Saturday was a day of wounded bodies and egos for the Hickman wrestling team.
Although sophomore Tony Pescaglia won his second straight Hickman Invitational title, his brother K.C. Pescaglia injured his wrist and the Kewpies finished seventh out of 12 teams.
Jefferson City won the meet with 291 points. Hickman had 111, and Rock Bridge finished ninth with 91.
K.C. Pescaglia advanced to the 119-pound semifinals, but needed to default after hurting his wrist against Jefferson City’s Dow McKnelly. Hickman coach Doug Black said he is hopeful it is only a sprain, but Tony Pescaglia said the wrist is broken.
Tony Pescaglia said the injury led him to make his brother a promise.
“I told him I’d win it for him,” he said.
Pescaglia, who won the 103-pound title last year, made good on his promise by beating Lee Summit’s Kyle Caswell 10-0 in the 112-pound finals.
Black said Pescaglia showed how good he could be.
“His ultimate goal is a state title, and I think he’s on track, right now, to get that,” Black said.
Although Pescaglia had the type of day he expected, he said the team did not.
“We definitely should have done a lot better,” Pescaglia said.
Earlier in the week, Black said he believed his team was capable of finishing third but said a series of miscues relegated his team to the bottom tier.
“We’re still making mental mistakes and you can’t do that,” Black said.
Black said Luke Harper’s match in the heavyweight quarterfinals was an example.
Harper took down Lee Summit’s Mark Hertzog with about 40 seconds left for a 3-1 lead. Hertzog, though, escaped for one point and scored a two-point reversal with eight seconds left to beat Harper.
“He got caught relaxing,” Black said.
Harper finished the tournament in seventh place.
Although Hickman’s Zach Arnold reached the 171-pound final, he experienced an equally frustrating loss. Arnold lost to Jefferson City’s Jeremy Hudson 7-4. It was the fourth time Arnold has lost to Hudson this season.
Although Arnold always comes close to beating Hudson, he said he was hoping to end the drought Saturday.
“I just needed to win it,” Arnold said.
Senior Erin Slate was the highest finisher for Rock Bridge. He finished third in the 171 class.
Slate’s only loss was a 2-1 decision against Hudson.
Rock Bridge coach John Kopnisky said Slate showed he has the potential to perform well at districts.
“We know what we need to work on and we can beat (Hudson) later on,” Kopnisky said.
However, Kopnisky said this tournament showed how much the rest of the team needs to improve.
“They’re not where they have to go for districts,” Kopnisky said.