AUGUSTA — With regionals only a couple of weeks away, wrestling teams are starting to pick up their intensity as the season wears on.
McPherson and Augusta High School fought through a highly intense dual that had some dramatic moments on both sides, but it was the Bullpups who came through with the clutch win when they needed it most to preserve a 41-33 league victory on the road.
Rhett Edmonson started the night with a convincing win in the 106-pound bout. Edmonson got a quick takedown of Gabe Fox right after the opening whistle for the only points of the first quarter. He reversed Fox early in the second period and never looked back on way to a 13-2 victory.
Landon Crews (113) got a reversal of Briggs Erwin near the end of the first period to take a 6-4 lead. He scored a reversal in the second and went on to win 12-6, which gave the Bullpups a 7-0 lead.
EJ Kretzer (120) got a second-period pin of Dalton Blazer to extend Mac's lead to 13-0.
The Augusta brothers of John and Avin George quickly got the Orioles back into the match with back-to-back pins to cut it to 13-12. But Austin Eldredge and Landon Frantz answered with back-to-back pins for the Bullpups to push the lead back to 13 at 25-12.
Scott Radke (152) won with a major decision 13-2 to extend it to 29-12. But Augusta fought back into the dual with two straight wins Dominik Ketchum (160) and Jacob Pytel (170), the latter of whom won with a pin.
With a 29-21 lead, Kourtney Craig (182) got a pin to give Mac a 35-21 lead. With three bouts remaining, Mac fought through momentum that the Orioles were gaining from their home crowd and got one more pin to clinch the dual. It's a good thing, too, because the Orioles won the final two bouts with easy pins to close out the night.
Mac's varsity squad is off this coming Saturday, but the JV squad will compete at the Marion JV Invitational that day.