By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Kokomo's wrestling team picked up its first dual meet of the season Wednesday, topping Howard County-rival Eastern 40-26 in front of the home fans
The Wildkats were led by A.J. Nelson and Brenton Etherington each with pins. Nelson (120 weight pound class) pinned his Eastern opponent in 2:51, and Etherington (195) pinned his Comet opponent in 1:44.
Kokomo’s Jabin Wright (106) won by a 6-3 decision. Scotty Barbary (126) was a 14-2 winner, and Chad Gaddis (152) took the match with a 7-3 decision. Devin Hatt (170), Keair Ross (170) and Fletcher Miller (220) each won by forfeit.
Kokomo coach Ryan Wells saw that it was going to be a close match.
“[Eastern] made some moves to make the match closer,” Wells said. “They bumped some guys around, and some of our better guys didn’t wrestle. We did have a big win at 106 with Wright being a freshman. He wrestled a very tough Eastern kid. Overall, the kids wrestled well, and we have to keep doing what we are doing, and good things will happen.”
WESTERN 67, NORTHWESTERN 3
Senior Dustin Hinkle recorded his 100th career win as the Panthers cruised to a win over their county rival, winning 12 of 14 weight classes.
Hinkle recorded a pin in the 145-pound weight class to reach the century mark for his career.
“It’s a great milestone for him,” Western coach Chad Shepherd said. “This was one of two goals he set for himself when he started wrestling in high school. He wanted to get to 100 wins and get to the state [finals]. He’s halfway to his goals. It was a good evening for him.”
Tate Sanders (170), Corey Hinkle (180), Russell McDorman (195) and Caleb Maddox (126) all won by pin for the Panthers (5-2), with Maddox improving to 7-0 on the season.
Dante Graham (220), David Ryan (285), Aidan Frazier (106) and Logan Stout (138) all accepted forfeits for Western, while Payton Lechner (113) and Mason Shepherd (132) won by technical fall.
Cody Stout won by decision at 152 to round out Western’s winners.
“It was a pretty good performance,” Chad Shepherd said. “To Northwestern’s credit, they came out and fought hard. They have a very inexperienced team with a lot of freshmen and we have a lot of upperclassmen, and we went out and did what we needed to. We went out and wrestled well and ran our moves. A lot of kids tried new stuff they don’t normally do, which was nice to see.”
Northwestern’s win came in the 160-pound class, where Luke Akers won a 12-8 decision over Skylar Braden.
TIPTON 66, TAYLOR 44
Macie Lively scored a game high 26 points in leading the Class 2A, No. 4-ranked Blue Devils (4-0) to the 22-point victory, a contest in which Taylor coach Dennis Bentzler wasn’t very pleased with his team’s performance.
“I am a little disappointed in the loss,” Bentzler said. “We should have made lay ups at the other end. Defensively, Tipton made it chaotic. Lively took the game over, and really hurt us. The girls need to take the scouting report and apply it in the game. We are getting better with our half-court defense, because we are being more aggressive.”
Molly Mahany was next for Tipton with 14 points, and Lela Crawford added 12. Crawford also had 12 rebounds, and Molly Mahaney came away with 9 rebounds. Kacie Juday added eight points, eight assists and eight steals.
"I'm fairly pleased," Tipton coach Nick Comer said. "I told the kids afterward that some of the stuff that got exposed and needed to be cleaned up is typical when you take a week off. The kids needed that over Thanksgiving to recharge, so I don't regret that. In spurts we did some really good things. We continue to extend those spurts and stretch them out longer, and that's a good sign. We have a tough stretch coming up here, so hopefully we can put together a couple good days of practice and get ready for our first conference opponent [Benton Central on Saturday]."
Kaitlynn Good and Brie Boehler each had 13 points to lead Taylor (2-4).
NORTHWESTERN 59, MACONAQUAH 31
Northwestern is on a hot streak, winning its second game in a row, and its first Mid-Indiana Conference win of the season.
Brooke Treadway led the Tigers (2-5, 1-1 MIC) with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Kelsey Richards added 10 points, and Kaitlyn Daanen and Beza Townsend each had nine points.
Maconaquah was led by Courtney Campbell with 10 points.