weight classes, but they battled in the ones they weren’t.

“Tonight, for us, was about not taking a step back and going forward, and I’m not sure we did that,” added Seiler. “This was a tough week for us. Wrestling at the Fricker’s Duals over the weekend and then having to make weight Tuesday (for a dual match with Defiance) and wrestling again tonight. But, we have to find a way to keep moving forward.”

Starting at the 285-pound weight class, BG picked up two wins to start the match.

Heavyweight Dominick Burch broke a scoreless tie with Napoleon’s Isaac Lehman with an escape point with 19 seconds remaining in the final period. Burch rode Lehman for the entire second period before scoring the escape for the 1-0 win.

Cohen Lewis followed with a victory by pin in 58 seconds at 106 pounds for a quick 9-0 lead.

After a forfeit at 113, Napoleon’s Harrison Bohls gave the Wildcats the lead with a pin at 1:29 of his 120-pound match. Roman Cordoba followed with a tech fall (21-6) victory at 126 to give the Cats a 17-9 lead.

Isaac Westhoven continued Napoleon’s run with a pin 30 seconds into his 132-pound match and Austin Hopkins won by forfeit at 138 to push to the Wildcats’ lead to 29-9.

BG’s Daniel Fields won an exciting match with Brayden Hull at 144 pounds. Fields scored a pair of take downs in the opening period and a reversal and near pin with 19 seconds left in the second period for a 9-2 lead.

Both wrestlers scored reversals in the third period, and Fields prevailed 11-4.

“I know those two have a little bit of a rivalry,” said Hale. “They have gone back and forth against each other. Fields wrestled well tonight.”

Paul Archer made it consecutive wins for the Bobcats, defeating Andrew Frias 5-1 at 150 pounds. Archer scored a take down in each of the first two periods and scored an escape in the third canto.

“We lost some close matches tonight,” said Seiler. “I wanted to win those close matches, that’s for sure. I would like to have those matches back.”

Jacob Aguilar put Napoleon back on the scoreboard with a pin at 3:18 of his 157-pound match and Payton Saputo scored 3 back points to start the third period and held off Colton Keefe for an 11-8 win at 165 pounds.

Devon Hull pinned his opponent in 40 seconds and Henry Eggers scored another first-period fall (1:38) at 190 pounds, giving the Wildcats their fifth pin of the match – four in the first period.

“That is something we don’t need to work on,” said Seiler. “We have been wrestling really well from the top (position). We are putting people to their back and getting the pin. We are doing a good job with that.”

Jacob Baumgardner scored a reversal early in the second period and pinned his opponent at 3:26 of his 220-pound match to end the meet.

“I thought we came out and wrestled tough,” said Hale. “Baumgardner got a nice pin. That was a nice win against a quality opponent.”