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Kentucky's best can't wrestle away victory from Mater Dei

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The anticipated wrestling drama in a packed house on the West Side between Kentucky’s top-ranked team, Union County, and third-ranked Mater Dei, never materialized in a 45-22 win for the Wildcats.

 

Neither did the projected individual matchup between Mater Dei freshman wunderkind Nick Lee and Oklahoma-bound Braves senior Trae Blackwell, a two-time defending state champion for Union County.

 

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2013/dec/18/wrestling-hedy-herey/

 

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The anticipated wrestling drama in a packed house on the West Side between Kentucky’s top-ranked team, Union County, and third-ranked Mater Dei, never materialized in a 45-22 win for the Wildcats.

 

Neither did the projected individual matchup between Mater Dei freshman wunderkind Nick Lee and Oklahoma-bound Braves senior Trae Blackwell, a two-time defending state champion for Union County.

 

But there was enough individual-match drama to keep the crowd loud and involved as the Wildcats got off to a fast start at 152 pounds behind Logan Weinzapfel.

 

Weinzapfel fell behind Chad Gahafer 7-0 in the early going and still trailed 8-6 with time ticking down in the third period with the wrestlers scrambling at the edge of the mat.

 

“He had his leg hooked over mine and it could’ve gone either way at that point,” said Weinzapfel. “But I was able to lock his head and I just stacked him up.”

 

The resulting pin came at 5:56 — four seconds left — and blew the lid off Mater Dei Gym.

 

“I knew the first match would be setting the pace,” said Weinzapfel. “It was one of the most-rewarding moments I’ve had to see so many people here and have their support like that.”

 

Mater Dei followed with a pin from Ashton Forzley, a decision from Bennet Kempf and a major decision from Sam Bassemier to build a 19-0 lead and the Braves couldn’t recover.

 

“That first match was huge,” said Mater Dei coach Greg Schaefer. “We go from being three down to start to six up. It had a lot to do with the dual against a really good team.”

 

Union County coach Marcus Hoehn said: “It was a match that could’ve gone differently, but we came here to face a good team top-to-bottom like Mater Dei and wrestle in a great atmosphere.

 

“We want to put our kids in these situations with a hostile crowd so they don’t focus on it when they get to state.”

 

Neither Blackwell or Lee disappointed when they wrestled, even if it wasn’t against each other.

 

Blackwell pinned the Wildcats’ Blake Jourdan in 4:39, while Lee earned a technical fall against Braves senior Robert Dezember, who finished third in the state in Kentucky last year.

 

Union County’s other headliner, senior Brock Ervin, who is already a four-time state champion and will wrestle at Illinois, got pushed in spots by Mater Dei’s Wyatt Seng before earning a 19-8 major decision.

 

“They have some great individuals,” said Schaefer. “but I thought we wrestled well. The effort was there.”

 

Mater Dei then had a 77-6 win over Harrison.

 

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