By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor
The night went so well for the Flashes that they were victors even in defeat.
Willard dominated Wednesday night’s wrestling quad meet at Margaretta, going 2-1 in three duals, but completely owning the head-to-head match-ups in their only loss to Woodmore.
The Flashes won 14 of 18 contested bouts on the evening, including six out of eight in Round One against Woodmore, all by way of pins. Yet the Wildcats took advantage of five forfeited wins for 30 critical points in their 42-36 dual victory.
D.J Slone put together a 3-0 night with three pins at 1:14, 23 seconds and 1:35 over Woodmore, Margaretta and Woodward, to join Raven Brant (27-1) as the two current Flashes with 20-plus wins (now 22-2).
The Flashes overcame an early 12-0 deficit to Woodmore with three consecutive pins by Kelsie Medina (2:41), Juan Figueroa (46 seconds) and Ashton Ames (3:27) and added two more by Slone and Jon Rothhaar (23 seconds) for a 30-24 edge.
A 37-second pin for Brant in the finale at 285 wasn’t enough to bridge the gap left by a pair of late forfeit losses and one of only two Wildcat wins.
If a 6-2 record wasn’t enough in Round One, Willard made sure 6-1 in Round Two was.
Eric Lara sparked a 24-0 start against Margaretta with a pin at 1:46, followed by pins from Medina (53 seconds), Figueroa (39 seconds) and Ames (3:31). Slone and Rothhaar (3:35) also found the ‘pin column’ with victories, while Brant won via forfeit in a 42-15 demolition.
“The kids came out on fire tonight,” said Willard Head Coach Matt Marinis. “We had a little talk about some things on Monday and they responded well. It was all about pins and wins, and the kids really fed off each other. A couple even bumped up in weight classes tonight, just to get extra matches in, so I have no complaints.
“They’re coming along and adjusting to what I’m telling them,” added Marinis. “They’re discovering that the basics work. We went and watched Heidelberg wrestle and they saw that the college kids were doing basic singles and doubles and halves. They were executing the simple stuff and having success.”
The Flashes wrapped up the night with a 12-3 win over Toledo Woodward, who featured only three wrestlers.
Along with Slone’s pin, senior Kaden Compton, who dropped a well-contested 2-0 match against Margaretta, won his final career dual match with a 53-second pin.