Jays nab eight pins en route to 68-4 win against Helias

Kyle Pickett of Helias struggles to escape Jefferson City’s Tanner Irwin in the opening 152-pound match Wednesday evening at Rackers Fieldhouse.

Kyle Pickett of Helias struggles to escape Jefferson City’s Tanner Irwin in the opening 152-pound match Wednesday evening at Rackers Fieldhouse. Kile Brewer

The final score was lopsided — getting maximum points in the nine of the 14 matches will do that.

But you could see a little bit of competitive life returning to the crosstown wrestling showdown.

“These kids are going to grow up in the next couple of seasons and there are going to be some tremendous battles between us,” Jays coach Phil Cagle said Wednesday night after Jefferson City posted a 68-4 victory against the Helias Crusaders at Rackers Fieldhouse.

“We knew we were going to be in some competitive matches and there were. There’s nothing better than a Jays-Helias competition.”

The win was the 11th for the Jays in their last 12 meetings against the Crusaders.

“The final score really isn’t indicative of what happened,” Cagle said. “(Helias) wrestled well, we have a lot of respect for what coach (Jacob) Wadley and his team are doing.”

Wadley, a former Helias wrestler in his first year as head coach of the Crusaders, took note of the amped-up surroundings.

“The excitement of this dual is great for the kids and the community,” he said. “I haven’t been around it for a while, but I was told the atmosphere was a lot different than it’s been in the past few years.”

The match of the night came at 106 pounds, where Dennis Barnes of the Jays and Nick Gaines of the Crusaders met for the third time in the last six days. Barnes won a pair of meetings in the Capital City Invitational, pulling away in the third period in both to get wins by decision.

“Those two are super scrappy,” Wadley said. “They have different styles and get into some scrambles, it’s a fun match.”

On Wednesday, Barnes led 5-4 after one period and was up 8-4 before Gaines rallied to take a 10-9 advantage into the final period. Barnes allowed Gaines to escape to start the third to make it 11-9. Barnes then got a takedown with 1:30 remaining to tie it and after another let-up escape, the Jays freshman got a takedown with :15 left to take a 13-12 victory.

“Dennis just kept wrestling and wrestling and we got fortunate,” Cagle said. “And I’m glad we got fortunate.”

Another match decided by a single point came at 182, where Tekoah Sage of the Jays posted an 8-7 win against Nate Jones of the Crusaders.

“(Sage) just keeps plugging along and plugging along,” Cagle said.

The match was tied at 6 early in the third period before Sage got the match-winning takedown with :30 remaining.

“Nate was in a heck of a fight,” Wadley said. “He believes he can compete. He maximizes the tools he has.”

The Jays won eight times by fall Wednesday, including seven in the first period. The quick pins were recorded by Corbin Howard at 120 (1:20), Charlie Kusick at 126 (1:14), Jacob Brune at 132 (:29), Logan Moriarity at 145 (1:08), Jalen Martin at 170 (:37) and Logan Coil at 285 (:54).

It was the varsity debut for Kusick, a freshman who had brothers win multiple state individual titles for the Crusaders. He was in the lineup in place of the injured Christian Mayberry.

“We asked Charlie if he wanted to wrestle and he said he did,” Cagle said. “We’re very proud of him.”

The Jays’ other wins by fall came from Devin Miller at 160 (3:10) and Ian Coil at 195 (3:59).

Miller worked himself off his back in the first period of his match against Logan Distler and came back to get the win.

“He fought that off and came back to win,” Cagle said. “Devin showed some fight in that match.”

Distler used a move called a “cement mixer” to come close to picking up the win.

“We hadn’t worked on that very much,” Wadley said. “But he remembered that and went for it. He was millimeters away from getting six points right there.”

Zach Benge picked up the final victory for the Jays, winning by forfeit at 113.

“I never try to guess the final score, we just want everybody to be ready to wrestle six minutes and pull out some wins,” Cagle said. “And that’s what we did.”

Helias’ win came at 138, where Jacob Schulte scored a 13-2 victory against Alec Bise. Schulte led 3-0 after one period and 8-1 after two.

“If he can continue to add to his lead, to score and score, he will keep himself out of danger,” Wadley said.

It was Bise’s first match since being injured in practice during the holiday break.

“Alec did a good job, he just made a couple of mistakes because he hasn’t had a match in a while,” Cagle said.

The Jays, now 9-0 in duals this season, are at the Hickman Tournament this weekend. The Crusaders will travel to the Platte County Tournament this weekend.

“We put ourselves in good positions at times, where we gave ourselves chances to win matches,” Wadley said. “There was no quit in any of our kids and we’re going to continue to work hard to improve.”

In Wednesday’s junior varsity dual, the Jays posted a 65-18 win against the Crusaders.

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