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January 23, 2014

Demons’ chance for state duals slips away

DUNCAN — Things didn’t go as expected when the Duncan wrestlers traveled to Western Heights Tuesday for a pair of duals.

Western Heights and McAlester are in District 8-5A, along with Duncan and Durant. The head-to-head dual matchups are used to determine which teams qualify for the dual state tournament.

The Demons topped McAlester 49-27, but lost to Western Heights 36-25. Because Western Heights has already beaten Durant, Duncan missed a trip to dual state, the first time in five years that has happened.

“It’s pretty frustrating when you get beat by a team you know you should beat,” said Demon coach Kevin Kelly. “It bothers you as a coach and it bothered a lot of the kids as well.”

Kelly said he knew the dual against Western Heights would be close, but his wrestlers didn’t compete as hard as they should have.

“They wrestled to lose, not to win,” he said. “I gave them a big speech Monday about the tournaments we’ve been to, and to do the same thing we did then — get out there, make them defend what they do, instead of trying to defend what we do.”

Duncan lost several matches by a point or two, including a couple in which the Demons held a lead, but a mistake proved costly.

“We lost three matches by a point, that I felt we should have won by five points,” Kelly said. “I felt we were better than what we should.”

The Demons are young and Kelly remains confident that many of them will qualify for the individual state tournament.

“But we’ve got to grow up sometime,” he said.

Duncan will host Lawton in a non-district dual Thursday, then finish its district schedule at Durant Tuesday.

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