By Jon Gremmels
Herald Sports Editor
Brice Everson was baffled when the official's hand slapped the mat. He sprung to his feet, looking to the coaches in his corner, arms held out to his sides with a look of bewilderment on his face.
It was an abrupt and unexpected end to a match that had gone scoreless for nearly 7 1/2 minutes. Everson, a freshman at Camanche High School, had spent the second and third periods trying to break free from the ride of Davenport Assumption's Brendan Gould, and here he was again in the same position in the first 30-second overtime tiebreaker. Only this time, Gould was turning Everson to his back.
Then came the hand slap signifying a pin.
"That's probably the worst feeling in the world, getting up after just getting pinned. I was real upset," Everson said.
The next thing he knew, his hand was being raised as the champion of the 113-pound weight class at Saturday's Iowa Class 2A Maquoketa Sectional wrestling tournament.
"I actually thought I was the one who got pinned," Everson said. "I stood up and thought there was no way I just got pinned. I looked over at the coach, and he told me I won. ... I was actually confused at first when he told me I won.
"It was pretty crazy."
It was pretty big, too, for a couple of reasons. First, it meant that Everson, ranked sixth in the state at 113 by thepredicament.com will have the easier first-round match at the West Liberty District meet, while fifth-ranked Gould will have to face fourth-ranked Fletcher Green of Washington in the semifinals. But it also avenged a 4-0 loss in Everson's first varsity match.
It wasn't easy, though. After a scoreless first period, Gould chose top position in the second period and rode out Everson. In the third, Everson chose bottom but still couldn't get free,
"I couldn't finish my shots. He couldn't get in on any shots," Everson said. "Really, no one could score. He was a tough leg rider and I couldn't do anything on the bottom. No one could do anything."
After another scoreless minute on their feet in sudden victory, there was another disc flip. Everson won and chose down for the first 30-second tiebreaker. This time, though, Gould got the advantage and was trying to expose Everson's shoulders to the mat as the final seconds ticked away.
"I turned to the hips when he had the leg in and he rolled himself to his back," Everson said. "I caught myself and posted and ended up getting the pin."
Everson, who recorded the fall in 7 minutes, 28 seconds, will have company at the district meet. Teammate Jeremy Sorem, also a freshman, advanced with a second-place finish at 106.
Gould's loss was one of the rare ones on the day for Assumption, which is ranked second in the state in 2A. The Knights qualified 13 of their 14 wrestlers for the district meet, winning 10 weights and capturing the team title with 294 points.
Central DeWitt placed second with 211 points and advanced six, although three of them had to win matches for true second place to do it.
"We made it a little bit more drama than it needed to be," Sabers coach Ed Vance said. "That (having to win the match for true second) is a tough place to be. I told (Jake) Feldpausch, that's what separates the men from the boys — to be able to suck it up and dig down."
Walker Wegener (126 pounds), Chase Kraklio (182) and Feldpausch (195) all had to come back and win after losing in the finals to Assumption wrestlers. Matches for true second place are required when the winner of the third-place match and the loser in the finals have not competed against one another in the tournament.
"There's a lot of pressure," Kraklio said. "You have to fight for your survival."
Kraklio and Feldpausch had to come back from disappointing losses in championship matches.
Kraklio had a 4-2 lead on Assumption's Gabriel Rangel midway through the second period before Rangel went ahead with an escape and a takedown. Then, in the third period, Kraklio was trying to escape when Rangel rolled through his legs and recorded a pin.
"It was very disappointing," Kraklio said. "I just gassed. I wasn't sure of the situation. I had it for the first part of it. Once he gets that mental edge, it's hard to get it back."
In the next final, at 195, Feldpausch had a 7-3 lead in the third period, but Assumption's Zach Adrian used a late five-point move to go ahead. Feldpausch got a reversal right before the buzzer to pull even at 9-9 but then lost on a takedown in sudden victory.
Two Sabers, Drew Schroeder at 170 and Cameron Donovan at 220, won championship matches, although Donovan needed to hang on in the final minute to make sure he didn't suffer the same fate at Kraklio and Feldpausch.
He led 5-1 after scoring a three-point near fall with 41 seconds left in the second period. But Dylan VanDusen of West Liberty scored two takedowns in the third period to pull even at 6-6. After an escape put Donovan back on top, VanDusen was trying for another throw, when Donovan countered for a takedown with 31 seconds left that preserved a 9-7 win.
"After I put him on his back, I guess I felt I could stall a little bit more than I should have," Donovan said.
He also had to worry about VanDusen's throws.
"I just needed to remind myself about the score and not to get too crazy.," Donovan said. "You have the lead, if he's going to throw you, let him do it out of bounds because he can't hold you down."
Winning was a bit easier for Schroeder. He beat Assumption's Clint Harland 4-2, scoring midway through the first period with a takedown, riding out the second period and adding a reversal in the third.
