MORRIS – Dealing with a couple of absences, Sycamore wrestling couldn’t hold a mid-match lead and fell to Morris, 38-33, in a Northern Illinois Big 12 East dual match.
“We had some good matches. There were some close ones. We do have a couple of guys out, but that’s all right though,” Sycamore coach Alex Nelson said. “I thought Patrick Mathey stepped in there and got a big pin at 170. But there were a couple of other matches I thought we needed to fight a little bit more. Where we could have gotten a little bit better effort.
“But the team battled. It was a close dual. A fun dual to be part of. [Thursday night], there were a lot of good things, but there are obviously other things we need to work on.”
The match started at the 120-pound bout where Sycamore’s Kyle Akins won by fall in 2:44 over Jared Bernard to remain undefeated. The Spartans then went up 12-0 when Logan Mathey pinned Dominic Byerly in 24 seconds.
Morris got on the board when Kenny Baldridge won by fall in 1:13 and the Redskins crept within 12-11 when A.J. Vota won on a technical fall against Jesus Renteria.
However, Sycamore began to separate itself in the match and at one point had opened up a 33-14 lead before Morris closed out the night with four straight wins to claim the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference East dual.
Sycamore (7-9) got a win from Andrew Larsen in 46 seconds over Cody Decker at 145 and Michael Ernster beat Emmet Chouinard, 4-0, at 152. Trevor Allbert outlasted Michael Beaudoin for Morris at 160 winning, 6-2, but Sycamore then added two wins (Mathey and Christopher Malone) around a double forfeit at 182 that gave the Spartans the 19-point lead with four bouts remaining.
Morris won all four – two by pin and two by forfeit – to claim the team dual.
“I knew this was going to be a close one on paper. There were matches tonight where they were clearly better than us and there were matches where we were clearly better than them,” Morris coach Jon Lanning said. “Then there were matches that were dead even. We hung in there and then our freshman Andrew Smith finished if off for us.”