After 14 bouts Wednesday night, both the Morris and Wilmington wrestling teams were deadlocked at 36 in the nonconference match. Since one team has to be declared a winner even with a tie score, the long list of tiebreakers came out at the official scorers table after the match.
This time it came down to the ninth criteria before Morris was declared the 36-36 winner of the night.
So what are the nine criteria?
“All I know is that we won on near falls, 2-1,” Morris coach Jon Lanning said.
Morris built an 18-6 early lead behind wins by Andrew Smith at 113 pounds (pinfall), Nathan Elleson (forfeit), Kenny Baldridge (6-1) and A.J. Vota (pinfall) before Wilmington stormed back to win the next six straight bouts to hold a 36-18 lead.
Undeterred, the Redskins answered with wins by fall from Dalton Ness and Andrew Faught at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively, and Tony Menozi won by forfeit and the match was officially a 36-all tie.
“We’ve never had a match go that deep in that situation before,” Lanning said. “It was a good and exciting night for the kids. Wilmington is a state powerhouse with a Hall of Fame coach [Rob Murphy]. I’ve said for years that we want to model our program after theirs. One good year of winning and the guys are going to start coming out. This just turns out to be the year we got them.”
At the JV level, Morris was still celebrating Saturday’s first place finishes in the Coal City Frosh-Soph Tournament by Andrew Smith and Ian Bernard. Against Wilmington, the Redskins had six winners including: Bernard (fall 1:35); Brandon Walker (fall 1:04); Mason Dryfout (fall 1:00); Merrick Hairpetian (fall 1:10); Bobby Strubinger (fall 3:15) and Ryan Olsen (fall 1:59).
Perhaps just as fitting on a night where there was a 36-36 winner, the fans of both the Redskins and the Wildcats came with toys to be turned in for admission.
“I’d like to thank the Morris and Wilmington fans who came out to watch wrestling and who donated to the Toys for Tots program,” Lanning said. “It’s a great cause for the kids here in Grundy County.”