There were a lot of learning experiences for Panther wrestling as the program went down to No. 11 Northwest Kansas Technical College and Barton Community College Tuesday evening at Neosho County Community College. NCCC fell short to Northwest Tech 31-18 and lost to Barton 37-3.
The meet was the first this year to have fans in the stands since KJCCC voted to allow 25 percent capacity at conference venues. The Panthers weren’t able to give their best shot as the team was down three wrestlers due to injury, including No. 4 wrestler Tyson Villalpando and No. 5 Kolton Smith.
Fourth-year NCCC coach Nick Nothern put the meet into perspective.
“We had three backup wrestlers. We wrestled hard; I was proud of the guys,” Nothern said. “They went out, competed and didn’t concede any positions. They didn’t back down to any of the guys that ranked above them in certain weights, so overall, that’s a win for us. We had guys out, and we still went out and gave them everything we wanted. They (Northwest Tech) were worried. They were nervous. They didn’t know if they were going to win that dual or not.”
Northwest likely had their doubts early.
NCCC freshman Roberto Camacho (125 pounds) pinned Northwest’s Brendon Wiseley at 2:43, which gave NCCC the first six points.
Northwest’s Skyler Hunt (133) then won a 13-8 decision over NCCC freshman Gavin Collins to get the Mavericks on board with three points.
Answering back was NCCC freshman Morgan Potts (141), who earned a 13-11 sudden victory over Northwest’s Samuel Blackmon.
Northwest went on to win the next two matches when Chinzorig Tsermaa pinned NCCC freshman Jose Centeno (149) at 1:27 and Chinges Tsermma, the No. 3 wrestler in his class, won an 18-5 major decision over NCCC freshman Jacob Knowles (157).
The Mavericks had a 13-9 advantage at that point, before NCCC sophomore Dalton Misener (165) won by fall at 1:18 over Northwest’s Luther McGee.
Northwest had another win streak after Elijah Tanner pinned NCCC sophomore Brandon Barrager (174) at 2:51 and Jacobi Deal, the No. 4 wrestler, won by fall at 4:51 over NCCC sophomore Logan Allen.
NCCC’s last win versus Northwest was thanks to Neosho freshman Walker Loudermilk (197), who was victorious in a 13-7 decision over Jacari Deal.
Finally, Northwest’s Davis Lee won by fall at 1:22 over freshman Logan A. McDonald (285), which cemented the final score.
“We hand-fought really well,” Nothern said. “We fought through every position. We didn’t concede. We just went out and battled. You can coach technique but you can’t coach heart. And our guys have heart.”
Against Barton, the only points scored by NCCC were from sophomore Ethan Ewing (141), who won a 7-0 decision over Barton’s Drew Burgoon.
Barton’s Drew Liles was victorious in a 4-0 decision over Camacho; Silas Pineda won a 2-1 decision over Collins; Izaiah Delvalle registered a 3-2 decision over Centeno; Kansas State placer Dawson Chavez pinned NCCC freshman Brady McDonald in 59 seconds; Stephen Duffy won an 8-5 decision over Misener; Bryan Ford tallied a 10-0 major decision over Barrager; Davontai Robinson pinned Loudermilk at 1:06; Trezen Doren won a 3-1 decision over Allen; and Ayston Perez won by fall at 6:44 over Emmanuell Briggs.
“I could have came out with more fire,” McDonald said. “After the match, I kind of realized I felt flat and I could have been more aggressive and stayed in better position. I have learned I need to stay in better position ultimately. I have the skills to beat people, I just find myself getting in bad positions.”
NCCC (1-5) will next compete in less than a week, when the Panthers take on No. 6 Northeast Oklahoma A&M and No. 17 Labette County Tuesday at 4 and 6 pm at Panther Gymnasium.