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Maconaquah slides by Peru on the mat

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SWITCHEROO: Maconaquah’s Blake Kinney (R), wrestling up at 113 Tuesday night, gets the reversal that would help set up a 4-2 win over Peru’s Cole Sailors (L) during Tuesday night’s inter-county wrestling dual. The win gave the Braves the team points they needed to secure a 38-34 win over the Tigers.
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SCRUNCH: Peru’s David Schulte (Top) keeps his focus on Maconaquah’s Cory Bockover (Bottom) before securing a fall in Tuesday night’s inter-county wrestling dual. The Braves were in an unassailable position by the time Schulte recorded his win as the visitors took a 38-34 decision off the Tigers.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

A feisty Miami County wrestling dual match was on tap at the Tiger Den as Peru welcomed Maconaquah Tuesday evening.

The Tigers started off the night with three-straight wins and split the 14 bouts with the Braves but the visitors secured two more pins than the hosts, leaving with a 38-34 win.

Maconaquah head coach Bob Freije was happy to see some of the work at the weekend carry over into the county dual.

“With the break, it’s sometimes hard to keep up the intensity and work through soreness,” Freije said. “The guys did well tonight though.

“There are still some things to work on and that’s the great thing about the tournament series coming up.”

Peru head coach Andy Hobbs said the wrestlers battled but, as has been the case in several TRC matches, just fell short.

“We thought our younger kids wrestled with a lot of effort and heart,” Hobbs said. “Our older kids did their thing and got their pins.

“Hats off to Maconaquah; they earned their win tonight. We just didn’t have enough to get it but it’s on to the next one.”

The hosts got started on the front foot as Cameron Baber opened the night with a second-round fall over Brady Floyd at 126 pounds, a result Alex Legg duplicated at 132 pounds against Brayden Bockover.

Old foes Tori Forrest and Zack Bullock to the stage at 138 pounds with the Tiger senior coming away with a 2-0 win and a 16-0 lead after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was assessed to the Braves.

Maconaquah got on the board after Aaron McKinley notched a first-round fall over Brayden Lilley at 145 pounds.

In the following bout, Peru’s Matthew Johnsons suffered a leg injury, halting the match at 152 pounds with an injury default eventually given to Mason Taylor.

Zian Constable got the wrestling going again with an 11-3 major decision over Jared Blake at 160 pounds, moving the hosts ahead 19-12.

Carter Little and Lane Wagoner followed with first period falls for Maconaquah, the former recorded the fastest fall of the night over Chase Seifert at 170 pounds and the later scoring a fall in a minute over Ashton Stevens at 182 pounds.

Zion Ryan gave Peru the lead back after a third period fall over Paxton Kintner at 195 pounds while Dom Turner held off Nick Davis at 220 pounds for a 1-0 win.

Adam Bowman turned the lead back around with a quick fall over Tyler Killion at 285 pounds before Tyler Stapleton grabbed a key fall over Conner Shaffer at 106 pounds in the second period.

Blake Kinney, normally at 106 pounds, bumped up to 113 pounds and won a close 4-2 decision over Cole Sailors to secure the dual for the visitors while David Schulte capped the night with a second period fall over Cory Bockover at 120 pounds.

Freije was pleased with his lowest two weights for getting the team over the line in the end.

“Tyler wrestled great for us,” Freije said. “Locking in him and moving Blake to 113 really helped us win the meet.

“Carter getting a pin in his match was also important. Adam did a good job to get a pin in his match as well as Lane and our middle weight guys.”

Hobbs also said there were some good results on the night.

“Tori’s win was big, as well as Zian at 160 pounds,” Hobbs said. “Dom worked his tail off and got us a good one-point win.

“Losing Johnson is a blow, so we’ll have to move some things around. We’ll keep working to get better and move forward from here.”

Peru wrestled again Wednesday night against Lewis Cass, the final dual meet of the season and the last match before the TRC meet January 19.

Hobbs said the team was continuing to mature and would work to be ready to defend its conference title.

“We want to build some momentum the next couple of weeks,” Hobbs said. ““We’re wrestling pretty well; we’re just young at some spots.

“We’ve been close in our TRC duals but we’ve come up short in several of them. You get what you earn and we need to keep earning things.”

Maconaquah wrestles again Thursday at home with Caston with Freije looking for the team to cap off a strong dual match season.

“Caston is Senior Night for us,” Freije said. “We don’t know their depth but we want to finish our dual portion of the season with a win.

“We’re unbeaten in conference duals and we want to finish the season strong.”