PENDLETON — Had at least one regular Pendleton Heights wrestler that was out of Tuesday night’s dual meet with Fishers been able to go, the team result could well have been different.
Fishers ended up on top 42-35 in a match that saw the victorious Tigers show their strength in the lower weights and the Arabians prevail in the bookend sets of bouts.
The most notable absence for PH was junior 132-pounder Jared Brown, ranked ninth in the state by Indianamat.com. Brown is in concussion protocol after sustaining an injury in a dual against Mount Vernon last week.
PH coach Dave Cloud said Brown will miss Saturday’s Hoosier Heritage Conference meet the Arabians are hosting and added it is possible Brown may not be cleared to wrestle until the Elwood sectional Feb. 1.
“That’s going to hurt us a lot because you’re taking out a guy that would have been a No. 1 (HHC) seed,’ Cloud said. “That’s going to hurt losing 26 points in an eight-team event”
The Arabians’ defeats to Fishers were all either by fall or forfeit (106), and that included wins at 195 by fourth-ranked JD Farrell over Colyn Griffith and 13th-ranked 113-pounder Griffin Ingalls over Elijah Creel.
PH scored four pins of its own, as well as two gritty performances near the end of the meet and a dominant one by sixth-ranked Cade Campbell at 285.
Campbell (27-2) won by technical fall 16-0 over Max Kohne, who surrendered four near-falls but refused to be pinned throughout the five-minute match.
Zach Sanford opened the dual at 170 by pinning James Carroll at 3:22, and the next Arabian up, Colin Gillespie, needed two fewer seconds to stop Jon Rubio at 182.
After Farrell got Fishers on the board, 220-pounder Justin Stephens made it 18-6 PH with a fall over Wyatt Holley with 15 seconds left in the opening period.
The Tigers would sweep by the Arabians in the lighter six weights and go up 42-23 and clinch the meet, but the remainder of the dual would not lack suspense.
At 145, PH junior Gator Bynum was engaged in a back-and-forth match with Tyler Lindamood, and the Fishers wrestler gained a solid upper hand with under 30 seconds left, at 13-9.
Bynum came up with a reversal and was desperately going for the pin, and as the buzzer sounded, he got something just as good — a near-fall worth three points, and that gave him the win.
“He did some really good things in the match and I’m glad that he dug out and found a way at the end,” Cloud said. “You’re up 8-3 and all of a sudden you’re down 11-8, a lot of guys aren’t going to be able to come back like that.”
PH got a 5-2 decision by Ethan Childers over Zach Willard at 152 and a 86-second fall by Maverick Hamilton over Ben Jones at 160 at the end.
“We just needed one more win,” Cloud said. “Having Jared out of the lineup obviously set us back, and we actually had two other guys out, so we don’t have enough depth to take a loss like that, but we did as well as we could have done.”