By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Typically, the magic number for most wrestling coaches is 30. Teams that score 30 points typically go on to win their duals.
Thursday, the Stillwater High School wrestling team’s magic number was six — as in six falls.
That’s how many Pioneers were pinned in the 45-30 loss to Midwest City at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.
“The way we wrestled was inexcusable,” Stillwater High School coach Doug Chesbro said. “It was inexcusable to give up that many falls. That’s (about) half of the matches that were wrestled, we gave up falls. You can’t do that. Thirty points is enough points to win a dual if you don’t give up falls in all the other weights.”
It seemed like Midwest City had its magic working from the start. Along with Josh Copeland’s 1-0 overtime victory over Kennedy Monday in the 106-pound match, Jeremy Immel reversed a pin on Garrett Guthrie in the 138-pound match.
“We just weren’t in our zone,” Stillwater 170-pound wrestler Pete Pickens said. “If we had done a little better in our lower weights where we were expected to win and maybe kept a few bonus points in the upper weights, we might have had a better chance at winning. Sometimes it’s your night and sometimes it’s not. (Thursday) was definitely not our night, but there’s always next time.”
After starting off the dual behind for the first time this season, Stillwater got the ball rolling over the next four matches as Kaid Brock picked up a forfeit and Mason Mefford pinned Dylan Robinson with 1:06 left in the second period of the 120-pound match.
King Williams kept momentum in Stillwater’s favor by pinning Harley Pettis with 34 seconds left in the first period of the 126-pound match, before 132-pounder Joe Smith capped off a hard-fought battle against Kaelan Pitre by pinning Pitre with 14 seconds left in the match.
That’s where things quickly went south.
Following Immel’s pin of Guthrie at 138, Midwest City’s Evan Wilson pinned Chase Lane with 2 seconds left in the second period.
“We had some kids that wrestled hard, but it doesn’t matter how hard you wrestle if you end up on your back,” Chesbro said. “Six points is six points — whether it comes in the last 10 seconds of the match or whether it comes after the first takedown. A fall is a fall and we just gave up too many of them.”
It looked like Cory Revier was going to turn things around for the Pioneers in the 160-pound weight class.
Revier nearly earned a technical fall in the first period by jumping out to a 14-0 lead over Midwest City’s Adam Newcomb thanks to four near falls. But after electing to go neutral in the second period, Newcomb got a takedown and then pinned Revier before Stillwater’s 160-pounder knew what hit him.
“The idea was that we took neutral thinking that we might be able to take him down to his back,” Chesbro said. “Instead we gave up a takedown and the kid was really good on top. We didn’t know what he had on top, but we may have chosen bottom and it would have come out the same way. (Revier) was wrestling well and doing everything we asked him to do and he just made one little mistake and the kid made him pay.”
Pickens finally got Stillwater back on track in the 170-pound match, pinning Trevonne Rucker with 1:19 left in the second period to give Stillwater a 30-27 lead.
“Whenever I got his arm on his back and then I got his head, I knew I was going to get it right then and there,” Pickens said. “Even when he was getting up, I knew that I could push him down like I did and get him on his back and keep him there.”
That lead was short lived as C.J. Citizen dropped a 3-1 decision in overtime to Qualan Johnson at 182 pounds and Cody Knight lost a physical, back-and-fourth decision to Patrick Clason, 10-6.
Midwest City closed out the match with a pair of pins, effectively sealing the victory when Korey Walker pinned Stillwater’s Cyntrell Carden in the 220-pound match.
“The way that we performed tonight was inexcusable,” Chesbro said. “I’m disheartened by it, actually. I can say it all I want, but I think we’re a better team than that. Until we start showing it, it really doesn’t matter.”