There was one simple thing that was the difference between winning and just falling short of a victory for Doug Black’s Blue Springs South Jaguars.

“We have to wrestle for six minutes,” Black said.

That’s what his team struggled to do at times during Tuesday’s three-team match as it fell to North Kansas City 43-42. The Hornets earned the victory due to the fifth tiebreaker – most first-match points.

Northtown also defeated Van Horn 54-24 to take first place. South took second after defeating the Falcons 48-27.

“We got pinned four times in that first match, and we can’t do that,” Black said. “That cost us the dual. When you are giving up open spots, you can’t give up pins on top of that. If we had one match go six minutes, we win the dual.

“I felt like we could have fought more when we’re on our back. Some kids struggling getting off their backs and that’s inexcusable in January.”

Despite not winning the match, Black said he was proud of how hard his young team has fought.

“We’re getting better,” Black said. “Some of these kids have come a long way since November. It’s like night and day. Some of these kids are outmuscled and outmatched, but the effort is there.”

There have been quite a few times this season when the Jaguars were on the wrong side of blowouts. Tuesday, they were competitive and moving in the right direction, 195-pounder Cooper Boyles said.

“It feels good to get some momentum,” he said. “We always have to have heart on this team. No matter what, we always have to stick together. No one expects us to do well, so that’s a slap in the face when we go out and handle ourselves and do well.”

He was one Jaguar who had an impressive showing Tuesday. Boyles earned a pin of Northtown’s Ezra Ball in 37 seconds at 220 pounds, then wrestled at 195 to get a pin over Van Horn’s Roberto Arcia in 38 seconds.

“I thought I did well, but there’s always something I need to improve on,” Boyles said. “I need to work on my shots more. Conditioning is always a big thing. That’s something I need to improve on.”

South 132-pounder Cooper Doolin also had a pair of pins as he got one in 2:51 and one in 25 seconds.

“I thought I did well, but thought I could have wrestled better,” Dollin said. “I missed out on some top work – stuff that Coach Black needs to show me. I am ready to improve.”

Brevin Millican (152) joined them with a pair of pins in 43 and 58 seconds.

“I just want to thank my coaches to make me work even harder than I already do, and helping me always compete,” Millican said.

Alex Israelite (138) was the other Jaguar to go 2-0 with a pin and a forfeit victory.

The Falcons, a Class 3 squad, were facing an uphill battle as they took on two Class 4 teams and had three wrestlers missing from their lineup.

Chandler Seavers might have had the most impressive day among Van Horn wrestlers as he was the only one to win two contested matches. He earned a pin of Northtown’s David Steel in 3:39 and took a 11-7 decision over South’s Daryl McGee.

“He’s come a long way,” Van Horn coach Craig Addison said of Seavers. “He’s improved a lot from day one. He was the best 145-pounder here, which is pretty awesome.”

Ethan Moses (106), Payton Moses (120) and Aaron Maluia (285) were the other Van Horn wrestlers to go 2-0.