MARION — Cedar Rapids Kennedy Coach Dennis Hynek approached the corner of the mat to deliver a message as Josh Vis checked in at the scorer’s table.
“Get six,” said Hynek, holding up six fingers to Class 3A’s top-ranked heavyweight.
Vis followed orders, recording a first-period pin and helping the ninth-ranked Cougars defeat No. 19 Linn-Mar, 40-27, Thursday night in a Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division dual at Linn-Mar. Kennedy won eight matches and six of them resulted in bonus points.
“It was huge,” Hynek said. “It was our biggest focus the whole week. We told the guys if you look at the matchups there is going to be a really good dual meet Thursday night and it was.
“Linn-Mar has some tough kids. We have some tough kids. I think we got a lot more in the bonus-point section and some of the back-and-forth wins.”
Kennedy (9-2, 6-0 MVC) had five pins, opening with a first-period fall from Alex Koch at 160 and regaining the lead with Cade Parker’s at 195.
Kennedy won a couple toss-up matches. The biggest came in a battle of ranked 220 wrestlers. Kennedy’s seventh-ranked Cam Jones scored six points in the final period, including a takedown and two nearfall, to upend No. 3 Tanner Schultz.
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“It’s a great win for him,” Hynek said of Jones. “Linn-Mar is in our district. Every win we get is huge. It’s definitely going to help.”
Vis followed Jones with his 14th pin this season, improving to 18-2. Gunner Sparks (113) added a major decision. Dylan Falck and Divion Ocheltree posted consecutive falls at 138 and 145 to secure the victory.
“We knew if we wanted to win we had to get bonus points with pins and majors,” Falck said. “Also, we couldn’t give up bonus points. If we did that it could have been anybody’s dual.”
“I’m proud of the way the kids were trying to score points overall,” Hynek said. “Like any meet, it wasn’t perfect, but I think the effort was there.”
Linn-Mar pulled within 25-21 with four matches remaining. The Lions received a technical fall from top-ranked 182-pounder Jacob Wempen. Brandon O’Brien tallied five takedowns for a 12-3 major at 106. Bryce Parke (120) won by fall and Kain Wempen added a decision.
Ben Hoeger’s late reversal and two nearfall for an 8-5 win over Reece Seery at 132 swung momentum back to the Cougars. Abass Kemokai closed the dual with a pin for the Lions (10-3, 4-2).
Linn-Mar actually outscored Kennedy, 87-82, in match points. The Lions held a 24-17 advantage in takedowns and a two-point edge in nearfall points.
Linn-Mar Coach Doug Streicher said bonus points and swing matches were the difference. He said he believed the Lions could have won nine matches, but poor fundamentals prevented it.
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“A couple of those matches got away from us and not only got away but we got pinned in some of them,” Streicher said. “Basic positioning wasn’t very good, so we didn’t give ourselves a chance to win some of those matches.”
C.R. Kennedy 40, Linn-Mar 27
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
160 pounds — Alex Koch (CRK) pinned A.J. Frost, 1:52 (1,0); 170 — Ryan Plummer (LM) dec. Jay Oostendorp, 13-7 (6,0); 182 — Jacob Wempen (LM) tech. fall Cael Knox, 19-3 (2,1); 195 — Cade Parker (CRK) pinned Luke Gaffney, 4:51 (4,0); 220 — Cam Jones (CRK) dec. Tanner Schultz, 9-3 (2,1); Hwt. — Josh Vis (CRK) pinned Cleo Gehrls, 1:42 (1,0); 106 — Brandon O’Brien (LM) major dec. Cael Long, 12-3 (5,0); 113 — Gunner Sparks (CRK) major dec. Marwan Altall, 11-2 (2,1); 120 — Bryce Parke (LM) pinned Jake McLeod, 3:37 (3,0); 126 — Kain Wempen (LM) dec. Ashtin Falck, 5-3 (0,1); 132 — Ben Hoeger (CRK) dec. Reece Seery, 8-5 (1,0); 138 — Dylan Falck (CRK) pinned Alex Dosee, 2:35 (2,0); 145 — Divion Ocheltree (CRK) pinned Hiku Carolin, 1:50 (1,1); 152 — Abass Kemokai (LM) pinned Levi Sullivan, 5:17 (5,1).
Takedowns — C.R. Kennedy 17, Linn-Mar 24. Reversals — C.R. Kennedy 4, Linn-Mar 5. Escapes — C.R. Kennedy 19, Linn-Mar 7. Nearfall points — C.R. Kennedy 19, Linn-Mar 21. Penalty points (awarded) — C.R. Kennedy 2, Linn-Mar 1. Total match points — C.R. Kennedy 82, Linn-Mar 87.
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