For only the second time in school history, Lee's Summit North picked up a wrestling victory against Blue Springs.
The outcome wasn't decided until the final match, but a victory by Zane Ragland in the 182-pound match by a decision gave the Broncos a 37-30 victory Wednesday night against the Wildcats.
The victory for the sophomore is one of his biggest he can recall, especially given the circumstances going into the final match.
Blue Springs trailed by 15 at one point, but pulled within four after back-to-back wins from Bret Heil (160) and Ray Paniagua (170) – both major decisions.
That put the pressure on Ragland and Blue Springs' Lawson Lackey to deliver in the Suburban Big Seven dual's final match.
Lackey went up 2-1 in the second on a reversal, but Ragland tied it at 2-2 at the end of the period. He got the final point with an escape in the third for the 3-2 decision.
“I think that is one one of my favorite parts about wrestling, all the excitement,” Ragland said of the last match. “It puts a lot of pressure on yourself and it is fun to have that. It gives you a little something extra on the inside. You are wrestling for your team and they are rooting for you. It was on my back to keep us in it.
“I probably wouldn't have won that match last year. I had a lot of trouble coming out (in matches). A lot of wrestlers were stronger or bigger. This year, I realize it is not about the size. If you go out with the mindset you can beat someone. It doesn't matter how much bigger or stronger they are because you can power through it.”
Last year, Ragland went 13-26 in his freshman season on varsity and hiked his mark to 18-7 with this key win.
“He has came a long ways,” Broncos coach Mick Cronk said. “He has really turned around and has worked hard. I'm proud of that kid.”
The Broncos (5-2) earned 12 points from forfeits by the Wildcats at 126 and 285 pounds, while giving up six points on an open weight at 145.
Without returning state medalist Jett Merlo in the lineup due to an illness, Blue Springs lost the 138-pound match, which was a 12-point swing in the eyes of Blue Springs coach Bobbe Lowe.
Instead of losing by six on Jaden Duran's pin, the Wildcats could've gotten the points needed to secure the win.
“When you are in a tight dual, you have to have a full lineup,” Lowe said. “We are kind of trying to hash things out and we aren't there yet. We have a few illnesses and are transitioning. The expectations are different and kids are trying to adjust. I want kids at certain weights and training right and doing things the right way to have success down the road. Sometimes with change, it takes a while to buy in.”
The teams alternated wins the first four matches, the last a 24-second pin by Blue Springs' Korbin Shepherd, ranked No. 3 in the MissouriWrestling.com Class 4 rankings at 106.
The Broncos took control with wins in five of seven matches between 113 and 152.
Lee's Summit North got wins from Caden Schweitzer (113), Peyton Kramer (120), Hunter Ross (126 by forfeit), Duran (138) and Lane Overton (152).
The wins for the Wildcats during that span was a forfeit win for Michael Infranca and DeAndre Thomas (132) posted a 17-7 major decision win.