MAXWELL — It came down to the Irish and Wildcats again.
On Thursday Maxwell hosted a quadrangular with North Platte JV, Elwood and St. Pat’s attending. Like seemingly every event the two teams enter, it came down to Maxwell and St. Pat’s wrestling for the title in the final dual of the evening.
The Irish defeated Maxwell 48-29 to finish 3-0 and win the Maxwell quadrangular.
“They wanted it more,” said Maxwell head coach Ryan Jones of St. Pat’s. “You got to give Coach [Kevin] Wood credit, because they came out and beat us.
“We’ve got to get better by the SPVA Conference meet.”
One of the key matches was a 220-pound match between Miguel Martinez of St. Pat’s and Houston Crane of Maxwell. Martinez is a sophomore, while Crane is a freshman.
Crane earned a 3-1 lead after the first period, recording a takedown and earning a penalty point, while Martinez managed an escape.
Martinez chose down to start the second period and tied the match up with a reverse. The Irish wrestler put Crane on his back late in the period and as the buzzer sounded the referee slapped the mat, signaling a pin.
A conference at the scorer’s table gave the ruling that Martinez got three back points, but that the buzzer had sounded before the pin took place.
“I wasn’t worried about Miguel wrestling another two minutes,” Wood said. “Three points is a big lead in the third period. Even if he gave up the takedown, he still would win.
“I had no worries at all.”
The two wrestlers started the third period in neutral position — both wrestlers on their feet — and Crane got the only point of the period when Martinez was charged a penalty point for stalling.
“Houston Crane has to win that match,” Jones said. “We have a chance if Crane wins that match.
“It was a turning point and we needed to win that one.”
Another key match took place at 132 pounds. Adam Pasquinelly of St. Pat’s took on Ethan Lunkwitz of Maxwell in a match of two of the area’s better wrestlers.
Lunkwitz got a takedown in the first period to go up 2-0. The Maxwell junior chose to be down to start the second period. He stood up and turned to face Pasquinelly, who put the Maxwell wrestler in what appeared to be a standing cradle hold and took him to his back.
“Adam has some quick-strike moves,” Wood said. “When he started it, I knew it was over.
“He took him to his back and I knew he had it won. Those are two very good wrestlers, but Adam, when he gets it going, he’s tough to beat and I knew it was over as soon as he got him in that position.”
With the Pasquinelly pin, the Irish led 18-0. St. Pat’s started the dual by moving up their two smallest weight class wrestlers, having Nathan Chrisman wrestle at 120 and Trey Dodson at 113.
It moved junior varsity wrestler Cody Weaver into the varsity lineup and Weaver earned a pin at 106 to help the Irish.
“We’ll take them whenever we can get them,” Wood said of getting some unexpected help, which included Kam Jordan wrestling 126 pounds and getting pin. “Kam Jordan was too light to wrestle 126, so we gave him extra cookies this week and a Gatorade before he weighed in and he went out there and got us a win at 126.
“It’s a good win for us.”
Maxwell finished 2-1 on the night, getting wins over North Platte JV and Elwood. Elwood brought just one wrestler for the event — 126-pounder Cole Remmenga — who went 2-1 for the Pirates.
St. Pat’s will wrestle Saturday in the Chase County Invite in Imperial, while Elwood will wrestle at the Gibbon Invite on Saturday.
Maxwell wrestles on Jan. 18 at the Callaway Invite hosted by South Loup.