IOWA CITY — Iowa City High wrestling coach Cory Connell has endured more problems fielding a consistent lineup than at any other point in his career.
Injuries and tough luck kept half of the Little Hawks starters sidelined before the holiday break.
City High opened the second half of the season almost fully healthy and certainly stronger. The Little Hawks won nine matches, including six pins, and handled intra-city rival Iowa City West, 49-28, in a Mississippi Valley Conference dual Thursday night at home.
“I liked the way we competed,” Connell said. “We’ve had a pretty rough start to the year.
“It is nice to get some guys healthy and kind of have almost our full lineup in there. I think we can do some special things in the second half of the year, if we just stay healthy.”
City High (6-10) made some early moves that paid dividends. Ryan Ceynar, Reece Caven, Kyle Hefley and Brandon Lalla all bumped up a weight and won, building a 21-0 lead.
Ceynar turned and pinned Collin Leavy at 145, while Caven needed just 37 seconds to deck Noah Terwilleger at 152. Hefley, who is ranked seventh at 152 but wrestled 160, pinned Mason Applegate in the first. Lalla followed with a decision.
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“It was a lot of momentum,” Connell said. “It was great to be down on the bench at that time.
“They kept it rolling (and) kept it going.”
Jacob Murry posted one of the most impressive and quickest falls of the night. City High’s fifth-ranked heavyweight whipped over Brock Pelfrey for a pin in just 10 seconds, giving City High a 33-10 edge.
West pulled within 15 with three matches left, but the Little Hawks added consecutive falls from Garrett Bormann (126) and Michael Santoro (132). Both also wrestled up a weight.
City High was effective on top, resembling the habits of the team’s leader.
“I love being pinners,” Connell said. “As a wrestler, I always loved going out there and pinning guys. You get the most points that way. It is the ultimate in the sport.
“That’s nothing I want to stop. I want to keep encouraging that.”
Top-ranked Ethan Wood-Finley, who missed time before the break, added an 11-1 major decision at 106 for the Little Hawks.
West (2-3) received pins from fourth-ranked Will Hoeft (182), 113-pounder Parker McBride, third-ranked Hunter Garvin (120) and sixth-ranked Graham Gambrall at 138. Landon Green, ranked seventh at 195, added a major decision for the Trojans.
AT IOWA CITY HIGH
Iowa City High 49, Iowa City West 28
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
145 pounds – Ryan Ceynar (ICH) pinned Collin Leavy, 3:05 (1,0); 152 – Reece Caven (ICH) pinned Noah Terwilleger, :37 (1,0); 160 – Kyle Hefley (ICH) pinned Mason Applegate, 1:47 (1,0); 170 – Brandon Lalla (ICH) dec. Jo Dixon, 8-2 (2,0); 182 – Will Hoeft (ICW) pinned Joe Ring, :45 (2,0); 195 – Landon Green (ICW) major dec. Jason Lemus, 21-8 (10, 0); 220 – Davryn Stewert (ICH) won by injury default over Brett Pelfrey (0-0); Hwt. – Jacob Murry pinned Brock Pelfrey, :10 (1,0); 106 – Ethan Wood-Finley (ICH) major dec. Grant O’Dell, 11-1 (3,0); 113 – Parker McBride (ICW) pinned Gavin Lindaman, 1:30 (1,0); 120 – Hunter Garvin (ICW) pinned Creshon McTeer, 1:16 (3,0); 126 – Garrett Bormann (ICH) pinned Mark Mueller, 1:45 (3,0); 132 – Michael Santoro (ICH) pinned Elijah Bruss, 1:46 (1,0); 138 – Graham Gambrall (ICW) pinned Paul Waikel, 1:17 (2,0).
Takedowns – I.C. West 18, I.C. High 13. Reversals – I.C. West 0, I.C. High 1. Escapes – I.C. West 7, I.C. High 13. Nearfall points – I.C. West 4, I.C. High 9. Penalty points (awarded) – I.C. West 1, I.C. High 0. Total match points – I.C. West 48, I.C. High 50.
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