The final score – 57-12 – was somewhat lopsided, but the McDowell Titans’ loss to the St. Stephens Indians Tuesday in the regular-season finale wasn’t quite so much of a blowout as the score might seem to indicate.
The Titans (5-2 Northwestern 3A/4A, 27-7 overall) and Indians (37-4, 7-0) wrestled eight of the 14 weight classes to decisions, making for a long, grueling match. It also made for a conference championship for the Indians, who clinched the title with the victory.
“We’ve been on both ends of some of those,” said Titans head coach Tim Hutchins. “It was a big final score, but the matches were close. There were a lot of decisions and a lot of late pins. But physically, we were outmatched.
“We knew going in they’ve been the best team in that conference for years. They have a solid program – club team, recreation league teams, a feeder system and lots of people to help.”
The Titans won just three bouts against the Indians.
Toney McGee (126 pounds) pinned Isaac Leon in the second period in McDowell’s only pin of the night.
Alldyn Conley (120) won a 7-2 decision over Jovanny Urzua. Aaron Duncan (285) beat Dawson Lail 9-7 in overtime in the finale.
Two Titans suffered close decision losses.
Jacob Phillips (152), still recovering from a knee injury, fell 9-6 to Ivan Vergel in the conference’s toughest weight class. Connor Good (160) dropped a 2-1 decision to De’Untae Henry.
Daniel Maynor (138) fell 15-7 to Garrett Bolling.
Three bouts were major-decision losses.
Channing Watson (145) fell 11-0 to Eddie Brannock. Josh Morgan (182) dropped a 15-4 decision to Dakota Metcalf. Aamon Haynes (195) fell 11-2 to Justin Beltran.
The rest of the Titans’ defeats came by pinfall.
Calvin Stevenson (106) was pinned by Dalen Milligan in the second period. Toby Finn (113) suffered a second-period pin at the hands of Graham Ormand. Dante Quitman (132) was pinned in the second period by Blake Baker. Joe Hullette (220) was pinned in the second period by Salvador Gilvaja.
McDowell’s only first-period pin loss came at 170, where Aaron Buchanan suffered an injured shoulder and was pinned by Jordan Bolling.
Several of McDowell’s wrestlers in the upper weight classes were giving away significant amounts of weight to their opponents.
The Titans have qualified for the State Dual tournament, which begins next Tuesday. The brackets have not yet been released. This weekend, McDowell will compete in the NWC tournament. The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Alexander Central High in Taylorsville.
Note: Last Sunday’s paper contained an error concerning McGee’s season record. He is now 48-0, instead of 50-0.