Arkansas City’s wrestling team is consistently ranked among the top two or three teams in the state. So if the Class 5A No. 7-ranked Bulldogs are competing as if they have a chip on their shoulders, they can be excused.
The Bulldogs took care of business Thursday night in The Dawg Pound, rolling to a 42-21 victory against the reigning KSHSAA Class 6A State champion Derby Panthers.
The Panthers were ranked No. 6 in 6A entering Thursday’s dual, with six grapplers ranked in the top six at their respective weight class.
That mattered little — Ark City showed no mercy.
The Bulldogs did not allow a single pin against the Panthers, whose only six-point victory was a forfeit at 106 pounds. Ark City did not allow a single bonus point in the dual — of the six losses, one was by forfeit and the other five via three-point decision.
“Just really proud of how we competed last night,” ACHS coach Greg Buckbee said. “Wins and losses, our wrestlers fought hard the entire match.”
Three matches pitted ranked wrestlers against one another.
A key reversal to start the third period was costly for Ark City senior Gavin Lough, ranked No. 4 in 5A at 182 pounds, who ultimately dropped an 8-7 decision to Derby senior Taidon Wells, ranked No. 2 in 6A.
Derby senior Tyler Allen, ranked fifth in 6A at 220, dropped down to 195 to challenge 5A No. 3-ranked senior Deston Miller at 195. Miller used a late takedown to secure a 9-8 decision.
The Bulldogs already had the dual wrapped up when 5A No. 3-ranked ACHS junior Trig Tennant stepped onto the mat to face 6A No. 2-ranked Cason Lindsey in the final match of the night, at 145 pounds. Tennant made quick work with a takedown and pin in the first period.
Ark City clinched the victory with consecutive pins at 113, 120 and 126.
Derby freshman Tate Rusher, ranked No. 6 in 6A at 113, took the night off, so junior Sammy Dickey pinned his understudy, Knowlyn Egan, in the second period to give the Bulldogs a 24-15 lead. Junior Kael Pappan, ranked No. 4 in 5A, followed with a pin in the third period of his 120-pound bout against Troy Allen.
Sophomore Traven Hutton then clinched the win with a third-period fall against Pierce Probasco at 126, making the score 36-15.
Junior Wyatt Biddle refused to be pinned at 132 against 6A No. 3-ranked Bryce Wells, who had to settle for an 8-2 decision. Freshman Wyatt Bahm gave up a late takedown in a 9-7 loss to Xavier Sisco at 138.
Senior Nicholas Bahm, ranked fifth in 5A at 170, earned a third-period fall against Jace Jenkins.
Junior Maximus Shannon, the No. 3-ranked heavyweight in 5A, needed just 54 seconds to pin Alex Hurt.
Arkansas City 42, Derby 21
106 — Cody Woods (Dby) won forfeit. 113 — Sammy Dickey (Ark) pin Knowlyn Egan (Dby). 120 — Kael Pappan (Ark) pin Troy Allen (Dby). 126 — Traven Hutton (Ark) pin Pierce Probasco (Dby). 132 — Bryce Wells (Dby) dec. Wyatt Biddle (Ark), 8-2. 138 — Xavier Sisco (Dby) dec. Wyatt Bahm (Ark), 9-7. 145 — Trig Tennant (Ark) pin Cason Lindsey (Dby). 152 — Daigen Moulton (Ark) dec. Luke Sweat (Dby), 7-2. 160 — Miles Wash (Dby) def. Rhett Lathers (Ark), 11-9. 170 — Nicholas Bahm (Ark) pin Jace Jenkins (Dby). 182 — Taidon Wells (Dby) dec. Gavin Lough (Ark), 8-7. 195 — Deston Miller (Ark) dec. Tyler Allen (Dby), 9-8. 220 — Blaise Wood (Dby) dec. Isaac Stevens (Ark), 3-0. 285 — Maximus Shannon (Ark) pin Alex Hurt (Dby).