EDGINGTON -- How does a wrestling team give up 30 points at the start and still win a dual?|
"I have no idea," Orion 120-pound sophomore Nick Sinde said. "It's probably all the luck we've been having."
Perhaps luck did play a factor in Orion's 41-39 West Central Conference win over Rockridge, but the impact was minor. Despite forfeiting five bouts, the Chargers snagged the victory by winning seven of the nine contested matches.
Each Orion win featured bonus points, further helping it overcome the early hole.
"Honestly, we probably shouldn't have won this," Orion coach Dan Diamond said. "We caught a couple kids in some moves and got some pins. And kids started feeding off their own momentum, too."
The momentum started long before Sinde's crucial pin in the second-to-last bout, but without it, the Chargers' comeback would have been moot. Trailing 39-29 in the dual, Sinde nearly was pinned in the first period by Rockridge's Braysen Singleton before wiggling free.
Down 5-1 at the start of the second, Sinde used a headlock to take Singleton to his back. A few seconds later, the pin was completed and Orion cut the deficit to 39-35.
"A lot of grit," Diamond said of the comeback.
Needing at least a major decision to force a criteria tiebreaker, Orion junior Jacob DeVolder fittingly capped the night with a first-period pin in the 126-pound bout.
"I told him to look at the score before he got in there so he realized that. But it's hard to go out there and know you've got to pin," Diamond said. "I don't think it pressed him that much."
Take away the four forfeits, Rockridge lost four of the final five bouts.
"This is a tough one," Rockridge coach Jeff Schmulbach said. "When you get that many points off forfeits, you think you have a pretty fair shot. I don't know if it came from us not matching up well. I know we had guys who didn't perform the way we hoped they would."
The way Orion wrestled play a part, too.
Knowing they were in a deficit before the dual even started, the Chargers were aggressive from the opening whistle. Mikey Dierikx (132 pounds), Sam Long (138) and Joe DeVolder (152) recorded a fall, technical fall and fall in the first three bouts, giving the Chargers a 17-6 advantage.
Still ahead after Jayson Moody (160) gave Rockridge its first win, Peyton Loete (170) and Noah Bridgewater (182) each recorded pins to put the Chargers up 29-12. The Rockets then won the next five bouts, but Dillion Gerischer's 220-pound decision was their only non-forfeit victory.
From there, Orion sealed the deal.
"This doesn't happen very often," Diamond said. "We're awful lucky to get out of here with a win."
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