Lynx start slow, finish fast and take 4th at DCG
No. 1-ranked Phetxoumphone faces first test, passes; WCHS thrives in consolation rounds
GRIMES — Pinning opponents in less time than it takes to walk to the mat are fun and draw attention, but they don’t really help the long game.
And Webster City sophomore Cam Phetxoumphone, the top-ranked 106-pounder in Class 2A, is playing just that — a long game that he hopes builds until the moment he wins a state title in late February.
To do that, he has to be pushed. He knows he won’t get better otherwise.
Saturday’s DCG Mustang Invitational gave him precisely what he needed.
After a five-second pin on Thursday and a 13-second pin in his quarterfinal bout on Saturday, Phetxoumphone was forced to put together a six-minute match in the semifinals. Greene County freshman McKinley Robbins, unranked and maybe unknown to the novice wrestling fan, gave the WCHS lightweight everything he wanted.
Phetxoumphone (5-0) hit a takedown and two-point tilt in the first period, but led by just one point, 5-4, late in the third when he connected on a second takedown to pull away for a 7-4 win.
It was the fourth meeting between the two dating back to middle school and the AAU circuit. Phetxoumphone is now 3-1 against Robbins, a star in the making with state-title-contender talent.
“He’s tough,” Phetxoumphone said of Robbins. “Out of 10, I’d give myself a 71⁄2 because I didn’t feel my best. I need to work on my mentality throughout the whole match and I need to work on my conditioning. But I really wanted to get a full match in and he’s a top competitor.”
Robbins scored on a second-period reversal and another in the third.
Phetxoumphone went on to dismantle Dallas Center-Grimes freshman Luke Fistler by major decision, 15-3, to win the only individual title for the Lynx. Fistler was unbeaten entering the bout.
“It’s fun to pin people quickly, but that’s not helping him in the long run for what his goals are, so this tournament was definitely good for Cam,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said. “That DCG kid was good too and now he can see what he needs to keep working on.”
Despite three open weights, WCHS scored 1091⁄2 points and finished fourth in the 14-team field behind Ankeny Centennial (256), DCG (198) and Creston/Orient-Macksburg (158). The Lynx sat in 10th after the quarters with only three grapplers on the front side of the bracket, but a furious rally in the consolation rounds brought them back towards the top of the leaderboard.
“I thought we improved from Thursday and that’s what we want,” Hisler said. “We tied for fourth here last year, so I think the kids saw that we can do some things.”
Brayden Henely (113) and Chase Rattenborg (132) both went 2-1 and placed third. They dropped semifinal matches to eventual champions and then came back and won in the consolation finals. Henely took care of I-35s Ryan Steinlage, 4-2, and Rattenborg decked Carroll’s Carter Drake in 40 seconds.
Henely toppled Caden Vellinga of West Marshall by fall in 1:53 in the quarters, while Rattenborg used his lanky frame to attack the legs of Creston/O-Ms Garon Wurster for an 11-8 win in the same round.
CJ Hisler (160) placed fifth. Ryan Zuetlau (126) and Austin Mason (138) were sixth. Reece Sadler (120), Evan Estlund (145) and Trey Shannon (285) were all seventh. Cole Bingham (170) wound up in eighth.
CJ Hisler — one of three freshmen in the lineup along with Henely and Mason — was particularly dominant in the consolation rounds with three consecutive falls. He needed just 1:39 to dispatch Des Moines East’s Braden Gordon in the fifth-place match.
Mason, who lost to champion Landon Fenton of PCM in the quarters, had a tech fall and fall on the backside.
The Lynx are young and inexperienced, but days like Saturday will go a long way towards building confidence, Chad Hisler said.
“They’ve got the skill and ability to do it,” he said. “Where they have to grow is in the mental game and that’s a lot of our kids, not just the freshmen. That’s a tougher fight sometimes, fighting your own mind.”
The luck of the draw worked against Shannon, who was forced into a quarterfinal match with second-ranked and eventual champion Kaden Sutton of ADM. Shannon finished his day off with a fall over Matthew Naberhaus of Greene County in 2:47.
Ankeny Centennial and DCG combined to send 13 wrestlers to the finals. Centennial went 5-1 in the gold-medal round, while DCG went 1-6.
WCHS will make its home debut on Thursday when it faces Ballard in a non-conference dual. Junior varsity action will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the varsity dual at 7:15 p.m.
DCG Mustang Invitational
Saturday at Grimes
1. Ankeny Centennial 256; 2. Dallas Center-Grimes 198; 3. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 158; 4. Webster City 109 1⁄2; 5. I-35 98; 6. Carroll 961⁄2; 7. Oskaloosa 93; 8. Urbandale 87; 9. (tie) ADM and Greene County 86; 11. West Marshall 83; 12. Des Moines East 71 1⁄2; 13. PCM 65; 14. Nevada 23.
106 — Cam Phetxoumphone (WC) maj. dec. Jacob Fistler (DCG), 15-3. 113 — Kyle Janssen (AC) pinned Logan Gard (DCG), 1:06. 120 — Reuben Smith (I35) dec. Kieran Shawhan (DCG), 3-1. 126 — Jackson Helmkamp (AC) dec. Jaxson Kuhlmann (CAR), 7-1. 132 — Brock Espalin (DME) dec. Trevor Wells (DCG), 5-1. 138 — Landon Fenton (PCM) pinned Kacey Ross (URB), 1:16. 145 — Leland Evans (OSK) dec. Nathan Black (GC), 2-1. 152 — Ben Monroe (AC) maj. dec. Grant Nason (WM), 17-5. 160 — Luke Fistler (DCG) dec. Carter Cahill (AC), 7-1. 170 — Logan Neils (AC) pinned Garrett Morris (DCG), 2:59. 182 — Jackson Kinsella (C/O-M) pinned Zach Needham (DCG), 2:12. 195 — Sam Chapman (C/O-M) dec. Brock Thompson (I35), 9-2. 220 — Jackie Wells (AC) pinned Taylor Schwartzman (DME), 1:50. 285 — Kaden Sutton (ADM) pinned Seth Greiner (PCM), 3:38.
Webster City Results
106 — Cam Phetxoumphone 3-0, 1st. 113 — Brayden Henely 2-1, 3rd. 120 — Reece Sadler 2-2, 7th. 126 — Ryan Zuetlau 2-2, 6th. 132 — Chase Rattenborg 2-1, 3rd. 138 — Austin Mason 2-2, 6th. 145 — Evan Estlund 2-2, 7th. 152 — Parker Rossing 0-2, DNP. 160 — CJ Hisler 3-1, 5th. 170 — Cole Bingham 1-3, 8th. 285 — Trey Shannon 2-2, 7th.