Hallsville takes twice as many contested bouts in Thursday (Feb. 6, 2020) dual match, but open weights, late pins help Hornets conquer Indians
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — An “extra” outing for the 2019-20 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS wrestling Hornets, hastily-arranged recently after multiple weather-forced cancellations, unfolded and concluded fittingly in just-as-hurried and shifting manner Thursday evening (Feb. 6) at the Chillicothe Middle School fieldhouse.
With Chillicothe and visiting Hallsville effectively tied entering the final contested bout, CHS junior Evan Loucks tied the Hornets’ record for fastest win in a 195-pounds (or former 189-pounds) bout when he used only 13 seconds to clinch the team victory, 42-36.
The late addition to the schedule was set up to involve both distant Hallsville and nearby Carrollton, a pair of Class 1 wrestling schools, just to give Chillicothe’s grapplers an extra chance or two to fine-tune their “game” before next weekend’s state-qualifying Class 2 district tournament at Excelsior Springs. However, you’ve heard about the best-laid plans, right?
For a time Thursday morning, it appeared neither planned CHS foe would “answer the ball” – Hallsville because classes were not held there that day following a Tuesday snowstorm and Carrollton because illness had much of its overall student population and a sizable percentage of its wrestling lineup out of school, Chillicothe director of athletics Dan Nagel reported late Thursday morning.
However, in the end, Hallsville’s team – or at least a portion of it – was allowed by school officials there to participate, while Carrollton indeed begged off.
When HHS’ Indians arrived, it had only nine of the 14 weight classes covered. Since one of those was 113 pounds, a weight in which Chillicothe habitually has not had an entrant this season, that meant the host Hornets effectively were beginning the dual match with a 24-points lead.
With CHS senior standout Colten Sewell, having sustained an injury on his way to the Midland Empire Conference 132-pounds title late last month, still being held out to let the problem calm down as much as possible before the district tournament, a less-experienced Hornet again was in his normal slot.
Additionally, MEC 160-pounds champion Dawson Wheeler was kept out of the match, too, replaced by a freshman making his varsity debut.
With a couple of other normal reserves also inserted into the varsity lineup against the smaller school to get them some more experience, the CHS lineup was a far cry from what it likely will be at district and that helped create a down-to-the-wire team finish Thursday.
Sheldon Rader’s tough, but eventually-successful, win by fall in 4:28 at 106 pounds gave the Hornets a good start to the match, but the next six contested bouts were claimed by the Indians by fall. With a forfeit to CHS’ Jaxon Albertson at 126 mixed in there, Chillicothe was down on the scoreboard 36-12 as the match moved to the 170-pounds division.
Even with pending forfeits by Hallsville awaiting at 182, 220, and 285 pounds and meaning 18 forthcoming free CHS points, the home team still needed to win the two remaining contested bouts – at least one by something more than a simple decision – to win the match.
Under that pressure, Hornets frosh Brock Miller quickly earned a points lead and then earned the win by fall late in the first 2-minutes period (1:43), essentially tying the score at 36-36.
That left it to Loucks and Hallsville’s Gage Hart to tip the scale one way or the other with their 195-pounds clash.
However, before the bout had any chance to generate even a hint of drama or tension to engage the small group of fans present, Loucks lunged forward to get a takedown, shoved his opponent backward onto the mat, and, a mere 13 ticks after the opening whistle, completed a win by fall.
His sudden success matched the times in which ex-Hornets Cory Lowe (at 189 in 2005-06) and Erek Brose (at 195 in 2016-17) had won.
The wrestling Hornets have another “substitute” outing Friday at Odessa, competing against the strong OHS team, along with Sullivan from the St. Louis vicinity, in what became the boys’ regular-season finale.
Friday also will see the beginning of the girls’ district tournament at Kearney in which Chillicothe expected to have four entrants – Abigail Clements at 115 pounds, Karyna Ireland at 130, Addison Lewis at 142, and Haliey Fahling at 152. That tournament continues Saturday.
Based on regular-season results, none of the four Lady Hornets is considered likely to qualify for the Feb. 20-22 state tournament (coincidental with the boys’ state tourney).