Class 5A’s fourth-ranked Shawnee Wolves fell behind early but dominated the late matches to walk away from Piedmont as Suburban Conference champs with a 40-28 win over the Wildcats.
“This means a lot to these seniors,” SHS head coach Larry James said. “They have been runners-up a few times, but this is the first time we have ever won the conference.”
The Wolves were in a deep hole early, as Class 3A’s No. 3 Piedmont claimed five of the first six matches to take a 22-6 lead.
Shawnee’s lone win was Michael Smith’s (120) pin of Michael Lopez in 1:12.
“We didn't wrestle well in spots, but good teams find a way to win,” James said. “That is what we did tonight.”
At 145, Shawnee’s Corey Todd notched a 9-1 major decision over Francisco Lopez. Matt Daniel (152) followed him with a fall over Chase Biggs in 3:50.
After Piedmont’s Blane Culp (160) pinned Cle Clark in 59 seconds to take a 28-16 lead, the Wolves turned up the heat.
Thomas Shepard (170) and Walker Smith (182) recorded decisions over Piedmont’s Dryden Abla and Brody Largent, respectively.
Shawnee tied the dual at 28 with Gage Humphrey’s pin of Caleb Ritchner at 195 pounds.
Because Ryan Goodfox won by forfeit in the heavyweight division, Humphrey’s pin turned out to be critical for Shawnee, as the six points guaranteed at least a tie.
But a tie wasn’t in Shawnee’s sights.
At 220, Shawnee’s Robert Selumber guaranteed the win with a resounding fall over Juan Guerrero.
“I am proud of these guys and our coaches,” James said.
Note: Report compiled by Chuck Porter.