The Huskies had a 36-30 lead on Pekin heading to the final match of their dual.
Up to the mat for Highland was 152-pounder Kolton Miller. It was his first match of the season at 152 pounds after cutting from nearly 170.
“It came down to him and (the match) is a dogfight and he ended up catching the kid and pinning him to secure the dual meet,” Highland coach Derick Ball said. “Seeing a kid like that buy in and see him get his hand raised was fun.”
Ball called it the match of the night in a 3-1 set of duals at the Notre Dame Nike Duals.
In the 42-30 win over Pekin, Highland had six wrestlers pick up pins. Caedon Harbison, Cael Yeggy and Eli Slaymaker provided three straight pins from 170 to 195 pounds. After that Easton Schlabaugh and Carlos Valenzuela provided a one-two punch at 113 and 120. Miller then punctuated the dual with a pin.
The Huskies lone loss on the night was a tight match with Mount Pleasant. The Huskies lost 36-34. The match started at 106 and worked their way down. Logan Bonebrake picked up a 22-second pin at 132 pounds to bring Highland within two at 12-10. Harbison and Yeggy provided pins at 182 and 195 pounds to bring the dual back into reach. Mount Pleasant earned a pin at 220 pounds over Justin Sosa, sealing the dual. Kyle Westine won by forfeit to bring the final score to 36-34.
Ball said he saw the work the team put in over the short break on display.
“Things are headed up. Definitely from a toughness standpoint, we’re getting tougher every time we compete,” Ball said. “They are figuring out how to fight.”
Cael Yeggy had an undefeated night at the Nike Duals and Ball said that the only senior on the Highland roster has been their most consistent wrestler so far.
Highland will host the Gary Curtis Invitational on Saturday at Highland High School.
According to TrackWrestling, the tournament is set to be attended by 15 teams including Mid-Prairie. The teams range from Class 1A to Class 3A.
“It is a tough tournament and it is going to be a long day, but we’re excited and want to showcase where we’re at,” Ball said. “Now it is time to showcase in front of the home fans.”
Wrestling is set to start at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the afternoon.
The Highland youth wrestling club will host their annual tournament on Sunday.