By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Any conversation with Cory Connell about the improvements his City High program made this season came with a caveat.
We are getting closer but we aren’t where we want to be yet was the general theme from Connell.
That theme played out Friday on the second day of the state wrestling meet at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
City High’s Jacob Dykes and Jordain Buckland were both close to breakthrough wins but came up short in their quest for state titles.
“We had some close matches that we could have won and gotten some more place winners or gotten a state finalist,” Connell said. “You always think about the losses, it’s tough to take.”
Dykes (46-1) came up one win shy of the state title match, dropping his first match of the season 3-1 to Mason City senior Isaac Bartel in the 195-pound semifinals.
Buckland fell to top-ranked, defending state champion Wyatt Wriedt of North Scott 5-1 in the quarterfinals at 220 pounds.
Fifth-ranked Buckland (31-3) trailed just 2-1 with under a minute remaining against Wriedt but couldn’t close the gap and allowed a late takedown in the final seconds.
“He was right there and he could have done it,” Connell said of Buckland. “He followed the game plan it was just little things that made a difference in that match.”
Dykes fell into an early 2-0 hold against Bartel and was never able to recover.
Bartel (28-3) scored the only takedown of the match 16 seconds in and added an escape eight seconds into the second period to account for all his scoring.
“He’s a good wrestler,” Connell said of Bartel. “He came out and scored right away and we didn’t match his intensity right away. We thought we’d kind of work into the match and I think he was more ready to go right off the whistle.”
Dykes got an escape with 59 seconds left in the third period but couldn’t find any offense against Bartel who will face top-ranked Kaden Sauer (43-5) of West Des Moines Dowling in the 195-pound title match.
Dykes has already secured the first state medal of his career but Connell would like to see the fourth-ranked junior end the season with a pair of wins.
Waiting in Saturday’s consolation semifinals is a rematch with No. 2 Connor Corbin of West Des Moines Valley.
Dykes defeated Corbin 2-1 in overtime in the opening round on Thursday.
“He has got to come back strong and get a couple of wins,” Connell said. “He will feel a lot better about third place than he will sixth place, fifth place or even fourth place.”
Buckland has his own chance to earn a third-place medal after a pair of pins in the consolation bracket on Friday.
The senior will face seventh-ranked Sam Gerst (31-6) of Waterloo West in the 220-pound consolation semifinals on Saturday morning.
“Jordain is wrestling well, he came back strong after wrestling the defending state champ real well,” Connell said. “He’s a great kid, he’s had a really good year and it would be nice to see him get two more wins tomorrow and get third place. He is going to have some tough matches, it’s not going to be easy but we have to compete hard and get ready.”
City High enters the final day of the state meet 12th in the team standings with 38 points. The Little Hawks had scored 12 points at state the previous three years combined.
Class 3A State Meet
Team scores (Top 10; Area Teams) – 1. Southeast Polk 147.5; 2. Fort Dodge 100; 3. West Des Moines Valley 93; 4. Western Dubuque 81; 5. North Scott 58.5; 6. Indianola 54; 7. Glenwood 52.5; 8. Waverly-Shell Rock 49.5; 9. Waukee 49; 10. Mason City 41.5; 11. West High 39; 12. City High 38.
195 – Jacob Dykes (City High) pinned Zach Petersen (North Scott) 2:29
220 – Wyatt Wriedt (North Scott) dec. Jordain Buckland (City High) 5-1
195 – Isaac Bartel (Mason City) dec. Jacob Dykes (City High) 3-1
Second Round Consolation
126 – Lance Bormann (City High) pinned Spencer Hutchinson (West Des Moines Valley) 5:07
132 – Lance Runyon (Indianola) pinned Joey Harney (City High) :49
152 – Anthny Zach (Waukee) pinned Wilfred Kadohou (City High) 5:32
182 – Gabe Christenson (Southeast Polk) dec. Brock Hunger (City High) 4-0
220 – Jordain Buckland (City High) pinned Jaden Heiden (Denison-Schleswig) :30
Third Round Consolation
126 – Brock Espalin (Des Moines East) major dec. Lance Bormann (City High) 15-4
220 – Jordain Buckland (City High) pinned Jacob Melton (Boone) 1:03
Saturday’s Championship Matches
106 – Ben Monroe (41-3) Fr., Ankeny Centennial vs. Cullan Schriever (28-0) Fr., Ankeny Centennial
113 – Kyle Biscoglia (45-2) Jr., Waukee vs. Jacob Schipper (44-3) Sr., North Scott
120 – Gage Perrien (23-3) Jr., Southeast Polk vs. Brody Teske (45-0) Jr., Fort Dodge
126 – McGwire Midkiff (50-4) Sr., Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson vs. Adam Brown (43-3) Sr., Southeast Polk
132 – Cade DeVos (42-2) Soph., Southeast Polk vs. Bradan Birt (45-3) Sr., Western Dubuque
138 – Nathan Lendt (36-5) Jr., Southeast Polk vs. Triston Lara (43-1) Sr., Fort Dodge
145 – Zach Barnes (42-3) Sr., Southeast Polk vs. Grant Stotts (40-3) Jr., West Des Moines Valley
152 – Nelson Brands (53-1) Jr., West High vs. Cayd Lara (44-2) Jr., Fort Dodge
160 – Joel Shapiro (43-0) Jr., West Des Moines Valley vs. Mac Southard (Lewis Central) 35-1
170 – Gavin Babcock (36-6) Sr., Southeast Polk vs. Marcus Coleman (40-0) Sr., Ames
182 – Anthony Sherry (39-5) Jr., Glenwood vs. Max Lyon (48-0) Sr., Western Dubuque
195 – Kaden Sauer (43-5) Sr., West Des Moines Dowling vs. Isaac Bartel (28-3) Sr., Mason City
220 – Rocky Lombardi (38-1) Sr., West Des Moines Valley vs. Wyatt Wriedt (43-1) Sr., North Scott
285 – Eagan Lickiss (41-4) Sr., Indianola vs. Aaron Costello (49-0) Sr., Western Dubuque