MORRIS — The final score was not indicative of how competitive the Morris wrestling team was Thursday in a 58-21 loss to Northern Illinois Big 12 rival Sycamore.
"We actually wrestled pretty well," Morris coach Jon Lanning said. "We got pinned too many times, but in a lot of those matches, the score was close - 2-0, 3-1, 4-1 - before we got pinned. We just got ourselves into some bad situations and the matches turned quickly."
The meet started at 160, and Sycamore's Zak Kozumplik earned a 10-0 major decision over Morris' Jacob Barkley to put the Spartans ahead 4-0. Morris then got a forfeit at 170 to take a 6-4 lead and Robert Bates beat Dylan Shuman 8-2 at 182 to put the Redskins on top, 9-4.
Next up for Morris was Cody Baldridge, ranked first in the state at 182 in Class 2A by illinoismatmen.com. Baldridge wrestled at 195, but was able to pin Sycamore's Nick Salisbury in 1:27 to put the Redskins ahead, 15-4.
"We had some guys wrestle up tonight," Lanning said. "We wanted to do that because Sycamore doesn't have a 170-pounder. This way, both Robbie and Cody got to wrestle, and they both did a good job by going up a class and winning."
At 220, Morris' R.J. Roderick was trailing just 4-1 when he was pinned in 1:35 by Sycamore's Matthew Hunter. The Spartans' Joey Beaudoin then pinned Morris' Tyler Petty at 285 in :50 to put Sycamore ahead, 16-15.
Sycamore's Treor Boryla, ranked third in the state, pinned Morris' Tristan Martin in 1:28 at 106 before Justin Montani pinned Morris' Brandon Mazzoni in 1:17 at 113 to put the Spartans ahead 28-15. Morris then got a pin from Bryce Claypool at 120, as he shouldered Nicholas Lockhart in 3:23 to bring his team to within 28-21.
In the 126-pound bout, Morris' Bryce Mahnke was pinned in 3:15 by Chad Schlap. Sycamore's Will Delmr then pinned Dan Grant, normally a 126-pounder, in 3:12 of the 132-pound bout. Morris' Kaden Linn trailed just 4-2 in the second period at 138 before getting pinned in 3:32.
In a high-scoring match at 145, Morris' Jacob Eisenbeis fell behind Sycamore's Skyler Larson 5-0 early in the first period before coming back to pull to within 10-8 at the end of the period. Larson pinned Eisenbeis at the 3:32 mark. The match ended with Sycamore's Colton Berg pinning Morris' Mason Young in 3:36 in the 152-pound bout.
"[Sycamore coach] Alex [Nelson] is a great coach and Sycamore has a good team," Lanning said. "This was a good match for us to get some experience. I thought Bryce Claypool did a nice job at 120 and Jacob Eisenbeis had a nice match at 145. He's a big-move wrestler. He will go for the pin, but at times he gets caught and gets himself pinned. That will happen when you are as aggressive as he is, but I like his aggressiveness."
Morris (14-7) won all three of its matches Wednesday in a home quad, beating Rich South 47-30, Grant Park 72-9 and Ottawa Marquette 77-6. The Redskins take part in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference meet in Geneseo on Saturday before returning home next Wednesday for Senior Night against Bolingbrook.