EUDORA — Eudora’s quick start to its home dual on Tuesday didn’t faze Pat Naughton.
Rather, the 12th-year Lawrence High coach had a feeling things were just getting started.
“On paper, it was kind of offset, where we’re not as strong down there where they’re strong, and we’re strong up top where they’re weak,” said Naughton after a 52-27 victory over Eudora, LHS’ first dual victory of the season. "We kind of had it figured out that those middle matches were going to be pretty key for us.”
They may not all have been key, but the middle weight-class matches certainly turned the tide of the Tuesday dual, helping the Lions retake the lead after surrendering some points early on.
After LHS was awarded the first six points of the dual on a forfeit, LHS freshman Logan Farrell battled back and forth with Eudora’s Will Schreiner at 113 pounds to stave off a pin. The bout salvaged three points for the Lions, but they quickly found themselves behind.
Eudora’s Larry Gulley scored a pin in the next round, while the team added 12 more team points on forfeits to go up 21-6.
Then came the first of the “middle matches,” the first of which set the tone for the rest of the evening.
“It was huge,” Naughton said.
Relle Dye, who led by six points late in the 138-pound match, was able to tab two more in the final seconds to come away with a 13-5 win. That eight-point margin bumped the result up to a major decision, thus adding on another point for the Lions in the team scores.
“I think he’s progressed a lot since last season,” said Melle Dye, Relle’s brother. “All his matches were really close (last year), but that one was pretty strong."
“The best thing about it, you’re always looking to score those close points when they arrive,” added Naughton. "If you’re up six and you’re on your feet, you want to get that extra takedown.”
In this case, though, the Lions didn’t need it.
Six of the next seven matches ended with a Lion pinning his opponent.
LHS’ Jay Cheatham got the streak started, pinning Eudora’s Nate Criqui in the first round of their 145-pound bout. Next up was Melle Dye, who finished off Andre Whitson in the third round to move the Lions in front, 22-21.
“I feel like I was really lazy that match,” the 152-pound Melle Dye admitted afterward. “I wasn’t hitting my shots right. I didn’t lower my level. I was just standing up and trying to reach out with my shots."
Naugton praised Melle Dye’s “workmanship style,” but agreed he still has room to improve.
“Giving up an escape with three seconds or five seconds left in the period, that just can’t happen,” Naughton said. “That’s just going to come back to haunt him later (on), so that’s something we’re going to work on.”
As for some of his younger wrestlers, Naugton was impressed by freshman Lane Luna, who wrestled at the 195-pound mark and picked up a win over Eudora sophomore Christopher Huslig.
Naughton also praised Farrell for his effort on the day, moving up a weight class and saving the Lions three points by not getting pinned. In the end, though, it simply came as a bonus.
Eudora took the ensuing match after Melle Dye’s win — Elijah Kennedy won by pinfall at 160 pounds — but the Lions took the points in each of the final five matches to win by 25 team points.
“That was pretty cool to see, especially with a whole bunch of young guys,” Melle Dye said. "I like our leadership with me, Jay and Relle as the three seniors leading the guys. I think we’ve done pretty good at that, and the freshmen are doing pretty good, too."
Tuesday at Eudora
Lawrence High 52, Eudora 27
106 — Tyler Soukhot (LHS) def. OPEN (Eudora)
113 — Will Schreiner (Eudora) won by decision over Logan Farrell (LHS), 6-3
120 — Larry Gulley (Euodra) won by fall over Zach Razak (LHS), 0:51
126 — Holden Andrews (Eudora) def. OPEN (LHS)
132 — Hagan Andrews (Eudora) def. OPEN (LHS)
138 — Relle Dye (LHS) won by major decision over Cael Lynch (Eudora), 13-5
145 — Jay Cheatham (LHS) won by fall over Nate Criqui (Eudora), 1:19
152 — Melle Dye (LHS) won by fall over Andre Whitson (Eudora), 4:25
160 — Elijah Kennedy (Eudora) won by fall over Justin Miller (LHS), 3:27
170 — Gentry Dennison (LHS) won by fall over Weston Trefz (Eudora), 1:47
182 — AJ Powell (LHS) won by fall over Brodie Golden (Eudora), 1:36
195 — Lane Luna (LHS) won by fall over Christopher Huslig (Eudora), 1:10
220 — Ethan Rorabaugh (LHS) won by fall over Elyjah Helm (Eudora), 1:12
285 — EJ Jewsome (LHS) def. OPEN (Eudora)