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Vikings drop Senior Night meet

MILESTONE: Senior Ricky Haught earned the 100th victory of his career during Huntington North’s 41–33 loss to Bellmont on Thursday night.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington North wrestling team fell 41–33 to Bellmont in a Northeast 8 Conference meet on Thursday night in North Arena for the team’s Senior Night.

The Vikings picked up six victories throughout the night out of the 14 matches in the meet.

“Overall, we did alright,” said head coach George Markou. “We messed up in a few spots. (That is) the kind of team that we are. We don’t have the room for mistakes, especially (against) a team like Bellmont. They’re a really good, established team. They just capitalized on it.”

Junior Trenton Smith opened up the meet with a pin victory in the 285-pound weight class against Bellmont’s Branson Bills, starting the score at 6–0 in favor of the Vikings.

Junior Brady Lewis lost by decision to Isaac Ruble from Bellmont in the 106-pound weight class, which cut Huntington North’s lead to 6–3, but sophomore Preston Teusch would respond for the Vikings, defeating Bellmont’s Dominic Litchfield in the 113-pound weight class via a pin to increase Huntington North’s advantage to 12–3.

“(Preston) has always been dominant,” Markou said. “He’s a very tough kid (and is) one of the better kids on the team.”

Despite Huntington North’s early success, Bellmont would answer with a trio of victories to grab a 20–12 lead.

Senior Ricky Haught would break Bellmont’s streak, defeating Mason Burkholder of the Braves by decision in the 138-pound weight class to close the gap to 20–15. The victory was the 100th of Haught’s career at Huntington North.

“Ricky Haught looked good,” Markou said. “(He is a) returning state finalist. He bumped up and wrestled smart.”

The Braves and Vikings would exchange victories in the following two matches, with sophomore Matthew Kline picking up a pin victory against Alec Mowery in the 152-pound weight class, bringing the score to 26–21 in favor of Bellmont.

However, the Braves would then claim the next three matches, opening up an insurmountable 41–21 advantage with just two matches remaining.

Huntington North would win the final two matches of the meet compliments of seniors Charlie Agnew (uncontested in the 195-pound weight class) and Christian Graft (pin victory over Dalton Robinson in the 220-pound weight class). The pair of wins brought the score to 41–33, the final score of the meet.

“I think we’re right there,” Markou said. “I think we’re getting ready for that state tournament run. … (We need to focus on) being consistent with our daily routine in terms of training and transitioning toward our diet and being disciplined. We had a pretty good talk about that, just being disciplined and staying focused. It’s a long season. We’re in the right direction.”

Huntington North will next compete on Jan. 5 at the East Noble Invitational, which is set to begin at 9 a.m.