The Liberty Lions were already a bit down going into last night's match with visiting South Carroll. And the Cavaliers weren't about to let them back up.
The Cavaliers got six pins on their way to a 46-14 win over a Liberty team that lost two key starters at the lighter weights.
The task at hand was big enough for Liberty with South Carroll (7-1) ranked No. 9 in the metro area and on a roll. An injury to Conor Gallagher (elbow) and Brandon Wagner deciding to leave the team left Liberty coach Jeff Hash short-handed, something you can't afford against a strong South Carroll team.
The match of the night came at 130 pounds with South Carroll's Dan Alberter coming from behind to get a 7-6 decision over Kevin Jeffress.
Trailing by one, Alberter got a takedown with 46 seconds left in the third period and held on for the victory.
Jeffress took a two-point lead into the period but decided to let Alberter up to start the third, giving him one point for the uncontested escape.
"He was a lot stronger than I expected, so I just tried to hang with him," Alberter said. "In the end, I knew he was getting tired. I saw him on the mat breathing heavy, so I just tried to pick it up."
Alberter's decision came after Chris Heard (120) and Tim Hymiller (125) recorded pins against Adam Youssi and James Haran, respectively, the two wrestlers called up from junior varsity to replace Gallagher and Wagner.
At 135, South Carroll's Mike Muller got a first-period pin over Paul Swenson to increase the Cavaliers' lead to 21-10.
"We took a hard loss with Kevin Jeffress and another hard loss at 135 with Muller pinning Swenson. It was that kind of night," said Hash.
nTC The Cavaliers never wavered, with Joe Morton (145), Charlie Conaway (189) and heavyweight Tom Crown also recording pins.
South Carroll also won most of the close matches, and often came from behind to do so.
At 152, Jason Hamper rallied with a big third period to get past Rob Saylor, 16-10.
Two-time state champ Mike Chenoweth didn't have to come from behind in his 10-1 major decision over Scott Taylor at 171. The four points gave South Carroll a 44-15 lead that clinched the match.
It was Liberty that jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, with Mark Richard earning a 9-0 major decision over Joe Wheeler and Neal Johnson needing only 17 seconds to pin Scott Davidson.
The Lions also got decision wins from Matt Rausch at 140 and Mike Saylor at 160.