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Golden Warriors build big lead right off the bat to beat rival Rockets

Perfect place to start for Sterling

STERLING – The Golden Warriors swept the upper weight classes, and Rock Falls held a slight edge in the lower weight classes in a 42-28 Sterling win on Thursday at Musgrove Fieldhouse.

The dual started at 160 pounds, and the Warriors won every match from the start through heavyweight to build a 30-0 lead on the strength of four pins and two wins via decision.

“We really got to start at a nice weight for our team so we could get a nice lead going,” Sterling coach Jeff Gale said. “A lot of our seniors really stepped up. It’s always nice on Senior Night when you have almost all your seniors win.”

The Golden Warriors (15-6) had five seniors on the roster and in the lineup, and four came away with victories.

In that opening run, Ethan Edmondson (170 pounds), JJ Thompson (180), Jason Farnham Jr. (220) and Moises Lopez (285) all pinned their opponents in the second period.

Edmondson scored a takedown and a near-fall late in the first period before getting another near-fall early in the second, then pinning Cade Adams in 2:21 in the first meeting between the two wrestlers.

“You just go out there and wrestle,” Edmondson said. “Fear none and respect all. Rock Falls is a good team, a lot of respect for them, but we came out on top today.”

Thompson scored a takedown 45 seconds into his bout with Noah Bellini before Bellini answered with an escape to cut the lead to 2-1 after one period, but Thompson pinned him just 13 seconds into the second period.

Farnham pinned Joe Nelson in 2:38, scoring takedowns early and late in the first period, then another in the second after Nelson had escaped.

Lopez pinned Triston Shaw in 3:49, taking control in the second period after neither wrestler recorded a point in the first.

Drew Kested had the fastest pin of the night, stopping Rock Falls’ Dillon Schueler in 1:07 after scoring a takedown 20 seconds into the match.

“Just trying to get on my offense,” Kested said. “I knew he’s pretty strong, so I just created my angles, got on my offense, tried to get ahead early.”

Sterling took decisions at 132 pounds from Brayden Porter, 145 pounds from Isaiah Figueroa, 160 pounds from Nick Simester, and 195 pounds from Cade Lyons.

Porter beat Marcus Mendoza 5-2. Porter led 2-1 after one period and started the second in the down position, getting an escape and another takedown to extend his lead to 5-1.

At 145 pounds, Figueroa rallied to beat Rock Falls Izaih James 6-3. James took the lead with a reversal early in the second period, but Figueroa escaped and scored a takedown to jump in front 3-2. Early in the third period, Figueroa escaped and scored a takedown to build his lead.

Simester and Rock Falls’ Devon Parker started the dual off with the tightest match of the night. Simester nearly had Parker on the mat midway through the first period, but Parker somehow got out of it; Simester was able to get the takedown.

Simester opened the second period down and scored an escape. Parker took him down later in the period, and Simester again escaped to take a 4-2 lead. With Parker down to open the third, he scored an escape 20 seconds into the period, but for the remaining 1:40 of the match was unable to get Simester on the mat for the points that would have put him in front.

“We beat him the last two times,” Rock Falls coach Derick Cox said. “That was one where some things didn’t go our way. Not going to complain, I can’t make excuses, we didn’t do our job.”

Rock Falls had five freshmen in the starting lineup, and that group accounted for 18 of the Rockets’ 28 points, with John Cid and Jerrill HIll getting pins and Anthony Reyes taking a forfeit win.

Cid scored a takedown 10 seconds into his 113-pound match with Shawn Ramsey, and with Ramsey in the down position to open the second quarter, Cid was able to get him on his back in 3:18.

“I was just trying to ride him out and get a feeling of how he wrestled,” Cid said. “It worked out in the second.”

At 120 pounds, Hill pinned Julian Rodriguez in 3:04 after scoring a reversal early in the second period.

“He’s coming into his own,” Cox said of Hill. “Confidence is growing. He’s a damn good wrestler. He’s going to do a lot of good things for us.”

Rock Falls’ Adam Meenen pinned Mauricio Garcia in 5:37. After the two spent the first period feeling each other out, Meenen started the second in the down position and scored a reversal.

“Just working my moves,” Meenen said. “If I go fast and he can’t keep up, I’ve got an advantage.”

He then got a takedown in the third period, and maneuvered Garcia to his back.

“Mauricio’s a good guy,” Meenen said. “Just heart and dedication [to pull the match out]. If you want it, you’ve got to go get it.”

The Rockets also got a major decision at 152 from Reiley Dowd, who beat Sterling’s Michael Jackley 11-3.

Rock Falls (17-4) also received a forfeit at 106 pounds.

“Hats off to Sterling, they did a nice job tonight, did what they had to do,” Cox said. “It was definitely a challenge, one we didn’t wrestle well.”

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