Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

University wrestling bests Parkersburg South with all-around effort

MORGANTOWN — Two of the top wrestling teams in the state met on Thursday evening on Baker’s Ridge under the spotlight at UHS as the fourth-ranked Hawks hosted the third-ranked Parkersburg South Patriots.

UHS earned a 42-25 victory over the visitors after a very close dual that came down to the final few matches in a back-and-forth contest in which every result mattered toward the final score.

“It was everybody that stepped up for us tonight,” UHS head coach Ken Maisel said after a victorious effort. “Really after Brock (Kehler)’s match, every match was a toss-up and we won every won. We talked about being able to see effort out of our guys, not just know it’s there, but really see the effort put in and we did tonight. Effort plus technique equals a win.”

That effort Maisel mentioned produced four straight wins from the 215-113 weight classes to close out the dual, with three of the results being pins by the Hawks.

After falling behind 25-21 when the Patriots earned a 20-5 mercy-rule victory at 190 lbs., defending state champion, and undefeated on the year, Brock Kehler pinned Ayden Morris to earn six points for his team, giving them the lead at 27-25. A lead they wouldn’t surrender.

The next match at 285 pitted UHS freshman Ryder Hastings (31-4) against South sophomore Brycen Arthur (17-4) in a contest that both teams needed desperately towards winning the dual.

Arthur held the upper hand through most of the match, not allowing Hastings to gain any advantage. Just when it seemed that the match may go the distance, Hastings turned on Arthur and tossed the sophomore onto his back with a hip-toss, and transitioned directly into a pinning move that was deemed successful, sending the UHS faithful into an eruption of cheers.

“Ryder is like that, he really is,” Maisel said of his first-year phenom. “He’s got that in him and he’s got great hips. People think he’s only a big move guy, but you watch him in practice and realize how great of a wrestler he really is.”

UHS earned victories in eight of the 14 matches wrestled in the dual with Colton Gillespie (120, pin), Carter Pauley (132, pin), Dakota Hagedorn (150, points), Dom Parker (157, pin), Brock Kehler (215, pin), Ryder Hastings (285, pin), Pepper Martin (106, pin), Brodie Emery (113, points).

Parker earned his 30th victory on the year and remains unbeaten at 30-0. The Hawks have had a great season so far, but Maisel knows it’s far from over and victories like Thursday’s against one of the most storied programs in the state will go far for his team.

“We said after we won the Wheeling Park duals that they may have thought it was going to be easy having accomplished that goal,” he said. “But I was like, ‘no, we haven’t even done anything yet. Our goal is to win a state title, not just to win Wheeling Park duals.’ Now we go to OVAC’s where both Wheeling Park and Parkersburg South will be and we have to be ready every match.”

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