WICHITA, Kan. – The No. 10 ranked Fort Hays State wrestling team defeated No. 18 ranked Newman on Wednesday (Feb. 13), by a score of 26-13. The Tigers completed the dual portion of their schedule with a 3-9 overall record and finished 2-3 in conference action, while the Jets dipped to 3-7 on the year and 1-4 in the MIAA.
The Tigers got off to a strong start when freshman Broderick Green came out swinging with a commanding pin in the first period (0:42) over Jake Patch. Green earned his team-leading seventh fall of the season in the process. The tables turned over in the 133-pound bout when Braden Visnieski suffered a fall at the hands of Tyler Lawley in the first period (2:55). FHSU and Newman were tied 6-6 after the first two matches.
No. 1 ranked Brandon Ball shutout his opponent (Kevin Kissane) with a 7-0 decision, earning his 20th win of the year. This is the third-consecutive season Ball has reached the 20-win plateau. Jonathan Ball had a big test as he was facing No. 8 ranked Kameron Frame at 149 pounds. Ball suffered an 11-1 major decision defeat, giving the Jets the lead once again, this time 10-9.
In a battle of nationally ranked wrestlers, the 157-pound bout featured No. 4 ranked Efe Osaghae and No. 2 ranked Tyler Mies. Osaghae struck a takedown in the opening seconds of the first round and never looked back as he upset Mies with a 4-3 decision. Marty Verhaeghe dropped down to the 165-pound class and earned himself an 11-9 decision over Noah Perkins, giving him his 19th victory on the year.
Aryus Jones nearly defeated Nate Panagakis at 174 pounds but was edged out in the first overtime as Panagakis made a quick move at the beginning of the period, winning in a sudden victory, 7-5. Micquille Robinson, Ryan Tiers and A.J. Cooper capped off the dual with three-straight victories for the Tigers. Robinson used a 6-1 decision over Ivan Balavage to give the Tigers an 18-13 lead with two bouts to go and earning his team-leading 33rd win of the year..
Tiers used a couple of four-point near falls to separate himself from Sage Eckman, ultimately winning the bout with a 16-2 major decision. Cooper did more of the same and picked up a 13-2 major decision as well, doubling up the Jets score, 26-13.
The Tigers will now have 10 days to prepare for Regionals, which take place (Feb. 23) in St. Charles, Mo. the time for the event has yet to be determined.