EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's wrestling team scored a pair of wins Thursday night as the Tigers defeated Alton 60-19 and Belleville Althoff 45-22 in a triangular meet at Jon Davis Wrestling Center/Warren Stahlhut Arena; the Redbirds also dropped a 45-29 decision to the Crusaders as part of the meet.
EHS went to 19-2 on the season in dual meets, 5-0 in the Southwestern Conference, while the Redbirds fell to 5-10 on the year, 1-4 in the SWC.
“There was a lot of good wrestling out there tonight,” said Tiger coach Jon Wagner. “We take no one lightly in the conference; the conference is really important to us. (Redbird coach) Eric Roberson and his staff always get some really good kids and you can definitely tell they wrestle for Alton and what they do – they have a good program, and Althoff has the best team they've had in awhile.”
Wagner was pleased with the performances of his two lightest wrestlers, freshmen Grant Matarelli at 106 and Maxon Karnes at 113. “I really liked how my two light guys came in, my two freshmen at 106 and 113 winning a one-point match and one in overtime – that really set the tone,” Wagner said.
Edwardsville's depth also helped in the dual wins, Wagner felt. “We just talked about that in the locker room,” Wagner said. “That's what we feed off – we've got to have the younger kids believe they can do it right out there too, on the varsity mat; we had four guys step in tonight who weren't the regular starters – they did a nice job for us and won some matches.”
“I knew we had a long road in front of us as far as a dual meet wins tonight; we came in a little shorthanded in some of our weight classes,” Roberson said. “That's just the way it goes; you bring what you have and you wrestle; you have to be prepared.”
Courtney Wilson at 152 and Pierre Evans at 145 both scored big wins on the night for Alton. “They're coming along nicely,” Roberson said. “Just more consistency out of them is going to carry them in the postseason, but the kids are wrestling tough right now and we've got to keep that going and get everyone else a little better the next few weeks.”
EHS' Matarelli started off the meet with the Redbirds by recording a 45-second pin of Bryant Minton at 106 to get the Tigers to a quick 6-0 lead; Karnes then received a forfeit at 113 before Noah Surtin pinned Gus Kodros in 3:12 at 120 before Alton's Garrett Sims recorded a 2:51 fall over Jack Evans at 126. Luke Odom then stepped up at 132 and pinned Damien Jones in 1:13 to extend the EHS lead and Dylan Wright had a 3:16 fall over Lawson Bruce at 138 before Evans recorded a 6-4 decision over Will Zupanci at 145 to finish the first half the Tiger-Redbird match.
At 152, Wilson defeated Drew Gvillo 11-2 before Caleb Harrolld received a forfeit at 160 to bring up Eric Epenesa at 170; Epenesa recorded a 2:31 fall over Joab Tobin, while Edwardsville's Blake Moss was given a forfeit at 182 and Sam Martin at 195 pinned Robert Dutsey in 1:45. Josh Anderson then pinned Riley Owen in 29 seconds at 220 and Kyle Hughes scored a 5:58 pin over Lloyd Reynolds at 285 for Alton.
In the Alton-Althoff match, Evans opened the meet at 145 with a 15-0 technical fall win over Josh Humbert before Wilson scored a 1:17 pin over Joe Braunagel at 152 for an 11-0 lead for the Redbirds; Althoff's Cam Wicks received a forfeit at 160 before Codi Harris pinned Tobin at 170 in 3:46. The 182 bout was declared a double-forfeit before Zac Braunagel defeated Dutsey with a 2:47 pin at 195 and Althoff's Andrew McElligot pinned Owen at 220 in 40 seconds; Hughes received a forfeit for Alton at 285 before Minton, at 106, was pinned by Matthew Minick in 3:42.
Althoff's Isaiah Bernal received a forfeit at 113 before Kodros scored a 1:02 pin of the Crusaders' Darion Heavens at 120; Chase Battle received a forfeit at 126 for Althoff, Anthony Fredrico defeated Sims at 132 by a 2-1 decision and Max Kristoff scored a fall in 1:41 over Bruce at 138.
In the Tigers-Crusaders match, Matarelli opened things up with a 3-2 win over Minick at 106 and Karnes also took a one-point win at 113 when he decisioned Bernal 5-4 in overtime to put the Tigers in front; Surtin then scored a 1:10 pin over Heavens at 120 before Althoff's Bittle pinned Evans in 41 seconds at 126. Odom went on to record a 15-8 decision over Federico at 132 before Max Kristoff scored a 10-5 win over Wright at 138 for the Crusaders and Zupanci defeated Josh Humbert at 145 with an 18-3 technical fall victory at 145.
At 152, Joe Braunagle scored a 7-6 win over Gvillo while Danny Braunagle defeated Harrold with an 18-3 technical fall win at 160; Simon Wakeley stepped up at 170 and scored a 1:26 fall over Harris while Althoff's Zac Brunagle defeated Riley Scheffel 25-10 at 182 before Martin received a forfeit win at 195. Tyler McCracken then pinned McElligot in 3:29 at 220 before Reynolds received a forfeit win at 285 to finish out the meet.
The Tigers head to CBC for a 7 p.m. dual meet this evening while the next Redbird meet comes up at 9 a.m. Saturday with a quadrangular meet with Jersey, Kirkwood and Rockwood Marquette.
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban