WARDSVILLE — The outcome was not unexpected.
With 10 seniors, Blair Oaks brought a veteran squad into Tuesday night's dual against Helias. On the Crusader side, injuries had left a few holes to be plugged in the varsity lineup.
With the decided edge in experience, the Falcons defeated the Crusaders 45-29.
"We wrestled good, this is always a good dual for us," Blair Oaks coach Tim Karsten said. "Our seniors really helped us out tonight, gave us that little extra we needed.
"It's always good for us to wrestle up against a quality program like Helias has."
Helias coach Bryant Gaines was pleased with what he saw from his Crusaders.
"There were some good matches and it was a good dual," he said. "We had some new guys in there and they did OK. Even if they got pinned, they were moving, they were working.
"We had some guys step in there and do their best."
The dual started at 120 pounds and the Crusaders captured the first three matches.
Randy Salaz was a 6-0 winner at 120, while Zack Carr won by technical fall at 126 and Jackson Careaga won by fall at 132 to give Helias a 14-0 lead.
But the middle weights is where the Crusaders were shorthanded and where the Falcons are talented as Blair Oaks rattled off three straight wins by fall to take the lead for good.
At 138, Dalton Bridges won in 1:46 before Bo Thomas won in 1:57 at 145. At 152, Kyler Griep posted a fall in 3:35.
"We caught a couple of guys and got some pins," Karsten said. "You never know, one match can make a difference and if we don't get some of those wins, this may have turned out differently."
Colden Imhoff of Helias picked up an 11-6 decision at 160. Blair Oaks then won by forfeit at 170.
Paul Karsten got the Falcons' third fall of the night, winning in :26 at 182. Lucas Holtmeyer was a 4-2 winner at 195 for Blair Oaks. The Falcons won by forfeit at 220 before Scott Farley won by a pin in 1:45 at 285.
Helias won by forfeit at 106 before Even Winder of the Crusaders closed the dual with a win by fall in 2:27.
"We put some guys in the lineup just to see, I mean, it is what it is," Gaines said. "It's always disappointing to lose, but the way our lineup was set up, I thought I could almost call the score before we got here.
"We never expect to lose, but it was good for some guys to get some experience."
The night opened with Blair Oaks and Helias taking on Fatima, which had just five varsity wrestlers, in duals. The Falcons defeated the Comets 74-6, while the Crusaders were 74-0 winners.
Blair Oaks is slated to return to the mats Saturday at the Warsaw Tournament.
Helias is back in action Wednesday when the Crusaders take on Jefferson City at Fleming Fieldhouse. The JV dual will start at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity.