West Hancock had the better results head-to-head against Central-Southeastern, winning 5 of 9 matches, but forfeits determined the outcome. The Titans forfeited one more match than the Panthers and it was enough to give Central-Southeastern a 42-39 win.
“There were a couple of swing matches that we were looking at with the line-up before hand,” said West Hancock Head Coach Jon Minnis. “There were a few matches we knew were important that we were going to have to win to win the dual. We just didn’t come through on those. We made some minor mistakes — little things we need to tweak. We’re a little disappointed about it, but we’ll move on and make adjustments from it.”
Central-Southeastern finished the meet with a 2-0 record. The Panthers topped Illini West 51-19 in the opening dual of the night. West Hancock bounced back in the final dual meet by defeating the Chargers 47-18.
West Hancock had seven of its 11 wrestlers finish the night undefeated.
Jacob and Luke Lowman were sharp in earning two wins each.
Jacob Lowman, wrestling at 120 pounds, opened with an 8-2 decision over Central-Southeastern’s Ethyn Deege. Lowman scored a late take down in the first period for a 3-0 lead and added two more take downs in the third period to take control of the match.
He also pinned Illini West’s Devin Bryant in 1:30.
Luke Lowman won both of his matches by pin at 152 pounds. He battled back from a first period deficit to defeat Central-Southeastern’s Cory Wortman in 3:08. He also scored a second period pin over Illini West’s Dusty Waddell in 3:01.
“Jacob is continuing to impress,” Minnis said. “He is so aggressive. He pushes whoever he wrestles. It doesn’t matter who it is. He is constantly looking to score, which is exactly what we want to see in our wrestlers.
“Luke is the same way. He took advantage of everything he got. He didn’t give an inch, and that is exactly what we expect from those guys.”
West Hancock’s other pair of brothers, Jack and Will Lucie, dominated their matches. Jack, ranked third in Illinois Class 1A at 132 pounds, pinned Central-Southeastern’s Spencer Myers in 1:32 and scored a 15-0 technical fall over Illini West’s Dustin Huss.
“Jack wants pins, and that is what we go for is pins,” Minnis said. “He continued to improve and worked with what he had as far as what he could get. The kid did a heck of a job fighting off a lot of stuff.
“The Huss boys (Dustin and Dakota) are both very good wrestlers. They are going to have very good seasons. They come out and put up a fight and it makes our guys better.”
Will Lucie, ranked second in Class 1A at 113 pounds, only needed 31 seconds to pin Illini West’s Dakoda Stice. He also received a forfeit win from Central-Southeastern.
Josh Espinoza pinned his two opponents at 170 pounds. He took care of Central-Southeastern’s Alex Harris in 5:02 and ended the night with a win over Illini West’s Christian Peacock in 1:18.
“Josh is a very aggressive kid, a very competitive kid,” Minnis said. “He might have got a little too rough a few times, but I legally want to see that aggressiveness. It’s good to see him coming out hard and wanting to win.”
Caleb Adams recorded a pin with 0.2 seconds left in the first period against Central-Southeastern’s Bobby Keltz. Adams also earned a 7-3 decision over Cameron Gresham.
“Caleb is improving every day,” Minnis said. “He has already faced quite a few decent wrestlers. We expect a lot from him. He had a great IKWF (Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation) career. He’s learning from his mistakes and making the improvements. He’s getting better every day, and that’s what we want.”
Devin Beaston, ranked sixth at 106 pounds, didn’t get to wrestle. Central-Southeastern and Illini West both forfeited matches at the weight class.
Cole Oliver and Dan Allen each picked up one win for West Hancock.
Oliver was pinned in a back-and-forth match against Central-Southeastern’s Dyllan Bonk, but the freshman battled back from an early 4-0 deficit to pin Illini West’s Corbin Link in 2:56 at 126 pounds.
“Cole was one of the swing matches we looked at against Camp Point,” Minnis said. “He’s still trying to adjust. He’s such a scrappy kid. He’s impressed us every day. We knew he had the background in wrestling, but we didn’t know he had the aggressive scrappiness, and we love seeing it. He just needs to get used to his long, lanky body still. It’s one of those young things a kid has to do, but he is improving and making himself better.”
Allen, wrestling at heavyweight, scored a take down with 16 seconds remaining and held on for a 3-2 decision over Illini West’s Kendall Hall.
“Dan is out of his element right now,” Minnis said. “He’s giving up 20 to 30 pounds in a lot of his matches. We’re going to get what we can get out of Dan at heavyweight and in a couple of weeks he can be down to 220, which is where he will be very competitive at.
“He’s struggling, getting caught in headlocks and stuff like that, but these are things that are happening because he is giving up a lot of weight. Once we get down to his 220 weight it will change a lot.”