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Late victory helps Eagles edge Fort Osage

By Cody Thorn
The Examiner

OT Frederick picked up a rare win and it became a crucial one for Grain Valley.

The junior’s second victory of the year became the eventual winning points for the Eagles as they knocked off host Fort Osage in a Suburban Middle Six wrestling clash Tuesday.

Frederick got a 10-4 decision over David Jacquez in the 195-pound match, which provided enough points to pull away from the Indians for a razor-close 36-35 victory.

“That was probably the toughest opponent I have had in awhile,” said Frederick, who sports an almost shaved head, with the exception of a small ponytail in the back. “It was amazing to get the win that we needed to get to win the whole thing. I’ve got stuff to work on … I know that, but it is fun to win.”

His victory gave the Eagles a 36-29 lead. With neither team having a 220-pound wrestler, the seven-point advantage meant the dual was over. Fort Osage’s Stevie Gabb (285) got a pin in 18 seconds in the last match to account for the final score.

Heading into the 195-pound match, the Indians were on fire. Daniel Tapusoa got a convincing 21-6 technical fall victory over Mason Hontz (170). Three different times Tapusoa got near fall points but never could get the pin.

That was one of many matches that could’ve gone the other way with a point here or there for Fort Osage. Gavin Gallman (182) got a pin over Shane Duckworth with 37 seconds left in the third period, but at the time held a commanding 17-7 lead. Gallman used takedowns and reversals to build the lead and the only points Duckworth scored were from escapes.

That led to the 195-pound match with Grain Valley clinging to a 33-29 lead – the Eagles had never trailed after getting to forfeit wins to open the dual.

Frederick was slammed to the mat by Jacquez early in the first period and the official called it against the Indians, making it 1-0.

Grain Valley coach Jeff Bowman went out to check on his wrestler, who is in his first year on varsity.

“As soon as I walked out there, he said he was fine,” Bowman said. After getting medical clearance, the match resumed.

Frederick led after the first two periods and built a 5-2 lead early in the third on a reversal. With 1:31 left, Jacquez – who bumped up from 182 – got a takedown to pull within one, but as Fort Osage had done throughout the night, a quick release followed to try to go for another takedown.

With the 6-4 lead in tow, Frederick kept Jacquez from taking out his legs again. There were restarts with 25 seconds and 9.8 seconds left. The last scramble turned into a takedown and near fall at the buzzer for Frederick.

“It was a huge win for OT,” Bowman said. “He is one of those guys that has been a staple in our room since his freshman year. He is a guy we worked with a lot. He was kind of stubborn and hard-headed, but for him to go out and get that win was amazing. OT stepped up. Today was a good day for us. We stepped up and shocked ourselves against a Fort Osage team with a bunch of studs.”

Fort Osage gave up forfeits at 106, 113 and 160, while Grain Valley yielded points at 126 and 145. Each team won four matches, but little things in each made a difference.

After trailing 12-0, a forfeit and a pin by Kyle LeHotta over Eli Hendricks (120) in the second period forged a tie. At 132, Fort Osage's Keegan Emrick held a 4-3 lead over Justin Deweese in the third period but with 1:05 left to go, Deweese got the pin and Grain Valley led the rest of the way.

The Eagles followed that with a 3-1 win by Tanner Barker in overtime against Bryan Herrera. Barker tied it at 1-1 in the third and then got a reversal 20 seconds into overtime. Evan Reich’s win at 152 was the third in a row – in terms of actual matches – for Grain Valley and that built a 27-18 lead. Reich took a 5-0 lead in the second on a takedown and near fall and with 11 seconds left in the period got the pin.

“Every single guy individually mattered,” Fort Osage coach Brandon Wackerman said. “Just a single point away. Maybe a tech fall turns into a pin or a kid that is getting pinned fights and turns that into a decision or a major loss or if a kid can gut it out … there are multiple things. There are probably six different matches that could’ve gone either way or matches we over-performed in. We’ve got a few kids that over-performed and we got pins when I was thinking we would get a decision. You need to score as many points as you can and tonight there were so many places to get that one stop to give up one less point or get that one more point you need. There will be a bunch of teachable moments that will come out of this. I’m ready for practice now and I know what we will work on tomorrow.”

Grain Valley last had a dual on Dec. 30 so it didn’t have as much rust to knock off as Fort Osage, which had been idle since Dec. 18.

Bowman is happy how his team performed in the first conference matchup with the Indians.

“You watch them and they are bulls on the mat,” he said. “They will blow through you and get to the legs. They were putting on a takedown clinic in a couple of the matches, like 15 takedowns. They are tough and I have got to give them credit. It was just a fun night.”

Grain Valley will host Marshall and Oak Grove on Thursday, while the next time Fort Osage is on the mat is Saturday at the Panther Classic in Oak Grove. The usual end-of-the-year tournament was moved up a month and will have six other teams there: Belton, Kearney, Lee’s Summit North, Moberly, Smithville and William Chrisman.