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Shawnee wrestlers drop final home dual to Duncan

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor

A Spencer Rochelle overtime decision at 145 pounds followed by a pin from Johnny Taber at 152 nearly got the Shawnee Wolves the momentum they needed to be successful in their final home dual of the 2019-2020 wrestling season Tuesday night at the Stucker Complex.

But visiting Duncan had just enough juice to maintain its advantage and escape with a 38-27 victory.

Shawnee spotted the Demons an early 18-0 lead and was down 23-6 when Rochelle went the distance and then some to come away with an 8-6 decision over Hudson after scoring two points on a reversal with 36 seconds to go in the extra period. The match was a close as it could get as Rochelle was up 2-1 after the first period and 4-3 after the second. It was tied at 6 by the end of the third.

Then Taber, trailing the whole match, even by a 9-3 count at one point in the second period, came through with a pin over Hughes in 5:08 of the third period.

“Johnny pulled it off after being bumped up a weight. The effort was tremendous,” said Shawnee head coach Nik Turner. “I could tell by his body language that he was pumped and ready to wrestle for six minutes. Johnny is a kid who was pulled down a weight class. He’s doing the things like eating right, eating the right portions and not starving himself like many do when they drop a weight...just doing it the right way.”

As for Rochelle, he was bumped up a weight and had a gritty performance.

“To get bumped up and still get to overtime was huge and his nutrition has been right,” Turner said.

The Wolves’ first victory of the night came at 132 pounds as Jordan Lomeli overcame a 7-1 first-period deficit to battle within 9-7 at the end of the second and then score an exciting pin in 5:42 to get Shawnee on the board at 18-6.

“Jordan Lomeli’s effort may have been the best of the night. Coming back and pinning the kid was a major boost,” said Turner.

Shawnee picked up three other big victories to stay in contention as Sam Anderson stunned a returning state placer in Walker, via a 5-1 decision at 170 pounds, and Kyle Helie followed that up with a pin of McBride in 3:58 at 182. Lane Williams later registered an 8-3 decision over Brooksher at 220 pounds.

“I’m proud of Sam and the way he wrestled that kid who was a state placer,” Turner said. “I’m also proud of Helie and Lane Williams for getting it done.”

A takedown in each of the first two periods fueled Anderson to the victory. Helie was dominating his match at 11-3 when he got his win and Williams was up 2-1 after the first period and 4-2 through the second before scoring four more points in the third to capture the match.

The Wolves, 5-6 in duals this season, will wrestle at Edmond Memorial Tuesday and then prepare for regionals and state.

“We’re showing consistent hard work and I think things are starting to pay off for us,” said Turner.