BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Bloodhound wrestlers fell victim to a pin in the final match Thursday night in a 33-39 loss to Mt. Pleasant.
Harlan Steffensmeier got a pin over Mt. Pleasant’s Abe Wilson just before the end of the 1st period to tie the match at 33, setting the stage for a 160 lb-match between the Hound’s Austin Haas and Mt. Pleasant’s Jaden Davis.
Haas and Davis battled for position through most of the first period with Davis holding a 4-1 lead, but a buzzer saved Haas from a first-round pin. The two went back to work in the second period and about a minute into the round Haas took an aggressive move that Davis was able to counter and got Haas on his back for a pin at 3:12 and the win for Mt. Pleasant.
The match was originally set to be a triangular beginning at 6 p.m. and was to include West Hancock of Warsaw, but they only had three wrestlers so the match became a dual meet with a 6:30 p.m. start.
The two teams kicked off at 170 pounds and the Panthers won the first four out of five matches with Sam Hayes getting the only win for the Hounds over the Panther’s Zach Beason at 190lbs with a 6-4 decision.
“Hayes had a good win there. That’s a top 10 opponent, so that was good,” said head coach Ryan Smith.
Freshman Chance Hocker, junior Lennon Barker, sophomore Danen Settles and junior Gunther Johnson all suffered losses in the first five.
Settles was able to toss Mt. Pleasant’s Dalton Bass in the early going and had him positioned for a pin momentarily, but Bass kept rolling on the move and reversed it into a pin over Settles in the 220 lb match.
“We had the guy on his back, but Danen just has to get his hips lower. He got a little high and the kid rolled him through.”
Smith said the Panther’s would have probably been favored on paper to win. He said starting with the heavier weights was a good strategy for them to get momentum, with last year’s state qualifiers Ryan and Harlan Steffensmeier waiting on the other side of the mat.
“We’re pretty green there and had some freshman in their first year of wrestling. We gave ’em a run, but we just need to stay off our backs. That’s a killer,” Smith said.
Elton Kruse dropped a 9-2 decision and Mason Schau was pinned to set the Hounds back 3-30. Junior Dayne Cordray made quick work of the Panther’s Connor Coleman with pin at :28. and Ryan Steffensmeier followed up at 132 with a :32 pin over Tyler Raub. Will Larson stepped in to take the quickest pin in 24 seconds over Dalton Moyle to bring the Hounds within nine at 21-30. Nathan Steffensmeier lost in a 5-2 decision to Avante Henley to make it a 12 point match, 21-33
Aaron Steffensmeier then stepped on at 145 and battled with the Panther’s Nate Wallace to an even 0-0 draw after the first 2-minute period. Steffensmeier worked Wallace around the Hounds side of the mat and was able to roll him over for a pin at 2:48 to close the gap to six with Harlan Steffensmeier up next at 152.
Steffensmeier had Wilson in cradle in the first minute of the match, but somehow Wilson was able to get out of the hold, which is a rare occurence for Steffensmeier.
“That doesn’t happen often. I can probably count it on one hand,” Smith said.
The Hounds host the 56th annual Fort Madison invite on Saturday with wrestling starting at 10 a.m. at the Hound-Dome. Nineteen teams from Iowa, Illinois and Missouri will head to Fort Madison for a full day of wrestling.
Mount Pleasant (MOPL) 39.00 Fort Madison (FOMA) 33.00
170: James DeMeyer (MOPL) over Chance Hocker (FOMA) (Fall 1:03) 182: Brennen Bender (MOPL) over Lennon Barker (FOMA) (Fall 1:38) 195: Sam Hayes (FOMA) over Zach Beason (MOPL) (Dec 6-4) 220: Dalton Bass (MOPL) over Danen Settles (FOMA) (Fall 1:04) 285: Henry Lutovsky (MOPL) over Gunther Johnson (FOMA) (Dec 3-2) 106: Corbin Broeker (MOPL) over Elton Kruse (FOMA) (Dec 9-2) 113: Brayden Ackles (MOPL) over Mason Schau (FOMA) (Fall 1:42) 120: Dayne Cordray (FOMA) over Conner Coleman (MOPL) (Fall 0:28) 126: Ryan Steffensmeier (FOMA) over Tyler Raub (MOPL) (Fall 0:32) 132: Will Larson (FOMA) over Dalton Moyle (MOPL) (Fall 0:24) 138: Avante Henley (MOPL) over Nathan Steffensmeier (FOMA) (Dec 5-2) 145: Aaron Steffensmeier (FOMA) over Nate Wallace (MOPL) (Fall 2:42) 152: Harlan Steffensmeier (FOMA) over Abe Wilson (MOPL) (Fall 1:48) 160: Jaden Davis (MOPL) over Austin Haas (FOMA) (Fall 3:07)