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Panthers’ performance on the mat outshines the Hilltoppers

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City wrestling team went head to head with the St. Croix Central Panthers for a conference dual last Thursday, January 30.

The Toppers won just four matches out of 13 weight classes, which accounted for their loss of 35-18.

Despite starting at what has been their strongest point in their roster, the Toppers could not muster up a win and were quickly at a ten point deficit.

Hogan Chouinard had the first match of the night at 160 pounds. He went three full periods against Kyle Larson and lost by a major decision of 11-1.

Next was Isaac Tuttle against sophomore Panther, Trent Smith at 170. Their bout went three periods as well with Smith getting a final takedown in in the last seconds to win the match by a point, 4-3.

Seniors Blayze Wood and Brian Gibb locked arms at 182 pounds. The first period was a wash, but Gibb took a three point lead in the second after getting an escape on the whistle and then a takedown. Gibb got another takedown in the third to win by a decision of 5-0.

The Panthers were up 10-0 until Jeff Kopacz beat Josh VanBeek by a mere one point in a 1-0 decision that put the Toppers on the board 10-3.

At 220 was Donovan Fornal against Decker Grass. Grass had a three point on Fornal, but it appeared Fornal would win the match after he sunk in a cradle. However, Grass wiggled his way out and got an escape, which won him the match by one point, 4-3.

The Toppers bounced back in the heavyweight match after Brennan Kessler got an early pin over freshman Jordan Winegar. Kessler had two take downs before finishing the match at 1:42.

There was a double forfeit at 106 pounds and then it was Joe Obermueller at 113 against Jake Nyhagen. Obermueller put up a fight and battled his way through the entire match, however Nyhagen took the win on a 12-1 decision.

It was another drawn out battle at the 120 pound match with Spencer Peterson taking on Drew Malecek. Malecek got a take down in the first and a reversal in the final period to win by a 4-0 decision.

The Toppers forfeited a weight at 126, which put the Panther’s score now further ahead to 29-9.

Marcus Ullom put six more points on the board for the Toppers at the 132 pound match however. He put sophomore Nick Viste on his back in a quick 42 seconds.

At 138 was Damian Hoitomt against Conner Burton. Burton got the takedown right away and flipped Hoitomt to his back for a pin at 1:22.

The Panthers scored their final points of the night next at 145 after junior Ryan Gulich went three periods with Jake Carlson and won by a decision of 6-3.

The last match was the Toppers’ Hunter Chouinard battling fellow senior Eman Peterson. The match was tied 2-2 after the first period. Hunter got a reversal in the second to take a one point lead and then he had a two-point near-fall in the third to win 6-3.

The Toppers were back in action on Tuesday (Feb. 4) night with a home dual against conference contenders, the Boyceville Bulldogs.

Next on the schedule is the Conference Tournament at the River Falls High School this Saturday, February 8 at 10:00 a.m.