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Written By Ink Free News / Sports on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Tippecanoe Valley’s Bazle Owens gains control of Warsaw’s Chase Carl for the pin and the winning points Wednesday night. InkFreeNews photos by Mike Deak

By Mike Deak

WARSAW – What looked like a potential Tippecanoe Valley wrestling runaway turned into a possible Warsaw escape.

Bazle Owens put a stop to it.

The 195-pounder for the Vikings worked a second round pin of Chase Carl in the final match of the night, pushing the Vikings to a 42-40 win at the Tiger Den Wednesday night.

Trailing 40-36 after Brandon Estepp earned a 49-second pin of longtime sparring opponent Brandon Hammer to give the Tigers the lead back, Owens went to work. After a first-round takedown, Owens worked Carl into another takedown to start the second period and worked him over for the slap at 48 seconds of the period, assuring the ultimate six points needed to secure the team win.

“Bazle had a good approach in his match tonight,” said Tippecanoe Valley head coach Kyler Kearby. “He took what he was given and stayed aggressive. His win was just part of a good night for our kids.”

Owens’ pin was the capper of a seven-pin night for the Vikings, which earned all its points in said manner. Valley started its night with two of them, Dalton Alber working over Isaac Beam late in the first period and Ian Becker taking down William Roberts with a quick shoot and pin to open the second period. The two wins at 220 and 285, respectively, were followed by a 106 pin from Galvin Shambaugh in the second period against Bryce McNees.

Warsaw’s Jose Martinez wears down Tippecanoe Valley’s Jacob Manns in the 138-pound card.

Drake Montelongo continued his strong campaign with a dominance of AJ Smith, pulling the plug at 2:29 after piling up a 14-point lead. Darren Crump and Jadyn Virgil both scored falls, Crump ending the first period with a work of Kevin Fouts and Virgil next stepping on the mat and getting the mat slap at 4:00 exactly in an overwhelming show against Jaxon Walters.

“We had five freshmen and sophomores get a pin tonight, and from the Peru meet at the beginning of the year to now, you are seeing that aggressiveness really come out,” Kearby said. “It’s a credit to the kids for the work they are putting in and believing in their abilities.”

Warsaw scored 28 mat points on the night and were the beneficiary of two forfeits.

Camron McNees got Warsaw on the scoreboard with a pin with seven seconds left in the first against Barrett Heller in the 113 card. Following the two forfeits, Jose Martinez scored an impressive 9-1 major over Jacob Manns to get Warsaw within two points at 24-22, Andrew Ross gave Warsaw its first lead at 28-24 with an efficient 1:36 pin of Jacob Kats.

Jacob Linky ran a clinic in the 170-pound matchup against Cam Mason, scoring five takedowns and two near falls before ending it with a pin at 3:42. Estepp followed with his win setting up the final match with Owens and Carl.

“Cam McNees is a first-year wrestler and he stepped in and picked up his first career win, and that’s something we’re proud of,” said Warsaw head coach Kris Hueber. “It tells me we are making progress, and the kids are picking up what we are doing. But when you go later on down the night, we had some kids that I thought had turned the corner just wrestled a little sloppy.”

Warsaw, wrestling for the first time since before Christmas, had Tin Man-like moments per Hueber in needing the oil can to work out some of the rust. With the Northern Lakes Conference tournament in less than two weeks, Hueber is hoping to not have to hit up Auto Zone much in the short term.

“Tonight felt a little odd,” Hueber said. “I don’t know if it’s because we haven’t had a match since Goshen before Christmas, or some of the kids missed the Goshen meet, and we had a week off before that. So some of these kids haven’t wrestled in three or four weeks, and they looked like it. With as many freshmen and first-year wrestlers that we have, there is some culture establishing that has to happen. I think some of them weren’t prepared to come in to tonight. I had to remind them of what it means to be a Tiger wrestler and why we represent our community.”

Valley will be busy in the coming days ahead of the Three Rivers Conference in two weeks, starting with an appearance at the Goshen tournament this weekend.

Posted In: Boy's Sports > Wrestling