Discoverers win top five battle
Carter Kucera’s long Columbus wrestling career has included just about everything. Just about everything that is except for a walk-off win in dual competition.
He checked that box on Thursday night and delivered a 30-27 CHS win over Millard South that featured two of the top-five ranked teams according to NEwrestle.com and four ranked matchups.
Kucera’s the final match of the night, was decided in the final 16 seconds sending a large contingent of Discoverer fans into a frenzy and earning the senior dozens of hugs and congratulations in the moments after.
“It’s definitely up there,” Kucera said of where the win over No. 3 Antrell Taylor ranks on his list of well over 100 career victories. “But it wasn’t the hardest.
“I definitely realized in the end he was gassed and he didn’t have anything left. That’s when I started going after him. I think that was a big factor.”
Kucera stepped on the mat with the dual tied 27-27. Columbus and Millard South had faced off in three other ranked matchups at 182, 195 and 220.
The Patriots held a 2-1 advantage in those results and had won seven to five total leading up to 132 pounds.
Kucera evened it up and earned the team win, overcoming a 4-3 third-period deficit with a takedown for the lead with 50 seconds left then near fall points with 16 seconds to go putting the match away.
His victory added to pins for Rylee Iburg (145 pounds), Avery McMeekin (160) and Kasten Grape (220) plus decision victories for Blayze Standley (170), Clay Cerny (113) and Tanner Koba (120) were just enough to edge Millard South thanks to
Iburg trailed 2-0 after the first two minutes then chose neutral to start the second period and immediately capitalized on a tying takedown. He pinned his opponent early in the period and gave Columbus a 6-4 lead.
Avery McMeekin (No. 5 160) followed with an early takedown he also capitalized on in 42 seconds.
Though the Discoverers dropped two of the first three matches, they led 12-7 nonetheless.
Blayze Standley made it 15-7 controlling a win at 170 with four takedowns and a 10-3 final decision.
Three straight ranked matchups followed featuring six wrestlers all ranked third or better in their respective class.
Carson Zwingman, No. 1 all season, dropped his first match of the year to No. 2 Isaac Trumble by major decision 10-2. The Columbus senior struggled to find a way into the match, trailing 2-0 after one and 4-1 after two.
Near fall points late in the match gave Trumble and Millard South the four bonus points to draw within 15-11.
The Patriots took the lead the following match when No. 2 Anthony DeAnda was beaten 11-5 by No. 3 Josh Trumble.
Trumble established an 11-5 lead through four minutes, attempted to pick up a major decision continuously cutting DeAnda loose and scoring further takedowns in the third but DeAnda held him off late.
Now ahead just 15-14, Columbus needed a spark. It came from Kasten Grape continuing his pinning streak.
The Discoverer junior finally gave his side a win in a ranked matchup, No. 2 against No. 3 Gavin Peitzmeier. Unlike the previous two, it only needed 43 seconds.
Up 21-14, Millard South tied it over the next two matches winning 285 in a 5-2 final then taking 106 pounds in a 21-12 major decision win for No. 6 Caleb Coyle.
Clay Cerny (113) broke the tie earning a hard-fought 6-3 victory with two third-period takedowns and No. 4 Tanner Kobza (120) added to it on another decision 11-4.
Freshman Carson Marking then faced the difficult task of facing No. 3 Conor Knopick. He held him off for a three and 1/2 minutes before suffering a pin late in the second.
Tied 27-27, the dual came down to Kucera.
“When the weight classes were drew before weigh-ins, you couldn’t have picked a better one. We’ve got our senior, three-time state medalist out there, and he’s our finisher. He did awesome,” coach Adam Keiswetter said.
“My first dual at Columbus versus Millard South was a 60-0 loss. We’ve come a long ways.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com