The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 17, 2013

Neosho wrestlers coming off strong performance

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Neosho’s wrestlers put on a prime-time performance with a 53-10 victory over Carthage in the Black and Blue Brawl on Tuesday night in Carthage’s auxiliary gymnasium.

The Wildcats, who wrestle at Carl Junction at 6 p.m. today, won the first seven matches and took a commanding 33-0 lead. Carthage’s only victories were a pin by Gage Gartner at 120 pounds and a major decision by unbeaten Trevor Feagans at 138.

“We actually wrestled with consistency and that’s something we’ve talked about,” said Neosho head coach Jeremy Phillips. “As a team, we wrestled for six minutes and we wrestled consistently throughout the dual.”

Neosho, ranked No. 2 in Class 3 by, won three matches by pin — Kyler Rea at 113, Kyle Hostetter at 145 and Christian Lopez at 220. Hostetter’s pin 1 minute, 34 seconds into a matchup between freshmen came shortly after he was taken down by Tommy Bradshaw.

“That was a matchup of the kids’ club state finals last year,” said Carthage head coach Kenny Brown. “Tommy tried to make something happen and got caught. Against a good wrestler and a good program, you can’t do that.”

The closest match of the night was at 126 pounds, where Neosho’s River Buttram moved up a weight class and defeated River Maggard of Carthage 4-2. Buttram is ranked No. 2 at 120 while Maggard is No. 3 at 126. Neosho was without Dakota McGarrah at 126 because of an injury.

Nate Rodriguez of Neosho, ranked No. 1 at 132, scored a 10-2 major decision over fourth-ranked Seth Logan of Carthage. Rodriguez had two takedowns in the first period and a two-point near-fall midway through the second period.

Neosho won by major decision with John Williams at 106, Garrick Fausett at 160, Austin Hailey at 170 and Aaron Clardy at 285.

“It was exciting to see against a good team like Carthage,” Phillips said. “We have some very talented kids, freshmen and sophomores. We’re putting hard work with that talent, and the consistency was evident.”

Carthage, ranked No. 8 as a duals team, came up short in two other close matches. Ben Elledge of Neosho at 195 defeated Chad Robbins of Carthage 6-3, and Chance Branstetter at 152 decisioned Luke Ford 6-0.

“They (the Wildcats) wrestled very well,” Brown said. “I don’t think we wrestled to our potential, and at this point in the season, that’s a good thing. They’re going to know that now.”