Wreslters win 15th straight dual, sweep home quad

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By Adam Iwans



The Vandalia wrestlers continued their impressive January performances Saturday afternoon, sweeping their second-to-last home meet of the season with dual wins over Beardstown, West Hancock and Porta.
Vandalia opened with a dual against Beardstown. A slow start allowed Beardstown to take an early 22-14 lead. However, Vandalia closed out the dual with six straight wins to win, 44-22.
“I felt like maybe we started the day a little slow. We talked about it at the end. Maybe we need to change up our warmup routine a little bit. Individually, kids have to find what works for them, because they’re not all the same,” Clay said. “It seems like these Saturday morning things, our first match is kind of the clunker. I thought we did a good job. I think we rounded off six wins at the end to kind of pull away. They (Beardstown) had some good kids in the middle, (but) once we made the turn up towards the top, we kind of pulled away. “
In the second dual, Vandalia was able to take advantage of West Hancock’s thin lineup; earning five wins via forfeit enroute to a 57-16 dual win.
“Second match, obviously there were a lot of forfeits and so it’s kind of hard to get into a flow in that match. We had a couple close ones there we could pull out, but they (West Hancock) had some good kids.  Tessman lost a real close one and Paslay’s overtime match; we could have pulled those ones out,” Clay said. “One of the things we have talked about is being better at match strategy and not giving up points at the end of the period, when you don’t have time to score back. When you get in those tight matches, every point counts, so you can’t give up multiple points because it’s hard to make up the score.”
Vandalia closed out the quad against Porta, earning the quad sweep, Clay felt that his team could have wrestled better in some areas.
“You are always going to have some of those matches where you feel like that (could have scored more points),” Clay said. 
With the sweep, Vandalia improves to 27-5 in dual action. The Vandals were scheduled to have their last home meet of the season Wednesday against O’Fallon.
“We wrestle O’Fallon Wednesday night, senior night. It’s a big dual for us. Our former head coach and my former head coach who I coached under, Coach (Glenn) Exton, returns to town,” Clay said. “They have a really nice team. (They are) a 3A school, so they will fill the lineup and have good kids at every weight but I think we match up decent.
“It seems like the season has flown by. We’re 27-5 and it’s like, holy cow, the season is almost done. This is what we have built up for. (When) February hits, it’s exciting and we ramp up the intensity.”

Vandalia vs. Beardstown
Jarrett Paslay (126) opened with a 6-2 decision win. Luke Tessman (132) dropped a 12-4 major decision, while Logan Sullens (138) earned an 18-3 technical fall.  Trevor Philpot (145) dropped a 9-3 decision, while Cody Phillips (152) followed with a third-period pin. Vandalia dropped the next three matches, with Wyatt Goade (160) dropping an 8-3 decision, while Garrett Stewart (170) and Matt Ledbetter (182) were pinned in the first period. Vandalia closed out with six wins. Bobby Bradley (220), Kendrick Woolsey (285) and Chaston Womack (120) earned first-period pins, while Tanner Swain (113) earned a 16-0 technical fall. Rilley Smock (195) and Zack Stephenson earned a decision and major decision win, respectively.

Vandalia vs. West Hancock
Vandalia earned forfeit victories at 106, 113, 120, 182 and 195 pounds.  Tessman dropped a 4-1 decision to open the dual. Sullens was pinned in the first-period, putting Vandalia in an early 9-0 hole. However, a 7-2 decision from Philpot and second-period pins from Phillips and Stewart (160) gave Vandalia a 15-9 lead. Goade (170) followed, dropping an 11-0 major decision. Bradley and Woolsey earned first-period pins, while Paslay closed things out with a hard-fought 10-8 decision loss in extra time.

Vandalia vs. Porta

Philpot (138) opened with a 19-11 major decision. Phillips was pinned in the first-period, while Stewart dropped a 7-0 decision. Ledbetter and Bradley followed with wins, with Bradley earning a first-period pin and Ledbetter winning a 13-1 major decision win. Smock came up just short in his match, dropping a 6-4 decision. Stephenson dropped a major decision, while Swain and Womack earned wins via fall in 14 and 13 seconds, respectively. Paslay followed with a win via fall in 50 seconds, while Tessman closed things out with a 12-3 major decision loss.