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SIXTH POWER

—Tyler Anderson

CORALVILLE — No matter what happened at the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A State Dual Team Tournament, the Webster City wrestling team was going to come home with some hardware.

It was all a matter of how high they could climb.

The No. 7-ranked Lynx landed sixth in the showcase of eight of the best squads in their classification, battling through a gauntlet which consisted of defending champion West Delaware, North Central Conference rival Humboldt and fifth-rated Creston on Saturday at the Xtream Arena.

With the conclusion of state duals, the Lynx wrapped up their winter campaign with a 16-7 record. This is the first time that Webster City has landed sixth overall in state duals, in their first appearance since 2018 and sixth overall.

The Lynx began the day with a 47-18 setback against the Hawks, before surging past the Wildcats. In their final dual of the day, Webster City and Creston engaged in a see-saw battle, before the Panthers handed the Lynx a 36-29 loss.

According to Webster City head wrestling coach Chad Hisler, the state duals were quite productive heading into the final stretch of the 2022-23 season.

“There are 96 teams in Class 2A,” Hisler said. “To get into the top eight and finish sixth overall is a huge accomplishment for us. We really hit our stride at the Perry Invitational, and kept building on that from our duals with Boone and Carroll, our regional with Crestwood, and finally, state duals.”

Webster City will now gear up for the Class 2A-District 10 Tournament, which is slated for this coming Saturday at the WCHS Competition Gym in Webster City. The bracket champions and runner-ups will advance to the IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, set for Feb. 15 to Feb. 18 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“We’ve been wrestling really well as of late,” Hisler said. “We want to keep building on that, and advance as many wrestlers as we can to the traditional tournament.”

In Saturday’s 2A quarterfinals, Webster City couldn’t get much going against defending Class 2A champion West Delaware, which resulted in a 47-18 setback. Only three Lynx wrestlers won their allotted matches, with pinfall victories by senior Jaxon Cherry and junior Carson Doolittle and a forfeit awarded to freshman Linden Phetxoumphone.

“West Delaware is a really good team,” Hisler said. “They were the defending state champion, and they hung tough with (eventual champion) Osage in the finals.”

Sliding over to the consolation semifinals, the Lynx faced off against sixth-rated Humboldt. The Wildcats held an early 17-9 advantage, before the Lynx battled back by way of the senior quartet of Austin Mason, Dyland Burnette-Bingham and CJ Hisler and Cherry.

All four pinned their opponents’ shoulders to the mat.

This allowed the Lynx to outscore Humboldt 26-12 down the stretch, prompting Webster City toward the fifth-place match against Creston.

“This was a little bit of revenge,” Hisler said. “They beat us earlier this season, so winning this one felt really good for us.”

Down 14-3 early on in the dual, the Lynx stormed back with victories from Mason, CJ Hisler and Cherry. Phetxoumphone and Doolittle also secured wins to give the Lynx a narrow 29-27 lead.

However, the Panthers locked down two late victories, one via pinfall and another through a slim three-point decision, to seal their dual win.

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