Green battles back to reach state
WEST LIBERTY — After losing a tough overtime match in the semifinals of Saturday’s Class 2A district wrestling tournament in West Liberty, two-time state qualifier Fletcher Green was in danger of not getting back to Des Moines this year.
But the Washington 113-pounder battled back to win his third-place and wrestleback matches and earn his third-straight trip to state.
“He lost that first one and he battled back and got second, and that’s tough to do,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said of Green. “You watch some of these kids, and if they get beat they just fold. Obviously Fletcher’s pretty tough mentally. He fought back all day long. This might be the toughest bracket in the state as far as 113 goes.”
Wrestling fifth-ranked Brendan Gould of Davenport Assumption in the semifinals, fourth-ranked Green trailed 2-0 with just seconds remaining in the third period. But he finished a takedown with six seconds left to force overtime.
“I got in on it with about 40 seconds left, but he’s long and he’s hard to finish on,” Green said of Gould. “I went through the leg and split, but I couldn’t finish it there. I got to a hip, popped the leg off and finished it that way.”
Green nearly got a takedown in the first overtime period, but was ruled to be out of bounds. Neither wrestler scored in the period, and the match moved to a second overtime.
“It looked like maybe he had the takedown there in overtime,” Van Weelden said.
Gould chose to start down in the first half of the second overtime, and Green rode him out for 30 seconds. Green chose to start on top in the second half of the second overtime, but Gould reversed him for the win.
“He’s very, very tough on top,” said Green, explaining why he chose to go on top. “That’s his best position. He’d already rode me out for a period and a half. I rode him out the first one, so I felt pretty good there. If I’d have rode him out again, I would have won the match.”
In the third-place match Green met Mediapolis sophomore Cody McNeil in a rematch of the sectional championship match from the week before. In a nearly identical score to that match, Green won a 7-4 decision over McNeil. Meanwhile, on the other mat, Gould avenged a loss to Camanche freshman Brice Everson from the week before with a 2-0 win that gave Green a chance to face Everson in a wrestleback match.
“Thank goodness that the Gould kid won in the finals to give us an opportunity to have a wrestleback,” Van Weelden said. “It was kind of out of our hands there for a little while. Fletcher took advantage of the opportunity he was given.”
Neither Green nor Everson, who is ranked sixth at 113 pounds, scored in the first period of the wrestleback match, but Green quickly reversed Everson in the second period. The two points he was awarded proved to be the only two in the match.
“I got a switch in the second period,” Green said. “I got my hips out and got two with it. Nothing really happened the rest of the match.”
Green was pleased that he was able to put the loss to Gould behind him and earn a trip to state.
“It’s disappointing at first because I think I could have beat that kid, but I’m happy with the way I came back from it,” he said.
Green’s partner in the Washington wrestling room, junior 120-pounder Tristan Pohren, also qualified for state.
“He deserves it,” Green said. “He’s been my partner all this year and most of last year, so it’s great to have him coming.”
Pohren defeated Davenport Assumption freshman Jacob Fenske 4-2 in his semifinals match, but lost to West Liberty junior Elliot Henderson 4-2 in the finals to finish runner-up at 120.
“Tristan wrestled pretty tough at the beginning of the year, but he kind of hit a lull there,” Van Weelden said. “This last week we finally got things figured out for him and got him going in the right direction again and got him wrestling the way he was wrestling midway through the year. It was all mental for him. He came here today confident and knowing he could wrestle with these guys, and he did extremely well.”
Pohren was excited to qualify for state for the first time.
“It feels good,” he said. “Hard work pays off.”
Washington’s other three district qualifiers had a tough day. Junior 160-pounder Austin Latcham lost by technical fall to sixth-ranked Danny Bush of Davenport Assumption in the finals and then fell behind 5-0 to Maquoketa senior Ty Thede in his third-place match, but got an escape to start the second period before taking down Thede to his back and pinning him to finish third.
Junior 152-pounder Tanner Knupp hung tough with top-ranked and undefeated Nick Georgean of Davenport Assumption in the semifinals, only trailing 5-0 going into the third period. But Georgean pinned Knupp in the third. Knupp then got pinned by Mediapolis sophomore Bradley Conley in the third-place match.
Freshman 126-pounder Jarek Brown, who qualified for districts with an 8-15 record, lost both of his matches by fall to finish fourth.
But Latcham, Knupp and Brown will all return next season with a little more experience.
“We’re glad to have these kids coming back,” Van Weelden said. “Hopefully these guys will work in the off-season and come back better prepared next year.”
1. Davenport Assumption 182, 2. Mediapolis 153, 3. Central DeWitt 64, 4. Fairfield 49, 5. Washington 33, 6. West Liberty 29, 7. New London 19, 8. Camanche 18, 9. Columbus 9, 9. Northeast Goose Lake 9, 10. Maquoketa 0.
103 — Mason Buster (M) dec. Darien Collins (DA), 4-2 (OT). 113 — Brendan Gould (DA) dec. Brice Everson (Cam.), 2-0. 120 — Elliot Henderson (WL) dec. Tristan Pohren (W), 4-2. 126 — Tony Devriese (DA) tech. fall Walker Wegener (CD), 15-0. 132 — Cole Erickson (M) dec. Kyle Springer (DA), 8-5. 138 — Drew Foster (M) dec. Eric Clarke (DA), 2-1. 145 — Drew Buster (M) dec. Tionte Parks (DA), 6-5 (3OT). 152 — Nick Georgean (DA) tech. fall Greyson Doolittle (CD), 23-8. 160 — Blake Beckman (M) dec. Danny Bush (DA), 2-0. 170 — Adam Drain (M) major dec. Seth Davisson (F), 13-4. 182 — Gabriel Rangel (DA) pinned Steven Holloway (M), 5:49. 195 — Jake Feldpausch (CD) pinned Mark Ramirez (Col.), 4:59. 220 — Jake Mineart (F) dec. Cameron Donovan (CD), 11-4. 285 — Sean Easler (DA) pinned Juan Martinez (WL), 2:34.
106 — Darien Collins (DA) pinned Jeremy Sorem (Cam.), 3:02. 113 — Fletcher Green (W) dec. Brice Everson (Cam.), 2-0. 132 — Kyle Springer (DA) pinned Connor Soenksen (NEGL), 1:07. 170 — Seth Davisson (F) dec. Clint Harland (DA), 7-2. 195 — Ethan Timmerman (M) dec. Mark Ramirez (Col.), 8-2.