The first obstacle for the Great Bend High School wrestling team during Thursday evening’s double duals at Panther Athletic Center was Garden City.
The Buffaloes are ranked No. 1 in Class 6A in the latest Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association poll.
The Panthers, who are ranked No. 8 in 5A, fell 42-21 in the dual, but rebounded against Liberal in the evening’s second dual to win 51-10.
“We had a couple of matches down below (against Garden) that we beat the guy last week and then he beats us this week,” GBHS head coach Norbert Muth said, “but they were close matches last week, so they could’ve went either way.
“They’re tough. They probably are the best team in 6A. If they wrestle well, they should win it. I hope they do.”
Only three Panthers came out of the dual against Garden City with a victory, not counting the six points awarded as the Buffaloes didn’t have a wrestler in the 138-pound weight class to challenge Kade Sander.
Chris Burley, who won both of his 126-pound weight class matches, pinned Alec Castillo of Garden City. He also pinned Liberal’s Gregg McClurg.
“He wrestled pretty well,” Muth said of his 112-pound 5A state champion from two years ago. “Guys have learned that if they’re aggressive against him, he’ll usually pick them apart. Guys have gotten to where they’ll sit back and try to slow down the match a little bit.
“He’s had to learn to be patient and take what’s there.”
Bryce Hofmeister (160) also won two matches, taking a 5-3 decision against Garden City’s Zach Finch, along with pinning Beau Vick of the Redskins.
“He had a good night,” Muth said of Hofmeister. “Of course, he had a good tournament last week at Garden, so he’s starting to put it together.
“His is a matter of keeping his head and staying focused in a match. If he starts worrying about what the other guys doing, what the referee’s doing and what the other coaches are doing, than we get in trouble. If he concentrates on what Bryce is doing, than we’re pretty good.”
Great Bend’s Gunar Brewer also claimed a pair of pins, beating Samson Adalco of Garden City and Jorge Nunez of Liberal.
A couple of varsity regulars — Greg Burley and Arturo Sanchez — didn’t wrestle.
“The main thing now is we’re trying to keep everybody healthy, so we can have everyone heading into regionals,” Muth said. “(Arturo) has been sick this week. I don’t like to bring guys back like that.
“Greg’s a little injury-prone. He’s been hurt the last two years. He wrestled really tough last week, and he hadn’t had a break this year, so we gave him a break.”
Great Bend travels to Goddard for a series of duals on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
At Great Bend
Panther Athletic Center
Garden City 42, Great Bend 21
106 — Michael Prieto, Garden City def. Great Bend (open)
113 — Efrain Sanchez, Garden City def. Ryan DesLauriers, Great Bend, 14-6 decision
120 — Matt Uritia, Garden City def. Cody Liles, Great Bend, 3-2 decision
126 — Chris Burley, Great Bend def. Alec Castillo, Garden City, pin
132 — Tevin Briscoe, Garden City def. Zack Schridde, Great Bend, 13-1 major decision
138 — Kade Sander, Great Bend def. Garden City (open)
145 — Trevor Kennedy, Garden City def. Brett Roberts, Great Bend, pin
152 — Chris Adler, Garden City def. Emerson Campbell, Great Bend, 12-4 decision
160 — Bryce Hofmeister, Great Bend def. Zach Finch, Garden City, 5-3 decision
170 — Anthony Gardner, Garden City def. Darion Yager, Great Bend, pin
182 — Juan Rodriguez, Garden City def. Joe Lindenberger, Great Bend, 8-6 decision
195 — Sam Reyes, Garden City def. Justin Henry, Great Bend, 9-3 decision
220 — Gunar Brewer, Great Bend def. Samson Adalco, Garden City, pin
285 — Montana Fuller, Garden City def. Jacob Crane, Great Bend, 2-1 decision
Great Bend 51, Liberal 10
106 — open
113 — Ryan DesLauriers, Great Bend def. Liberal (open)
120 — Cody Liles, Great Bend def. Kyler Thompson, Liberal, 6-5 decision
126 — Chris Burley, Great Bend def. Gregg McClurg, Liberal, pin
132 — Cody Smith, Liberal def. Zack Schridde, Great Bend, 10-6 decision
138 — Kade Sander, Great Bend def. Liberal (open)
145 — Ayodale Braimah, Liberal def. Brett Roberts, Great Bend, 8-6 decision
152 — Trenton Wilson, Liberal def. Emerson Campbell, Great Bend, 11-0 decision
160 — Bryce Hofmeister, Great Bend def. Beau Vick, Liberal, pin
170 — Darion Yager, Great Bend def. Edgar Sandoval, Liberal, pin
182 — Joe Lindenberger, Great Bend def. Shaun Lay, Liberal, pin
195 — Justin Henry, Great Bend def. Ryan McClurg, Liberal, 6-3 decision
220 — Gunar Brewer, Great Bend def. Jorge Nunez, Liberal, pin
285 — Jacob Crane, Great Bend def. Sergio Borjas, Liberal, 2-1 decision