Iowa got back to action for their third-straight Friday night home dual -- and they wasted no time giving the fans in attendance their money's worth. Sammy Brooks earned a second-period pin (after nearly doing the same just a few minutes earlier) to put Iowa up 6-0 and it was off to the races for the Hawkeyes from there. Wisconsin won just two matches, 165 and 285, both matches where they were heavily favored (although Iowa's Joey Gunther took #3 Isaac Jordan to sudden victory overtime in his loss at 165). Iowa won the remaining eight matches in the dual, with bonus points in five of them, including a trio of major decisions, from sources both expected (Thomas Gilman) and unexpected (Topher Carton and Alex Meyer), as well as a pair of pins from Brooks and Michael Kemerer. There wasn't a whole lot of surprise in this dual meet, but there was plenty of domination for the good guys as Iowa ran out 33-8 winners.
|184||#5 Sammy Brooks (I)||FALL (4:54)||Hunter Ritter (W)||IOWA 6-0|
|197||Cash Wilcke (I)||DEC (3-1)||Mason Reinhardt (W)||IOWA 9-0|
|285||#2 Connor Medbery (W)||TECH FALL (18-1)||Faraan Brantley (I)||IOWA 9-5|
|125||#1 Thomas Gilman (I)||MAJ DEC (21-8)||Jens Lantz (W)||IOWA 13-5|
|133||Phillip Laux (I)||DEC (6-2)||Eli Stickley (W)||IOWA 16-5|
|141||Topher Carton (I)||MAJ DEC (9-1)||Cole Martin (W)||IOWA 20-5|
|149||#4 Brandon Sorensen (I)||DEC (9-5)||Andrew Crone (W)||IOWA 23-5|
|157||#2 Michael Kemerer (I)||FALL (0:55)||Jared Scharenbrock (W)||IOWA 29-5|
|165||#3 Isaac Jordan (W)||DEC (3-1 SV)||Joey Gunther (I)||IOWA 29-8|
|174||#11 Alex Meyer (I)||MAJ DEC (11-3)||Ryan Christensen (W)||IOWA 33-8|
Let's break things down weight-by-weight...
- As noted, Brooks got Iowa started with a bang and a pin at 184 lbs. He dominated Ritter from the wrd go and the only surprise that he didn't get a pin sooner. He used a slick move at the start of the second period, feinting a release before snapping back into action and locking Ritter in a cradle that would lead to the win. Ritter is a weak opponent, but Brooks dominated him with max bonus points -- can't ask for more.
- Wilcke gave Iowa their second-straight win in the dual with a grind-it-out 3-1 effort, scoring the winning takedown in the the third period. It wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing performance, but it was nice to Wilcke get his hand raised at the end of a match after a couple of rough weeks against tough opponents.
- Faraan Brantley, listed as a back-up 174er on Iowa's roster, got the nod against Wisconsin's fearsome Medbery at heavyweight. Surprise: he get demolished. Medbery is the best non-Kyle Snyder heavyweight in the country, so there's not much shame in losing to him, especially as an undersized back-up. Shit happens sometimes. (Iowa's regular heavyweight, Steven Holloway, got a rest tonight, per Tom Brands.)
- Such are the standards that Thomas Gilman has set that a 21-8 major decision feels bitterly disappointing, but hey -- this is where we are. Gilman has so demolished most of his opponents this year that "only" winning 21-8 is a cut below his usual performances. Gilman was still a takedown machine, racking up nine takedowns against Lantz, but that wasn't quite enough for a technical fall.
- Cory Clark sat out again at 133 while dealing with his injured shoulder, though Tom Brands claimed that he would wrestle on Sunday against Minnesota, which gave Phillip Laux another opportunity to start. He ended up winning a very odd match: Laux won 6-2 despite not scoring a takedown or escape and no points being scored by either wrestler in the second or third periods. Stickley got an early takedown in the first, which Laux quickly reversed into a hard ride, ultimately working an armbar into four back points before coming mere seconds away from getting a pin at the end of the period. (Literally, if the period was another 2-3 seconds long, Laux probably finishes the pin in the first.) Stickley rode Laux for the entire second period before choosing neutral in the third but not finding a way to get another takedown against Laux. So yeah: weird match.
- I liked Topher Carton to pick up an upset win over #16 Cole Martin at 141, given that Martin had dropped five of six heading into this bout. I did not expect a major decision win for Carton, although perhaps I should have since Martin's recent funk has included three major decision losses. Carton added to that funk with an utterly controlling performance, recording a takedown apiece in the first and second periods, then getting some flash back points in the third to go along with an escape, a riding time point, and a stall point to lock up his major decision win.
- Brandon Sorensen appeared to be on his way to a major decision win for Iowa at 149, going up 8-2 fairly early in the second period, but things turned off Crone managed to take Sorensen down off a big throw in the second. Sorensen largely shut down his offensive after that, while Crone seemed invigorated and pushed the attack, though he never came close to scoring again. It was disappointing to see Sorensen close up shop against a weaker opponent like this, though; sure, Crone put a scare into him, but Sorensen's offense is rock-solid when he relies on it.
- Any disappointment over Sorensen's match evaporated as soon as Michael Kemerer hit the mat at 157, though. Kemerer got a takedown in the opening seconds of the match and after conceding the escape, shot in again and locked up a cradle to pick up a pin in under a minute. Now that's taking care of business. Kemerer seems to be getting better and better as the season progresses, which is a very exciting development.
- Joey Gunther faced #3 Isaac Jordan at 165 and I predicted bonus points for Jordan. I was very wrong. Gunther took the match to sudden victory at 1-1, only to finally fall prey to a Jordan takedown in sudden death. Jordan wasn't very active throughout the match, but unfortunately neither was Gunther, so it's hard to get too worked up about Jordan's lack of action (as well as the corresponding lack of stall calls). Gunther defended gamely on the few attacks that Jordan attempted, but he didn't do enough attacking of his own to give himself a chance to win. Still, taking a Top-3 opponent to sudden victory isn't exactly a terrible accomplishment.
- Alex Meyer wrapped up the evening for Iowa and he managed to exceed my prediction of a "comfortable decision win" with a comfortable major decision win -- not bad at all, Mr. Meyer. Meyer largely was in charge in this match from the beginning, and he methodically took Christensen down and put on a hard ride on top throughout the match.
Miss any of the wrestling Friday at Carver? Highlights and reaction in this video. Hawks at Minnesota Sunday on BTN. https://t.co/iv6z978Gxz— Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) February 4, 2017
NEXT: Iowa heads on the road to face #13 Minnesota in Minneapolis on Sunday (11 AM CT, BTN).