By Rob Kiser
GREENVILLE — Sam Herndon had a big win — and Lance Reaves-Hicks delivered the big finish as the Piqua wrestling team bounced back from a 30-9 loss to Troy in its first match Friday at Greenville High School to defeat West Carrollton 28-26.
“I think this gives us some momentum heading into sectionals,” Piqua coach Scott Kaye said. “To be able to finish off the dual season with a winthe way we did.”
In dramatic finish.
Piqua was leading 22-20 when Reaves-Hicks took the mat at 220 pounds. West Carrollton had a forfeit coming at 285, so a major decision would have left the match in a tie — and a tech fall or pin would win it for Piqua.
“Yes sir,” Reaves-Hicks said about knowing the situation. “I wasn’t feeling that good, so I wanted to get it over quickly.”
After neither wrestler was able to get an advantage in first minute-plus, Reaves-Hicks suddenly threw his opponent to the mat and pinned him at 1:32 mark to lock up the win for Piqua.
“That was awesome,” Herndon said about Reaves-Hicks pin. “It looked like the other guy was being more aggressive and out of nowhere Lance hits a arm and and neck move. He wins the dual for us that was amazing.”
It brought a smile to Reaves-Hicks face.
“It feels good (to win a dual for the team),” he said.
One of the most anticipated matches came at 132 pounds when Herndon squared off against James Davis of West Carrollton.
Davis had finished second in the GWOC tournament last weekend and Herndon finished fourth, but they hadn’t faced each other in the tournament.
“I think Sam really wanted the chance to wrestle (James) Davis,” Kaye said.
Herndon didn’t deny it.
“He got second at the GWOC, but I lost to (Andrew) Knick (of Northmont) in the semifinals,” Herndon said. “I wanted to get the win and shakeup the seedings (at sectionals) a little bit.”
Herndon did it in convincing fashion, with an 8-0 major decision.
After a scoreless first period, Davis elected to start down in the second period.
Not only did Herndon hold him the whole period, he picked up one penalty point for an illegal hold and picked up a two-point nearfall late in the period to make it 3-0 going to the third period.
“A lot of the stuff Davis was trying wasn’t working,” Kaye said. “Sam (Herndon) just wrestled a great match.”
After an escape by Herndon in the third period, he scored four points late on a takedown and two-point nearfall. As the match ended, Davis fired his headgear across the mat, costing West Carrollton a team point.
“Yes, you could see it (Davis was frustrated),” Herndon said. “He is a really good wrestler. Then, he tried some high-risk moves at the end and I was able to take advantage.”
Piqua’s other points against West Carrollton came on forfeit wins by Brian Wintrow (120), Tristan Hostetter (126) and Bryce Short (195).
Matt Blankenship (160) had an 8-4 lead, before giving up a five-point move late and losing 11-8.
Against Troy, Piqua’s only wins were Hostetter by forfeit and a win by Herndon.
Herndon bumped up to 138 pounds and had to go overtime.
He got a takedown with 27.5 seconds left in overtime to win 8-6.
“That was another big win by Sam (Herndon) moving up a weight class,” Kaye said. “Sam just had a great night.”
And Reaves-Hicks was able to stick the finish to send the Indians home with a win.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.