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The new year has been good to the Duncan wrestling team so far.
After a strong showing at the prestigious Geary Tournament last weekend and a dominant showing at Ada on Tuesday the seventh-ranked Demons kept things rolling in their direction as they overpowered No. 3 Altus, 35-23 in a dual Thursday.
“This helps (our confidence) quite a bit,” said Austin Drake, who was one of two Duncan wrestlers to win their matches by pin fall. “We know that if we wrestle the way we know we can wrestle we can beat good teams.”
Instead of starting at the lowest weight class and working up, the teams agreed to start the dual at the 195-pound weight class.
Four matches in, Altus was up 10-6.
It looked like the Bulldogs were going to extend that lead and upset one of Duncan’s top wrestlers as Markwae Sanders, ranked second at 113 pounds, trailed by a point in the closing seconds of the third period. Frantically, Sanders took one last shot, grabbed Montorie Bridges’ legs and swung to his back, scoring a two-point takedown with less than two seconds remaining the match. The 5-4 victory pulled Duncan within a point before it won six straight matches as it pulled out to a 31-10 lead.
“I knew it would be a good dual ... but I knew we could win if we wrestled well,” Kelly said. “We has kids step up and win their matches and wrestle well.”
Duncan’s winning spree came to a end as the Demons went up against back-to-back top-ranked wrestlers. Christian Carnahan lost to Altus’ Cameron Loving, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A at 152 pounds, 3-0. James Edwards put up a good fight against Keilan Torres, ranked first at 160 pounds, before being pinned in the second period.
The victory lifts Duncan to 5-1 in duals this season.
They get right back to work today as they head to the Carl Albert Tournament.
“We’ll see where we are at this weekend at Carl Albert,” Kelly said. “There are going to be 23 teams and a lot of them are in our region, so it will be a good test.”