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Panthers use momentum to top North

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Jennings County’s Howard Jones figured the meet would be close.

While surprised at the margin of the final score, the veteran wrestling coach gave all the credit from the Panthers 42-19 victory against host Columbus North to the momentum his team gained early in Tuesday night’s contest.

“We thought this would be much closer,” Jones said. “To win by this much is a bit unreal. I told the kids before the meet, it would be decided by who had the most pins.”

Thanks to Marshal Holwager, Conner Montgomery, Colton Pifer, Gabe Wilson, Jacob Cheesebrew and Colton Castetter, Jennings County won that phase of the competition 6-0. Ironically, Jones said, it might have been a Panther that lost that started the ball rolling for the decisive winners.

“We knew we would have a hard time at 126 and 132,” Jones explained. “And we were expecting to get pinned at 113. But Kyle Lewis went out there and lost only a three-point decision. And then when (Marshal) Holwager (126) got a pin, our kids really got fired up.”

Following a loss to North’s Zeke Gomez at 132 pounds, the visitors got on a roll that led to six-consecutive wins. The streak did not end until North’s Luke Teague won big at 195 pounds.

“I believe we could have done better, but we are still very young,” North assistant coach Carl Hildinger said. “Jennings County has a very good team. But we lost a forfeit, and we had to wrestle three kids up a weight class. So overall, I’m pleased with the way we wrestled.”

Hildinger was especially pleased with senior Armanda Cordova who lost a 6-4 decision to Jennings County’s Dakota Bott.

“Armando is doing an amazing job,” said Hildinger of the first-year Bull Dog. “He has been a pleasant surprise.”

Besides Gomez and Teague, other Bull Dog successes were supplied by Will Speaker, Cody Speaker and Kenny King. Additional Panthers who prevailed were Jake Hammond, John Flynn and Dakota Bott.

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