A pair of injury defaults didn't help the Bulldogs cause Friday in a 56-12 dual-meet loss to Skyview at Nikiski.
Nikiski, already giving away 18 points to the Panthers by forfeits -- the Bulldogs did not have a wrestler in four weight classes while Skyview did not field a wrestler in one -- saw its leadoff wrestler, Joey Wicker at 135 pounds, unable to stop a bloody nose, and had Jared Mazurek at 125 pounds withdraw with the score tied at 1 in the third period when he injured his shoulder on a throw by opponent Dallas Seavey.
"It was a tough night, one of those things you can't explain," said Nikiski coach Abe Porter. "Skyview's tough, though."
Indeed, after Wicker had to quit with a 4-2 lead in his match, Skyview's Brandon Cleveland and Shane Michael, at 140 and 145 respectively, followed with back-to-back wins by major decision.
Nikiski's Anthony Lorenzo hung on for a 4-3 decision in his match at 152, but the Panthers took the maximum six points in each of the next five matches, four by forfeit and one with a one-minute pin from Nick Pyfer at 215.
After a forfeit win by Nikiski's Lance Penhale at 103, Skyview's Eli Hutchison scored three points in the closing minute with a near-fall to pull out a 9-7 win over Josh Huhndorf at 112. Justin Tumbaga had one of the best matches of the meet for the Bulldogs, defeating Cody Phipps 5-0 at 130.
"Most of the kids wrestled real sharp," Skyview coach Neldon Gardner said. "A couple I wish would have done a little better, but that's wrestling."
Tumbaga said the challenge of facing a 4A team as talented as Skyview was good preparation for the upcoming 1-2-3A championships.
"It gets us ready for what we're going to see," Tumbaga said.
PANTHERS 56, BULLDOGS 12
103 -- Lance Penhale, Nik, by forfeit
112 -- Eli Hutchison, Sky, dec. Josh Huhndorf, Nik, 9-7
119 -- Clark Buffington, Sky, dec. Jordan McCaughey, Nik, 9-6
125 -- Dallas Seavey, Sky, by inj. default, Jared Mazurek, Nik
130 -- Justin Tumbaga, Nik, dec. Cody Phipps, Sky, 5-0
135 -- David Leach, Sky, by inj. default Joey Wicker, Nik
140 -- Brandon Cleveland, Sky, maj. dec. Josh Boye, Nik, 12-2
145 -- Shane Michael, Sky, maj. dec. Ray Grimm, Nik, 15-6
152 -- Anthony Lorenzo, Nik, dec. Cameron Gardner, Sky, 4-3
160 -- Sam Denison, Sky, by forfeit
171 -- Zach Rohr, Sky, by forfeit
189 -- Justin Rainwater, Sky, by forfeit
215 -- Nick Pyfer, Sky, p. Kelcey Chancey, Nik, 1:00
275 -- Joel Morse, Sky, by forfeit
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