CLEAR LAKE | Clear Lake coach Mike Lester and the Lions can’t help to contain their excitement sometimes when talking about how far the dual team has come.
With less than two weeks until sectionals, the Lions' train kept rolling Tuesday night with a 45-32 rivalry win over Mason City.
“It’s pretty big because it goes back to football and we just don’t like losing to close towns because they always have that over us,” Clear Lake junior Kade Hambly said. “It felt pretty good just to get a win in general.”
For the past few weeks, the Lions have been building steam. It was highlighted by a good showing Saturday and the North Central Conference tournament, and then they put an exclamation on that with a sound performance Tuesday night.
Clear Lake had four pins in the final six matches as Braxton Doebel, Ben Finn, Chance Poley and Hambly each recorded first-period falls.
“That’s what I’ve noticed about this team, too,” Lester said. “I was adding up the falls last Thursday, and I tell you what, we’ve got a pinning team, which is good. That’s the way you win the duals. They’re really finding their niche on top and from their feet, and how to find feet-to-back position, which is amazing.”
The match of the night came at 126 pounds with top-ranked (2A) Eric Faught of Clear Lake and No. 8 (3A) Colby Schriever of Mason City squaring off.
Schriever went up 1-0 with an early escape in the second period before Faught took him to the mat as the clock expired to take a 2-1 lead into the third. Schriever let Faught loose for an escape to start the third, and then got a takedown of his own with just under a minute to go. Electing to go with a little strategy, Schriver let Faught get back up for a one-point escape, but Faught held off Schriver’s numerous shots to pick up a 4-3 decision.
“It keeps him focused and that’s a type of match he needs just because it keeps him focused,” Lester said of Faught. “His shots are going to be there as long as he keeps hammering.”
For Schriever, it served as a little lesson heading into the CIML conference meet on Friday.
“I think it shows him he can be competitive with guys like that, although I think he knows that,” Mason City coach Dusty Rhodes said. “It also shows him that if he can do in the first period what he did in the second in third periods, that’s a different match.”
The Mohawks received pins from Luke Deinhart (152), Jeff Shurtz (220) and Troy Monahan (285) and major decisions from Connor Wiemann (113) and Evan Craw (182).
Top-ranked Cullan Schriever (106) did not wrestle to rest up for the conference meet on Friday.
Clear Lake’s other three victories came by forfeit, and with the win Tuesday, the Lions like the direction they’re heading.
“I think we’re feeling pretty good,” Hambly said. “We’ve been wrestling great and just fighting hard, and I think we have a pretty good shot at going to state duals.”