BY CHAD DARE
Winning a wrestling dual is a numbers game.
Obviously, the team with the most points wins, but it also takes a full lineup to be successful.
On Thursday night, the Danville Vikings lost a dual to the Oakwood Comets 58-18, but they came back to edge the Westville Tigers 36-30.
“It was a good night, but the numbers are short as you can see,’’ said Danville coach Terrence Tetter, who had just seven wrestlers on Thursday night. “Right now, it’s about growth and development. We still have half the year to go.’’
In the opening dual of the night against Oakwood, the Vikings surrendered 36 points in forfeit losses.
In actual matches on the mat, Oakwood beat Danville 22-18 with the deciding match coming at 120 pounds with Comets’ senior Ashton Hatton defeated the Vikings Javontae Crider, 12-4.
“That was a good match,’’ Oakwood coach Michael Glosser said. “We lean on him for his leadership. You can’t ask for a better leader.’’
Hatton, who led 4-2 at the end of the first period, took control of the match in the second with a reversal. He finished it with a takedown and three-point nearfall in the third period.
“It was just another match. I had to do my business,’’ Hatton said. “When you are facing good guys like the Danville kid, it helps me out a lot for later in the year.
“I feel I have a huge role on setting our team on the right track.’’
Crider moved up from 113 pounds to face Hatton on Thursday night.
“That’s what I love about Crider, he wanted to step up to that challenge,’’ Tetter said. “Almost half of our wrestlers tonight were freshmen or sophomores, so our future is bright.’’
And the same could be said for the Comets, as coach Glosser pointed out that 10 of his wrestlers were also underclassmen.
“It’s nice to see those guys get matchups against their ability level, and working the moves they have been learning in practice,’’ he said, noting that Hatton is a good role model for his younger wrestlers. “We need our freshmen and sophomores to see what it’s like from a senior that has put in all the years of hard work and starting to see success.’’
Oakwood’s victory was capped by pin from freshman 160-pounder Madison Carlton, who earlier this season became the first female wrestler in school history to win a varsity match.
“It was a good win for her,’’ Glosser said.
In the second dual of the night, Westville won the first three matches taking an 18-0 lead, before Danville won the next four, including a pin from Gabriel Cross at 120 pounds. The Vikings capped their victory with a pin from Trae Wilson at 145.
Cross and Wilson were the only double winners for Danville with both gaining pins in both their victories.
“We’ve been working on confidence with Gabriel,’’ Tetter said. “He has all the ability in the work, but he just needs that confidence.’’
Westville coach Trevor Maloch was disappointed that the Tigers only got five matches against the Vikings, but he did see a few things that need improvement.
“We have a problem with constant movement,’’ he said. “We do one move and stop. To be a good wrestler, you need chain wrestling — putting moves together.’’
Maloch pointed out that the Tigers had 10 of the 14 weights filled on Thursday night.
“We fill in a good amount of the kids and having limited numbers allows me more time to work with some kids 1-on-1,’’ he said. “But at the same time, it hurts us in duals.’’