Lynx build early 30-0 lead on Ballard, can’t hang on

Phetxoumphone, Henely, Zuetlau, Rattenborg and Gasca all winners by fall

Chase Rattenborg (left) and Evan Estlund (right) scream instructions to teammate CJ Hisler on the mat during Webster City’s dual against Ballard last night inside the WCHS gymnasium. Rattenborg was one of five Lynx wrestlers to win by fall, but the Bombers overcame an early 30-0 deficit to win the dual, 44-36. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — Things couldn’t have started out any better for the Webster City wrestling team in front of its home crowd last night.

Things couldn’t have ended any worse either.

What essentially amounted to two separate duals went the way of Ballard, 44-36, as the Bombers rallied from an early 30-0 hole to stun the Lynx inside the WCHS gymnasium.

WCHS (0-3) won six of the first seven weights, five of them by fall. Ballard (3-0) countered by sweeping the final seven matches with bonus points attached to six of them.

One side of the mat was pandemonium after the rally. The other side shuffled into the handshake line in stunned belief.

WCHS 126-pounder Ryan Zuetlau (back) fends off a shot against Ballard’s Jordan Thomas last night. Zuetlau pinned Thomas in 1:39. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“We’re still a young team and there are a lot of things we can improve on,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said afterwards. “But I thought we improved over last week. Up and down the lineup we were intense and competed hard and that’s all you can ask for. If we can come back in the (practice) room afterwards and know we’ve given it our all, then you can be happy.”

The dual couldn’t have begun at a more perfect spot for WCHS. Hisler was able to throw freshman Kyle Gose onto the mat to collect a forfeit at 106 pounds and then bump up top-ranked (Class 2A) 106-pounder Cam Phetxoumphone to 113, and the 2019 state place winner ignited the Lynx.

Phetxoumphone quickly whipped Luke Hartsook to his back and heard the slap of the mat just 27 seconds into the bout to put WCHS up 6-0.

Brayden Henely (120) also bumped up and added to the early advantage by decking the Bombers’ Lane Kahler in just 49 seconds. Ryan Zuetlau followed suit at 126, as he escaped an early shot from Ballard’s Jordan Thomas and then tripped Thomas straight to his back near the edge of the mat for the fall in 1:39.

Zuetlau has been one of the early-season bright spots for the Lynx and Hisler says the junior has patiently waited for his chance to shine.

Webster City’s Nick Gasca (right) shakes hands with Ballard’s Wyatt Borg during the introduction of their 145-pound match inside the WCHS gymnasium last night. Gasca caught Borg in an inside cradle and got the fall in 57 seconds. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“He’s taken advantage of his opportunity by getting better every year,” Hisler said of Zuetlau. “For a couple years he was one of those little guys that couldn’t get in the lineup, but now he’s got his chance and I’m happy for him.”

Chase Rattenborg continued to push the momentum in the Lynx favor. The junior 132-pounder rattled off a pair of takedowns against Thomsen Harrison before he collected the arm and showed Harrison the lights in 1:03.

Ballard got on the scoreboard with a fall at 138 courtesy of Gage Long, but the Lynx Nick Gasca answered with a fall of his own in his varsity season debut at 145. Gasca locked up an inside cradle from his feet and took Ballard’s Wyatt Borg straight to his back. Gasca ended it in 57 seconds.

But from there it was all Ballard.

The Bombers’ Alex Bangs (152) claimed a tech fall win and Gabe Christensen (160) followed with a fall. Nate Nessa (170) held off a late CJ Hisler charge for a 7-3 decision, and Mason Askelsen (182), Brady Ehresman (195), Jack Chism (220) and Rylee Davidson (285) produced pins to complete the comeback.

WCHS sophomore Cam Phetxoumphone (top) puts the finishing touches on his 27-second fall over Ballard’s Luke Hartsook last night. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The dual was still up for grabs when Davidson took the mat against the Lynx Trey Shannon at heavyweight. Shannon scored an early reversal and had Davidson in trouble, but the Ballard senior was able to reverse Shannon to his back late in the first period.

“I really thought that last match could go either way and they both had each other close to their back,” Hisler said. “And this isn’t on Trey. We could have started anywhere and it could have come down to anybody at the end, so that’s tough.”

Ballard owned a 20-18 edge in bonus points and 16-6 advantage in takedowns. WCHS didn’t score a takedown in the final seven bouts.

The Lynx will head to Grinnell on Saturday to compete in the Grinnell Duals, starting at 10 a.m. They’ll face off against the host Tigers, as well as Bondurant-Farrar, Mount Pleasant and East Marshall.

Ballard 44, Webster City 36

Lynx 160-pounder Cole Bingham (right) attempts to take Ballard’s Gabe Christensen off his feet and return him to the mat last night. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Thursday at Webster City

106 — Kyle Gose (WC) forfeit (0-6). 113 — Cam Phetxoumphone (WC) pinned Luke Hartsook, 0:27 (0-12). 120 — Brayden Henely (WC) pinned Lane Kahler, 0:49 (0-18). 126 — Ryan Zuetlau (WC) pinned Jordan Thomas, 1:39 (0-24). 132 — Chase Rattenborg (WC) pinned Thomsen Harrison, 1:03 (0-30). 138 — Gage Long (B) pinned Austin Mason, 2:57 (6-30). 145 — Nick Gasca (WC) pinned Wyatt Borg, 0:57 (6-36). 152 — Alex Bangs (B) tech fall Evan Estlund, 15-0, 5:39 (11-36). 160 — Gabe Christensen (B) pinned Cole Bingham, 5:39 (17-36). 170 — Nate Nessa (B) dec. CJ Hisler, 7-3 (20-36). 182 — Mason Askelsen (B) pinned Truman Klein, 1:08 (26-36). 195 — Brady Ehresman (B) pinned Dylan Burnette, 1:55 (32-36). 220 — Jack Chism (B) pinned Broden Miller, 0:54 (38-36). 285 — Rylee Davidson (B) pinned Trey Shannon, 1:43 (44-36).