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Payton Atchley was the lone bright spot in the upper weights for the Demons, defeating Matt Kent 6-1.

Ben Whitehead
The Duncan Banner

A fast start quickly went awry as the Duncan wrestling squad fell to Noble, 36-27, after jumping out to a 21-0 early lead. The Demons will now head to the Geary Tournament over the weekend minus a few wrestlers.

The flu bug has bitten the team and another member went to the hospital tonight after his match. Justin Hughes pinned Austin Dye at 125 to increase the Demon lead to 21-0. Hughes, who came into the gym looking under the weather, left the dual to go to the emergency room where he was informed he had a temperature of 100 degrees.

Hughes will not travel with the team to Geary, leaving the Demons with only four wrestlers heading to the tournament.

Aaron Brew got things started with a pin in the first minute of his match over Jesse Serrano. Jerod Reynolds followed suit with another pin in the 112 match.

Bradley Brown kept things going with a 7-5 win over Colton Shackleford to up the Demon lead to 15-0. Hughes then followed with his pin to round out an impressive showing in the first four matches.

“I thought we came out good in those first matches and really set the tone,” said Demon coach Kevin Kelly. “It was Aaron’s first day back at school [after battling sickness] so I thought he did a pretty good job. We just want Justin to get rested up and get fluids in his body and hopefully he’ll be alright after the weekend.”

The Demons had to forfeit the 130 match because Kendall Carnahan is out sick. Christian Carnahan then wrestled the state runner-up from a year ago, Kaleb Cradduck. Carnahan trailed 1-0 late in the match before Cradduck was able to get a couple more points and earn the win. Cradduck’s win brought the score to 21-9 in favor of the Demons.

Colton Ballard won his match at 140 over Josh Henson. Ballard controlled the match and put Duncan back up by 15.

Noble’s Matt Orr pinned Dustin Murakami at 145 to bring the Bears within 10, but Payton Atchley defeated Matt Kent, 6-1, to give the Demons a 12-point lead, 27-15.

From that point forward, Noble dominated the dual. Duncan’s Cody Merrill fought hard throughout his match with Tyler Winkler, but Winkler was too much for him to handle. Merrill lost 10-4 and Noble slowly crept its way back in the dual.

Hunter Long pinned Halston Marshall at 171 in the third period. Marshall looked to be in position to get the win but Long turned the tide and got the pin.

John Jones wrestled a tough match against Ryan Thomas. The two battled back-and-forth the entire match before Thomas earned a couple of points late to win 10-8 and tied the dual at 27 with just two matches to go.

Josh Long gave the Bears their first lead when he beat Ben Copeland, 5-1. Greg Kilmer finished the dual with a pin of Riley Peters to close out the Demons.

“We knew going in that their upper weights were very good,” said Kelly. “We had a lot of chances that got away from us. John got too aggressive in his match. It was tough all around.

“Who knows, if we had Kendall we probably would have won the thing. He’s pinned their kid twice already this year, so that’s a 12-point swing. I just have to remember that we only have two seniors and two juniors on the team, so we’re young, but we’re going to be good the next couple of years.”

- Ben Whitehead is a sports writer for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 255-5354, Ext. 165, or via e-mail at ben.whitehead@duncanbanner.com.

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