The Conway High wrestling team closed its dual schedule with a 40-30 victory over Little Rock Catholic Thursday night.
With the score tied 30-30 going into the 215-pound match, senior Josh Brown put together his best wrestling performance of the season to beat Brett Hiley 14-4 and give Conway four team points for a major decision. It was the fourth time Brown wrestled Hiley this season. Brown won all three previous matches by early pin fall.
"Hiley was prepared and made Josh wrestle him," CHS coach Ray Sessions said. "He didn’t allow Josh to muscle him around like he has previously. Josh’s score was the highest he’s had all year."
Junior heavyweight Hal Hoggard put the meet away with his pin fall victory over Ivan Hernandez. Hoggard started the match down 1-0 after being hit with a technical violation for having his shoelaces exposed. Hoggard was later penalized for unnecessary roughness. Hoggard ended the match via pin fall with 55 seconds remaining in the second period. He was ahead 10-2.
"Hal wrestled one of his most physical matches of the season," Sessions said. "He needs to wrestle that way all the time. He was aggressive, quick, and just a tad bit mean in there tonight. We need for ‘mean Hal’ to show up more often."
The most anticipated match of the evening featured defending state champion Andrew Wells against Corven Alexander in the 130-pound class. Alexander pinned Wells late in the third period in their only prior contest. Wells was ahead in that match by 10 points before getting pinned. Wells started the match with a quick takedown to gain a 2-0 advantage. He was unable to keep Alexander from hitting a stand up and gaining an escape point. Wells, however, was able to gain a second takedown seconds before the period expired. Wells chose the offensive position to start the second period and temporarily turned Alexander to his back to gain two near fall points. Wells was ahead 6-1 at this point when Alexander reversed the hold and kept him on his back the rest of the period. The move was good for five points to tie it at 6 going into the final period.
Alexander elected to start the final period on offense and managed to quickly turn Wells to his back gaining a two point near fall and eventually the pin with 31 seconds remaining in the match. Alexander now has a 27-4 record.
"Corven proved tonight that the first match was not a fluke," Sessions said. "Wells is an outstanding wrestler — his technique is solid. He makes very few mistakes which is why he was the state champ last year. With Corven being only a sophomore he has the potential to be the best in the state."
Another marquee matchup featured Conway’s Jaxson Myers against last year’s third-place finisher, Derik McGuire, in the 140-pound class. Myers achieved a reversal to start the second period and McGuire gained an escape to provide the only scoring in the match. Myers was able to ride out McGuire the entire third period for the 2-1 victory. Myers has a 27-4 record this year in the 140-pound class.
"Jaxson is steadily getting better every day," Sessions said. "His work ethic is solid. He is the hardest worker we have on the team. He challenges everyone to do their best. He will be ready for state."
The Cats will compete in the Mountain Home tournament Saturday and will conclude the season with the state tournament Feb. 19-20 in Little Rock.
In other matches:
103: Nguyen, LRC, defeated Wilson by pin fall
112: Connor Lusby, CHS, win by default
119: Calvin Jones, CHS, win by default
125: John Bullock, CHS< defeated Jack Ferrara 15-11 minor decision
135: CJ Egle, LRC, defeated Matt Friant 7-2 minor decision
145: Steven Gorgas, LRC, defeated Morgan Shiew by pin fall
152: Mason Wellborne, LRC, defeated Trevor Voegele 3-0 minor decision
160: Dexter Carter, LRC, defeated Chris King by pin fall
171: Skyler Thompson, CHS< defeated Noland Smith by pin fall
189: Hunter Cox, LRC, defeated Jonathan Clark by pin fall