When Hickman’s Kevin Croom saw Pattonville’s Nathan Waldrum grab his shoulder, Croom knew he had the match won.
Croom was down 7-3 in the middle of the second period of his 130-pound first-round match at the MSHSAA state wrestling tournament at Hearnes Center on Thursday, but he used a quick takedown and near fall to tie the match. Waldrum had to take an injury timeout and looked noticeably weaker.
“I just saw him break,” Croom said. “My coach was yelling, ‘He broke, he broke.’”
Croom dominated the rest of the match and pinned Waldrum in 5:23 seconds. He will join Kewpies Tony Pescaglia and Zach Arnold in the quarterfinals.
Tony Accurso lost two matches to become the only Hickman wrestler eliminated from the tournament.
Rock Bridge’s Erin Slate was the only Bruins wrestler to advance to the quarterfinals, for Cam Purcell and Will Martin were eliminated.
After the first day of the three-day tournament, Hickman is in a three-way tie for 16th in Class 3 with 12 points and Rock Bridge is in an eight-way tie for 41st with 2.
Croom weathers the storm
Croom (26-19) said his persistence paid off.
“He came out really strong, but I knew I just had to stick with him,” Croom said.
Hickman coach Doug Black said Croom’s four-point flurry in the second period was the turning point of the match.
“That’s when we went to the next level, the next gear,” Black said.
Croom will face Lindbergh’s Jeff Streibig (33-9) in the quarterfinals.
Pescaglia dominates DeSmet wrestler
Pescaglia (38-5) was close to a technical fall in his 112-pound match against DeSmet’s Dan Mareschal when Mareschal defaulted with an injury. Pescaglia advances to a quarterfinal match against Raymore-Peculiar’s Matt Groepal (33-6), who beat Pescaglia earlier this year.
“That’s a big rematch,” Black said.
Arnold (30-7) pinned Christian Brothers College’s Sean Patterson in four minutes. Arnold will face Lee Summit’s Ethan Holmes in the 171-pound quarterfinals.
Fox’s Bret Beavers pinned Accurso (23-16) in 1:17 of their 160-pound first-round match and DeSmet’s Zach King beat Accurso 13-2 in the wrestlebacks.
Black said this was a disappointing end to Accurso’s season, but he made a positive impact on the team.
“The kids look up to him,” Black said.
Slate rallies past Tuck
Slate (29-11) was tied 2-2 with Hazelwood Central’s Zach Tuck going into the third period of their 171-pound first-round match. Tuck used an escape to go up 3-2, but the match went into overtime when Tuck used an illegal maneuver and Slate got a point.
Slate broke the tie and won the match with a takedown with 13 seconds left in the first overtime.
Slate will face Oak Park’s D.L. Gleason (39-3) in the quarterfinals.