CHAMBERLAIN -- The heart of the lineup came through when Mitchell High School needed it most.
The Kernels were able to open the wrestling season with a dual-meet win over Chamberlain on Friday, 37-30, on the back of a run of five consecutive wins from 138 pounds to 170 pounds to take the win.
Mitchell got an overtime pin from Joe VanOverschelde at 170 to take the lead and Balke Fredericks sealed the win with an emphatic pin in 46 seconds two matches later.
“That leadership paid off,” MHS head coach Andy Everson said. “Kyler Bauder had a real tough match and put it to the guy. Ryan McGinnis got all over his guy and was on the verge of a technical fall. That’s the kind of stuff you need out of your seniors to win these matches.”
Trailing 12-9, Kyler Bauder started Mitchell’s hot streak with a 7-2 decision over Cody Skustad at 138 pounds. Tucker Vilhauer followed with a pin of Garret Ristau in 2 minutes, 29 seconds at 145 and Ryan McGinnis earned a 13-0 major decision over Swade Reis at 152. Tyson Degen then scored a 9-8 decision over Noah Hutmacher at 160.
VanOverschelde then engaged in a tight match with Remington Rossow that eventually went to overtime. Rather than scoring the necessary points to win in sudden death, VanOverschelde was able to get the pin to put the Kernels ahead 31-12.
“Having the wherewithal to understand (VanOverschelde) could still pin the guy, he took (Rossow) straight to his back,” Everson said. “That took the wind out of their sails a little bit there. The middle of our lineup looked solid. I’m happy with how everyone looked tonight.”
Chamberlain scored wins in three of the final four matches, including Nash Hutmacher’s season-opening win over Wyatt Winter in 1:38 at 285 pounds, but Fredericks’ pin gave Mitchell an insurmountable lead.
Gabe Skustad earned a pin for the Cubs at 132, while Dominic Santiago (120) and Quinn Long (113) each won 8-4 decisions.
Mitchell competes in the Watertown invite at 10 a.m. Saturday, while Chamberlain competes at an invite in O’Neill, Nebraska.