GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — A few snow days early this week didn't hurt Grand Island that much.
The Class A No. 7-rated Islanders (duals in NSWCA) came out and took care of business during a 62-8 win over Aurora on Thursday.
Grand Island won 12 of the 14 matches during the dual.
Islanders coach Joey Morrison said he had a feeling the Islanders were going to come out and wrestle well, even coming off the snow days where they didn’t have school for two days this week.
“It was really a matter of adjusting for us. We were able to get a small workout in on Tuesday,” Morrison said. “Our guys really came in focused and we had a great practice yesterday. So I thought tonight would really be a good night and it was. You usually have a pretty good idea of how you are going to perform by how you prepare. I liked how they prepared this week.”
Kolton Sliva, ranked No. 4 at 152 pounds, got the night rolling for the Islanders, cruising to a 15-7 major decision over Carter Pursley.
Morrison said Sliva, who was coming off a sixth-place finish at the Top of the Rockies Tournament in Lafayette, Colorado., last week, did a nice job of setting the tone for the Islanders.
“He’s been in stride all season and it’s just a matter of finishing strong,” Morrison said. “He knows what he wants to do out there and I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Aurora did bounce back in the second match at 160 when Donnie Dibbern scored a reversal with a minute left to take a 2-0 win over Aidan Williams.
After that, it was all Islanders as they won the next eight matches to take a demanding 45-3 lead.
During that span, Alexzaiah Deras (170), Daylon Keolavone (182), Kevin Fierro (195) and Kolby Lukasiewicz (120) all recorded pins, while Eliceo Ramirez posted a 15-0 technical fall over Harley Beckman at 113. Oscar Richter recorded a 3-1 win over Brady Papineau at 220 and Juan Pedro, No. 3 at 106, posted a 4-2 victory over Caden Svoboda. Ethan McPhillips recorded a forfeit victory at 285.
Trevor Kluck, No. 2 in Class B at 126, stopped the Islander streak by posting a 20-2 technical fall over Brody Arrants.
But Grand Island closed the dual with three straight wins, including pins from Zack Kuta (132) and Jake Sheldon (138) and an Emerson Urbina (145) technical fall.
“I really can’t pick one guy, we had a lot of kids do great things for us tonight,” Morrison said. “We still need to tweak some things that will help us finish strong for later on in the season. I really like where we’re at right now but we still have some work to do.”
Aurora coach Derek Keasling said he was very disappointed in how the Huskies performed in the dual.
“We really had some uninspired practices coming off of the snow days earlier this week and it showed tonight,” Keasling said. “We knew they were going to be tough, especially in weights where we were tough in. We didn’t wrestle the way we were capable of tonight and that’s disappointing.”
Also the two schools got their youth programs together for a dual, where the Islander grapplers won 120-3. There were two mats in the gym with the varsity dual going on one mat and the youth dual on the other.
They got together for a dual last year. Morrison said the youth dual with Aurora has been successful.
“Two years ago, I called coach Keasling and told that I want to get our youth teams in dual together and he liked the idea,” Morrison said. “I told him what if we did that during the high school dual. The timing two years ago was a last-minute thing so we waited until last year to get it started.
“A few of our high school kids helped the young guys out. We wanted to keep it going. It was a great experience for everybody.”
Grand Island takes on Hastings at 7 p.m. Tuesday, while Aurora is off until hosting the Central Conference Tournament Feb. 3.
Grand Island 62, Aurora 8
152 — Kolton Sliva, GI, maj. dec. Carter Pursley, AUR, 15-7; 160 — Donovan Dibbern, AUR, dec. Aidan Williams, GI, 2-0; 170 — Alexzaiah Deras, GI, pinned Eric Collazo, AUR, 3:19; 182 — Daylon Keolavone, GI, pinned Isaac Sine, AUR, 1:51; 195 — Kevin Fierro, GI, pinned Meyer Sikes, AUR, 1:09; 220 — Oscar Richter, GI, dec. Brady Papineau, AUR, 3-1; 285 — Ethan McPhillips, GI, won by forf.; 106 — Juan Pedro, GI, dec. Caden Svoboda, AUR, 4-2; 113 — Eliceo Ramirez, GI, tech fall Harley Beckman, AUR, 15-0; 120 — Kolby Lukasiewicz, GI, pinned Kaleb Trumble, AUR, 1:00; 126 — Trevor Kluck, AUR, tech fall Brody Arrants, GI, 20-2; 132 — Zack Kuta, GI, pinned Kolby Wessels, AUR, 3:06; 138 — Jacob Sheldon, GI, pinned Trenton Kluck, AUR, 6:00; 145 — Emerson Urbina, GI, tech fall Tanner Runge, AUR, 16-1.