By Michael Davison
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin High School's wrestling team earned a big boost on Thursday night.
The Eagles, recording five pins, topped defending Ozark Conference and district champion Kickapoo 50-21 at Kaminsky Gymnasium.
"This is a huge win for us," said senior 171-pounder Jared Yust, who had one of the pins. "They're a good team ... and they're our main rival.
"Personally, I wanted to get them back for football," added Yust, the starting fullback for the Eagle football team, which lost 13-6 in Springfield.
Also posting pins for Joplin (2-3 in duals) were junior 125 Jimmy Mayberry, senior 130 Dustin Messner, junior 215 Alonzo Toney and senior 275 Tyler Dailey. Junior 119 Kyle Maddy won a technical fall.
The Eagles had pins in seven of the 10 matches - four weights were open, two per side - while the Chiefs won their three by decision.
"It's the first time we've beaten them since I've been here, so it's a big win," said Joplin head coach Keith White. "The ones who lost didn't give up a pin.
"But even though it was a big night for the team, it was a tough one for some of us. Our losses were to state-ranked wrestlers, but, on the other hand, it was some of our better wrestlers who lost.
"We had a good night and our kids wrestled well. Even our junior varsity did well with a 42-9 win."
Dailey opened the dual with his pin. Then two forfeit wins for frosh 103 Brandt Loyd and sophomore 112 Jeremy Wells along with Maddy's win and Mayberry's and Messner's pins made it 35-0 for Joplin.
Then came the match of the night. Sophomore 135 Jordan Yust led most of a close match with Shane Robbins. But Robbins scored a reverse in the waning moments for the 7-6 victory.
Sophomore 140 Dane Bell scored a 5-0 decision before Joplin was open at two weights to make the score 38-15.
"I had to keep moving to try to get him turned because he was like a fish, hard to keep a hold of," Bell said of his opponent, Nick McCurry. "I was a little tired because I had to lose a little weight, but I didn't know anything about him, so I went in with a little confidence.
"I was wrestling at 145, but I seem to have better luck at 140 so I have to be there."
Sophomore 160 Brandon Wise lost a 9-2 decision to Ryan Freeman, top ranked at 145. Wise has been at 171 most of the season, but will remain at 160 for the rest of the year.
"It was a strong performance from Ryan," said first-year Kickapoo head coach Brock Roweton. "He bumped up from 145 and did a great job.
"We've just got too many young kids right now."
The Eagles will entertain Seneca, ranked No. 5 in Class 1 in the state, on Tuesday.
By Michael Davison