"Coming off an injury and having been out the last two tournaments, it feels good to get a win," Schroeder said. "I didn't want to leave it to a wrestleback, so I took care of business."
The second-place team finish also put Central DeWitt in Tuesday's 6 p.m. regional duals at Davenport Assumption. The Sabers will face the Knights in one semifinal, while Mount Vernon takes on Dubuque Wahlert in the other.
"We're happy to still be alive as a team," Vance said. "The ones who didn't move on are excited about competing Tuesday."
The season also will continue for Northeast's Connor Soenksen. A returning state qualifier, he advanced after taking second place at 132 pounds. But, it was a tough day for the Rebels, as he was their lone district qualifier.
Tyler Schoon (37-6), the Rebels' other state qualifier in 2012, saw his hopes of a return trip to Des Moines dashed when he lost 11-4 to Assumption's Jacob Fenske in the semifinals and Fenske then lost to West Liberty's Elliott Henderson in the first-place match. Dylan Ploog (160) and Dickey lost their matches for true second place, and 30-match winner Blake Dierks lost in the semifinals to Greyson Doolittle and didn't have the opportunity to wrestle back.
"I was pretty confident coming in," said Soenksen, who was pinned in the final by second-ranked Kyle Springer of Assumption. "We kind of had higher hopes for the team. Maybe it will light a fire under our butts for next year."
Maquoketa put three wrestlers into the district meet with second-place finishes.
Freshman 138-pounder Jacob Kloft (24-13), sophomore Logan Mayberry (31-9) at 145 and senior Ty Thede (22-19) at 160 all lost to Assumption wrestlers in the finals. Mayberry and Thede needed to win matches for true second place to advance.
IOWA CLASS 2A MAQUOKETA SECTIONAL
1. Davenport Assumption 294; 2. Central DeWitt 211; 3. West Liberty 117.5; 4. Northeast 111; 5. Maquoketa 103.5; 6. Camanche 89.
(Top two placewinners advance)
Championship — Darien Collins (DA) pinned Jeremy Sorem (Cam) :38. Third place — Beau Bowman (Maq) pinned Bryant Woodford (CD) :35.
Championship — Brice Everson (Cam) pinned Brendan Gould (DA) 7:28 ot. Third place — Ryeland Doolittle (CD) pinned Shea Caven (Maq) 4:37. True second place — Gould pinned Doolittle 3:16.
Championship — Elliott Henderson (WL) dec. Jacob Fenske (DA) 4-2. Third place — Tyler Schoon (NE) m. dec. Nick Woodford (CD) 10-1.
Championship — Tony Devriese (DA) tech. fall Walker Wegener (CD) 15-0, 2:43. Third place — Kohl Wheeler (WL) dec. Christian Flenker (Maq) 8-7. True second place — Wegener pinned Wheeler 2:52.
Championship — Kyle Springer (DA) pinned Connor Soenksen (NE) 1:56. Third place — Dallas Durkop (Maq) pinned Tanner Mueller (WL) 4:39.
Championship — Eric Clarke (DA) pinned Jacob Kloft (Maq) 3:29. Third place — Mason Cousins (CD) pinned Dakota Herrold (WL) 2:00.
Championship — Tionte Parks (DA) pinned Logan Mayberry (Maq) 1:57. Third place — Carter Cahill (CD) pinned Andrew Driscoll (NE) 3:31. True second place — Mayberry tech. fall Cahill 18-2, 5:04.
Championship — Nick Georgean (DA) m. dec. Greyson Doolittle (CD) 20-9. Third place — Blake Dierks (NE) bye.
Championship — Danny Bush (DA) pinned Ty Thede (Maq) 1:03. Third place — Dylan Ploog (NE) pinned Brice Bowen (CD) 1:07. True second place — Thede pinned Ploog 1:18.
Championship — Drew Schroeder (CD) dec. Clint Harland (DA) 4-2. Third place — Shykeem Williams (Cam) bye.
Championship — Gabriel Rangel (DA) pinned Chase Kraklio (CD) 4:39. Third place — Cole Rosezell (WL) dec. Grant Hinerichsen (NE) 6-4 sv. True second place — Kraklio pinned Rosezell 1:11.
Championship — Zach Adrian (DA) dec. Jake Feldpausch (CD) 11-9 sv. Third place — Cole Dickey (NE) pinned Chod Gilbert (Cam) 3:22. True second place — Feldpausch dec. Dickey 7-2.
Championship — Cameron Donovan (CD) dec. Dylan VanDusen (WL) 9-7. Third place — Ethan Sharp (Cam) pinned Chase Hager (DA) 1:11.
Championship — Sean Easler (DA) m. dec. Juan Martinez (WL) 9-1. Third place — Doug Hayen (CD) pinned Garrett Moeller (NE) 5:16.