MARION — Iowa City West proved it has the interchangeable parts to continue dominating foes.
Missing five starters from their lineup due to injury and suspension, the top-ranked Trojans still won 10 matches and handled host Linn-Mar, 52-16, last night in a Mississippi Valley Conference dual.
West (10-0, 2-0 MVC) didn’t skip a beat without four ranked wrestlers, scoring bonus points in eight of its wins.
“This year we have a lot of depth,” West junior A.J. Bailey said. “It gives us room to play with the lineup and allows for situations we might have four or five guys out at a time. We have a lot of good guys ready to step it up and fill in shoes.”
The Trojans’ versatility is evident at 189 pounds with Bailey and senior Jamal Thompson.
Thompson began the season ranked 10th, but when Bailey returned from a sprained ankle, he won the spot and finds himself ranked 10th.
“It’s a pretty competitive weight class in the club,” said Bailey, praising Thompson’s speed and quickness. “It’s a battle.”
The pair are good friends and are workout partners. They push each other in practice, which benefits them in competition.
“We try to make each other better,” Bailey said. “The more we beat each other up in the wrestling room, the more we get to pound on guys on Thursday nights and Saturdays.”
West Coach Mark Reiland said he’s looking for someone to emerge as the top 189-pounder.
“We want someone to separate themselves,” Reiland said. “Hopefully they can push each other and both get better and one of them separates and it doesn’t come down to the very end where we’re not knowing which one is going to step up.”
Thompson and Bailey give Reiland some flexibility in the upper weights, allowing him to move one up to 215 and sixth-ranked Mickey Pelfrey up to heavyweight.
They both scored second-period pins to seal West’s decisive win. Bailey built a 10-3 before decking Brandon Beaird in 2 minutes, 59 seconds. Thompson moved up to 215, needing 3:56 to beat A.J. Garcia.
West dropped the first two bouts, but took control behind Jack Hathaway’s pin at 112 and Jon Skarda’s technical fall at 119, which gave West a lead it didn’t surrender.
Sam Chalkley (125) and Nick Moore (171) added falls, while Gradey Gambrall won by technical fall at 135 for West. Colin Lord (130) and Jon Stegall (152) won by decision.
“Some of the kids stepped up,” Reiland said. “We lost a couple of close matches that I thought we could win. That’s the way the night goes some times.”
Moore’s win was his 109th straight victory, pulling within two of Derek St. John’s school record set from 2005-09.
The Trojans have yet to field its best lineup, yet, but they have managed well thus far. Expect a stronger West team in January.
“Right now, if you look at our team you kind of look at it we have 16 or 17 varsity kids right now,” Reiland said. “If you count it at 17 and you have five out, you still have 12 varsity kids. 12 out of 14 is pretty good.”
Linn-Mar (3-3, 1-1) jumped to a 9-0 lead after the first two matches. Heavyweight Mike Green scored a 1-0 decision over Pelfrey, ranked sixth at 215 but bumped up a weight. Freshman Joel Northrup followed with a pin at 103, building a 5-0 before sticking Jackson Fowler in 1:29.
Josh Pederson and Dailey Johnson won consecutive matches to pull the Lions within 25-16. Pederson scored a reversal with five seconds remaining to beat Tracy Bowers, 4-2, at 140. Johnson used two takedowns and six nearfall points for an 11-0 major decision at 145.
Iowa City West 52, Linn-Mar 16
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
285 pounds — Mike Green (LM) def. Mickey Pelfrey, 1-0 (0,0); 103 — Joel Northrup (LM) pinned Jackson Fowler, 1:29 (1,0); 112 — Jack Hathaway (ICW) pinned Trevor Berry, 1:10 (4,0); 119 — Jon Skarda (ICW) tech. fall Dehrik Bevins, 19-3 (4,0); 125 — Sam Chalkley (ICW) pinned Dan Radig, 2:42 (2,0); 130 — Colin Lord (ICW) dec. Jeremy Severin, 4-1 (2,0); 135 — Gradey Gambrall (ICW) tech. fall Luke Wemten, 24-9 (10-0); 140 — Josh Pederson (LM) dec. Tracy Bowers, 4-2 (0,1); 145 — Dailey Johnson (LM) major dec. Ben Goerdt, 11-0 (2,0); 152 — Jon Stegall (ICW) dec. John Conner, 7-3 (3,0); 160 — Mike Watkins (ICW) won by forfeit; 171 — Nick Moore (ICW) pinned Andrew Thies, 2:30 (3,0); 189 — A.J. Bailey (ICW) pinned Brandon Beaird, 2:59 (2,0); 215 — Jamal Thompson (ICW) pinned A.J. Garcia, 3:56 (3,0).
Takedowns: ICW 33, LM 4. Reversals: ICW 5, LM 2. Escapes: ICW 1, LM 26. Nearfall points: ICW 22, LM 9. Penalty points (awarded): ICW 0, LM 1. Total match points: ICW 99, LM 48.
A.J. Bailey, A.J. Garcia, Brandon Beaird, coach, Colin Lord, Dailey Johnson, Derek St. John, Gradey Gambrall, Iowa City West, Jack Hathaway, Jamal Thompson, Joel Northrup, Jon Skarda, Jon Stegall, Josh Pederson, lineup, Linn-Mar, Lions, Marion, Mark Reiland, Mickey Pelfrey, Mike Green, Mississippi Valley Conference, Nick Moore, Sam Chalkley, takedowns, Tracy Bowers, Trojans, varsity