On Saturday, the flow of blood from Bryce Thompson’s nose repeatedly interrupted the flow of the first-place match at 113 pounds in the Gary Curtis Invitational.
After a scoreless first period, 2A No. 5 Lane Scorpil was able to score two takedowns in between stoppages during a 7-1 decision over Thompson.
The Huskie senior, ranked sixth in 1A, won his quarterfinal match by tech fall and advanced to the final with a second-period pin.
Sophomore Easton Schlabaugh also finished runner-up after dropping a 15-4 major decision to 1A No. 5 Brody Brisker of Wilton. Schlabaugh, who is ranked No. 10 at 106, won his first match with a 78-second pin and advanced to the final with a 5-3 decision over Ty Scorpil of Columbus/WMU.
“Bryce and Easton, I just have high expectations for them,” Highland coach Derick Ball said.
“We got beat up in both of those matches, they put us out of position and were on the gas pedal. At some point in time in a match when a guy’s scoring and scoring, you’ve got to do something to change the change the direction of the match, and we just didn’t do that.”
While the offseason has presented a challenge for many teams, the Huskies have had a particularly difficult start to the season. The start of practice was delayed until December 3, and more recently the team lost a competition date heading into winter break and was unable to practice over the break due to positive COVID cases in the program.
“The big thing is, that we’re not where we want to be, and we haven’t had time to get there, but we’re not going to make excuses,” Ball said. “We’re going to keep getting better and we’re just going to keep looking ahead and continue to try again.”
The Huskies got a third-place finish from Carlos Valenzuela, who reached the semifinal round with a pin.
“Carlos Valenzuela is a second-year wrestler who always gives me 110 percent,” Ball said. “And unfortunately the kid injury defaulted and he didn’t get to wrestle for third, but him getting third was good. We were doing some good things, but we have a ton of work to do.”
Thompson, Schlabaugh and Valenzuela had all six of Highland’s wins on Saturday.
“We’re behind the eight ball a little bit, but we’re not making excuses, and we got outwrestled tonight,” Ball said. “And, you know, we’re going to come back Monday and work on getting better.”
Thompson reaches 100
On Thursday, Thompson picked up the 100th win of his career in Alburnett. Thompson had a 28-second pin in a 63-18 loss to Alburnett, and won a 7-4 decision over Dawson Bergan in a 27-24 defeat of Edgewood-Colesburg.
Thompson said that he was happy to reach the milestone, but was also disappointed that he didn’t have the opportunity to go for 150 with the shortened season and the matches missed with his transfer last year.
“He’s been consistent,” Ball said. “And he’s contributed a lot of good things. Last year, he sat out half the season just so he can come here and, and he’s flipped the switch. His training and his practice room habits have gotten better. And we’re going to just keep training hard.”