City High freshman Ethan Wood-FinleyBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – As soon as Ethan Wood-Finley found out Thursday’s showdown with cross-town rival West High would open at 113 pounds he figured he would have a chance to clinch the meet.
When the City High freshman 106 pounder got that chance he was ready.
Wood-Finley scored a 7-2 win over West High freshman Jackson Brennan in the final match of the night to give City High a 33-31 win over West High in a Mississippi Valley Conference thriller at West High.
“I was thinking that the whole time, that it would come down to my match,” Wood-Finley said. “All the nerves went away and I got focused.”
Both teams won seven matches and both earned bonus points in four wins but City High had four pins compared to three for West High.
The win was the second straight for City High in the series after the Little Hawks defeated West High for the first time since 2002 last season.
“Hats off to West High they did a really good job, they battled, it was a close meet,” City High coach Cory Connell said. “I thought we could have won by more and obviously they could have won. They came out here and battled we need to get better.”
West High led 31-30 after Guy Snow earned an 8-1 win over Jacob Murry at heavyweight setting the stage for a winner-take-all final at 106.
Wood-Finley recorded a first-period takedown to take a 2-0 lead but Brennan responded with a takedown of his own in the second period to even the match at 2-2.
With 55 seconds left in the second period Wood-Finley scored an escape to take a 4-2 lead and never let Brennan get back in the match.
That first takedown was very important, the match could have been very different if I didn’t get that first takedown,” Wood-Finley said. “I knew I had to get it, I knew I had to fight and I knew I had to get the win for the team.”
West High opened the match with a pin from Keaton Speicher at 113 and Alex Aguirre earned a major decision in his season debut to make it 10-0 West High.
City High got consecutive wins from Lance Bormann, Joey Harney and Jack Anson to take a 15-10 lead.
West High responded with four straight wins as Jo Dixon won a 4-3 decision at 145 pounds and top-ranked Nelson Brands and seventh-ranked Carter Rohweder followed with pins.
A 5-4 win by Ashton Stumpf over Kyle Hefley at 170 pounds put West High on top 28-15 with five matches remaining.
“We knew we had Jordain Buckland and Jacob Dykes coming up and that’s the meat of our lineup so we knew it could still be done,” Connell said. “It was closer than I would have liked it to be.”
Brock Hunger edged Landon Green 3-2 at 182 pounds to start a three-match winning streak for City High.
Back-to-back pins by No. 5 Dykes and No. 7 Buckland put City High on top 30-28 as the meet came down to the final two matches.
“It was very stressful,” Buckland said. “I knew those guys would wrestle their best but it was nerve wracking for sure.”
Wood-Finley secured the win, with his decision over Brennan while improving to 8-6 on the season.
“I’m proud of him, it came down to a freshman and he went out there and battled,” Connell said. “He did what we wanted him to do, he went out there and fought.”
City High 33, West High 31
106 – Ethan Wood-Finley (ICH) dec. Jackson Brennan 7-2
113 – Keaton Speicher (ICW) pinned Michael Santoro 2:33
120 – Alex Aguirre (ICW) maj. dec. Ryan Ceynar 15-5
126 – Lance Bormann (ICH) dec. Hunter Davis 14-7
132 – Joey Harney (ICH) pinned Collin Leavy 1:24
138 – Jack Anson (ICH) pinned Miguel Parades 3:17
145 – Jo Dixon (ICW) dec. Bryan Berg 4-3
152 – Nelson Brands (ICW) pinned Alex Kooker 2:38
160 – Carter Rohweder (ICW) pinned Wilfred Kadohoa :50
170 – Ashton Stumpf (ICW) dec. Kyle Hefley 5-4
182 – Brock Hunger (ICH) dec. Landon Green 3-2
195 – Jacob Dykes (ICH) pinned Mitchell Sorge 1:17
220 – Jordain Buckland (ICH) pinned Enutifa Gamia 2:48
285 – Guy Snow (ICW) dec. Jacob Murry 8-1