The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

January 18, 2012

Kings rebound on mat

DEWITT — Dustin Caldwell was looking for a solid match against Greyson Doolittle for all sorts of reasons.

A disappointing performance Saturday at the Mississippi Athletic Conference tournament was one reason the Clinton High sophomore had a chip on his shoulder. A 10-2 loss to MAC champion Nick Georgean earlier in the night was another. If he needed more incentive, there was a 6-0 loss to Doolittle in the final of the Saber Invitational in December to add motivation.

Caldwell erased — or at least lessened — those negative feelings with an 8-3 victory Tuesday night.

Like Caldwell, the River Kings rebounded from a lopsided loss to Davenport Assumption in the night’s first dual to defeat Central DeWitt 51-21 to complete a wrestling triangular in the middle school gymnasium. Assumption, the defending Class 2A state champion, went 2-0, beating Clinton 51-21 and Central DeWitt 59-18.

“We could reflect on what we did wrong against Assumption and correct it against DeWitt,” said Clinton senior John Mumm, who pinned both of his opponents.

“I think it was huge, plus it was a quality opponent,” Clinton coach J.D. Lueders said of the win against Central DeWitt that was the 99th victory of his coaching career. “We got rid of the taste of having our butts whipped against Assumption. I was happy for them.”

He was especially happy to see Caldwell’s win in the 152-pound match that ended a three-match losing streak. So was Caldwell.

“I wasn’t going to lose. I wasn’t going to go 0-2,” Caldwell said. “Saturday was not a good showing (when he failed to place at the MAC meet). I had to come back and get my confidence back.”

Shut out the last time they wrestled, Caldwell wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the rematch with Doolittle.

A half-minute into the match he recorded a takedown and added a two-point near fall for a 4-0 lead.

“I sent a message right away,” Caldwell said.

Another takedown, followed moments later by a near fall with a cradle gave him a commanding 8-1 advantage.

The win snapped a 12-12 tie and started a string of five consecutive wins for the Kings. Brett Larkin (160 pounds), Nick Hatheway (170) and Mumm (182) recorded pins in the next three matches, and when Josiah Molina earned a 6-4 come-from-behind win against Jake Feldpausch at 195, Clinton was sitting on a comfortable 36-12 lead with five matches left, two of which were going to be forfeit wins.

The Sabers did win one of the night’s featured bouts, however.

Creighton Fox, a returning state placewinner who has just one loss this season, followed teammate Cameron Donovan’s second pin of the night by beating Clinton’s Jake Oldaker 7-5 at 285 pounds. Oldaker won the MAC championship Saturday and had a 24-3 record. One of the losses was against Fox at the Saber Invitational.

“At the Saber, when I opened up, I put him on his back (and got a pin),” Fox said. “He wrestled a lot smarter today.”

Oldaker scored first, recording a takedown with 5 seconds left in the first period.

“The first period is always a feeling-out period for me,” Fox said. “When I feel a guy wear down and get tired, I turn it up a bit.”

He turned it up in the second period, recording three takedowns.

Fox started the second period with an escape, then scored a takedown with a leg shot for a 3-2 lead.

“I like to hit the leg attack, but I make sure it’s a no-risk move,” Fox said.

Oldaker escaped with 48 seconds left, but Fox added another takedown 9 seconds later to go up 5-3. The key points came after Oldaker escaped again with 10 seconds remaining in the second period.

In the final seconds, Oldaker made an ill-advised shot that Fox brushed aside to pick up a takedown for a 7-4 lead.

“He’s got to eliminate that one mistake, then he’s on his feet with a chance to tie (to start the third period),” Lueders said. “Jake knows that was a mistake in the final 10 seconds to shoot on his belly.”

Neither team had much success against Assumption, which finished second to Bettendorf on Saturday in the MAC.

Hunter Genco got the River Kings started on a positive note by pinning Michael Becker in 1:39, but the Knights won the next eight matches, picking up bonus points in all of them.

Mumm ended that run when he pinned Luke Powers in a repeat of the fifth-place match at the MAC tournament.

“Three-quarters of my wins are by pin, and they’re nice to get, but a win’s a win,” he said.

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