By Rob Kiser
The finish was much better than the start.
The Piqua wrestling team ran into two strong opponents last night at Garbry Gymnasium, losing to Stebbins 39-18 and Tecumseh 44-30.
But, after the loss to Stebbins — Piqua outpointed Tecumseh 30-8, with the Arrows scoring 36 points on forfeits.
“I think we reacted to some of the mistakes we made against Stebbins,” Piqua coach Scott Kaye said. “I think we tightened things up, wrestled much stronger and were able to catch them in some mistakes.”
Nick Baker (120), Andrew Bolin (138) and Jake Hetzler all won by pins in the first period and Sam Herndon (113) had a second period pin.
But, the highlight of the night was Brennan Hicks (152) win by pin.
Hicks was trailing 7-2 going to the third period.
Choosing neutral he had a takedown and three-point nearfall to tie the match, before finishing it with a pin at 5:08.
“That just shows you, you never give up,” Kaye said. “Brennan (Hicks) caught the kid in a mistake and was able to take advantage of it.”
Tristan Hostetter (126) had lost 9-1 decision, while Jimmy Perry lost by tech. fall 18-2.
In the opening match against Stebbins, it was Hostetter and Perry who recorded Piqua’s only wins on the mat, while Hicks picked up a forfeit.
“Stebbins came out and wrestled strong all the way through the matches,” Kaye said. “There were some close matches, where we made mistakes and couldn’t recover.”
Hostetter had a pin in 1:39, while Perry recorded a pin in 1:15.
“Tristan (Hostetter) went out there and caught his guy in mistake,” Kaye said. “Jimmy (Perry) just wrestled a strong match.”
Bolin lost a 13-6 decision, while Herndon, Baker, and Hetzler all lost by pin.
Piqua was without Hunter Bryant (152), who is recovering from an injury.
“Hopefully, he will be back next week, but we are not sure,” Kaye said. “He has been bothered by it all year, so we want to make sure he is healthy before he comes back.”
Piqua will be back in action Saturday at the Caldwell Duals.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.