The close one didn’t go Hickman’s way.
The Kewpies fell 43-34 to Smith-Cotton on Wednesday at Hickman after rallying from a 22-12 deficit.
The teams combined for eight pins and two major decisions in their final regular season dual. The deciding match was also the closest.
With Hickman trailing 40-34, Kewpies freshman Drae Cox lost 3-2 to Tigers sophomore Daniel Heaton at 140 pounds.
Cox reversed Heaton in the third period to tie at 2-2, but the referee awarded Heaton a controversial escape at the buzzer to give the Tigers (22-5) the victory.
“It was questionable but referees are going to make those calls and you have to roll with them,” Hickman coach J.D. Coffman said.
“I know Drae is a little disappointed in himself, but I’ll never be disappointed in him. He gave his best effort out there and got a reversal right there in the end and if he would have been able to hang on I would have liked his chances in overtime.”
Hickman’s Pescaglia brothers, K.C. and Tony, continued to shine for the Kewpies (3-11) as they both took down ranked opponents.
At 119 pounds, Tony Pescaglia, ranked fifth in Class 4, pinned Josh Nelson, ranked eighth in Class 3, in one minute and one second to finish the regular season with a 34-3 record.
At 125 pounds, K.C. Pescaglia, ranked third, won 10-0 against Alex Kelley, ranked fourth, improving his record to 36-1.
In his last night wrestling in his home gym, senior Zach Arnold (41-5) didn’t get a chance to wrestle. As Arnold stepped to the mat to wrestle in the 189 pound match, Tigers coach Chad Hopkins, at the dismay of the Kewpie crowd, decided to forfeit the match.
“It was a strategy move is all,” Hopkins said. “We didn’t want to give up a big swing in points.”
The Tigers were up 10 points heading into Arnold’s match. If Arnold performed well his team could have gained more momentum, Coffman said.
Coffman said he was pleased with his team’s effort.
“They’re out there one on one battling and you can’t take anything away from that kind of competition,” Coffman said. “I’m not disappointed. We would like to win, sure, but they competed and that’s what it’s about.”
Hickman’s Aaron Brady (145 pounds) and Jacob Thornton (103) both recorded pins.
Hickman begins District 3 competition Feb. 11-12 in Jefferson City.