Eagle grapplers fall to McDonald County

Jan. 2—ANDERSON, Mo. — McDonald County Mustang wrestlers trailed going into the final two matches, but a forfeit for an open weight at 215 pounds and a Jace Hitt pin of Joplin's Josiah Hazelwood in their 285-pound match secured a 44-34 win for the Mustangs over visiting Joplin on Tuesday at MCHS.

Reyes Mendoza logged the Mustangs' first points with a pin of Joplin's Elijah Rizo midway through the first period of their 106-pound match.

Joplin's Lucas Allen responded with a pin of Adam Bogart in their 113-pound match to make the teams even at 6-6.

An Eberson Perez 18-4 decision over Joplin's Gabriel Kabutha at 120 pounds and a Robinson Yoshino pin of Eagle 126-pounder Jacob Porter increased the McDonald County lead to 16-6 going into the 132-pound match.

In the 132-pound contest, Andrew Burke got Joplin back on the board with a second-period pin of McDonald County's Dominic Navin.

Joplin's Michael Rhone lost a 16-9 decision to Landon Vick in their 138-pound match before Toryn Jones pulled out a 9-4 win against McDonald County's Ayden Ball in the 144-pound contest.

The Eagles entered the 150-pound match down 20-16 before Joplin's Ben Hedrick posted a pin of McDonald County's Andrew Bogart to put Joplin up for the first time at 22-20.

Johnathan Burke increased the Eagles lead to 28-20 with a pin of Ethan Jones at 3:25 of their 157-pound match. Brady Bogart narrowed the team score to 28-26 with a pin of Joplin's James Clemens at 165 pounds.

Joplin's Ethan Bentz responded with a pin of Alex Bogart at 175 pounds to put the Eagles up 34-26 with three matches remaining. McDonald County's Malosi Sosef brought the Mustangs closer with a pin of Joplin's Gryphon Price at 190 pounds and McDonald County trailed by two points at 34-32.

The 6 points for an open 215-pound weight for the Eagles and the Hitt pin of Haxelwood wrapped up the 44-34 win for the Mustangs.

Joplin coach Jeremey Finley said afterward: "We competed hard, but it's tough when your kids don't make weight. We had a couple of kids not make weight, so we had to do a couple of things to the line up that we wouldn't regularly do. Then we have some kids out of town. It's tough wrestling after Christmas break, but I take no credit away from them (McDonald County). They did a really good job. We came out flat. We're not in very good shape right now, and it seems like we lost a little luster over break, and it showed tonight. We didn't wrestle very aggressively, and it looked like we were out of shape."

Girls matches

Despite going 1-1 in actual contested matches, the Joplin girls fell victim to a rash of open-weight forfeits and fell 54-24 to the Mustangs.

In the first of the two girls' matches, McDonald County's Stacy Lopez Apolinar prevailed over Joplin's Blayke Holmes with a pin just 14 seconds into their 145-pound match. Joplin's Amy Kessler broke out to a 10-2 lead before pinning McDonald County's Candy Martinez early in the second period of their 155-pound match.

The Eagles return to the mat Thursday when they host Frontenac, Kansas, while the Mustangs travel to Clovis, California, for the Doc Buchanan Invitational.