As soon as it was announced that Cherokee would forfeit its matches at 106, 132, 170 and 220 pounds, the outcome was all but predetermined.
Despite the predictable result, the Warriors came out of the gate strong.
Cherokee’s Dusty Phyte opened the night with a quick pin 38 seconds into the second period over Woodstock’s Hayden Venable at 160.
After the Warriors gave up the forfeit at 170, Brady Sandercock took the lead back for Cherokee with a solid performance against Woodstock’s Duncan Morris at 182, scoring multiple takedowns in the first before pinning Morris in the second.
But the tide turned in Woodstock’s favor when it scored its first non-forfeit victory of the night, with Will Stumpf pinning Cherokee’s Sebastian Bentley less than 40 seconds into the second period of their bout at 195.
After a Cherokee forfeit at 220, Woodstock’s Wes Pella quickly took care of Jacob Crowley at 285, thanks to a pair of takedowns, the last of which put Pella in prime position to pin Crowley with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first period and give the Wolverines a 24-12 lead.
Woodstock added 12 more points to its lead after Cherokee forfeited at 106, and Alex Gomez scored a quick victory over Tanner Moore at 113.
At 120 was a battle of past state-qualifiers as Cherokee’s Blake Walker scored a second-round pin over Tristan Watson with an aggressive attack that saw Walker spend most of the match on Watson’s back.
The only match that did not end in a pinfall was perhaps the most one-sided of the night, as senior Andrew Torrence dominated a nearly 4-minute affair at 126 that saw him score a technical fall over Woodstock’s Cody Beach late in the second period.
The match was all Torrence’s as he scored four 3-point near-falls during the course of the first two periods.
“Torrence is going to be a serious contender for a state title,” Woodstock coach Michael Powell said.
Torrence’s victory proved to be the final one for Cherokee as Woodstock won the next four matches. Zach Shareef (138), Hunter Forbers (145) and Chris Nani (152) all scored pins, while Cherokee forfeited at 132.
Powell was satisfied with the victory — not only because of his team’s performance, but because it was Woodstock’s first dual win against Cherokee in the two years that Powell has been the coach.
“In the years that I’ve been here, we have never beaten Cherokee, so we’re proud overall,” Powell said. “It’s good for the boys to get the victory.”
Cherokee coach Lance Riccio was mostly pleased with the Warriors’ performance, and he expects then to be near full strength sooner than later.
“We have a couple of holes that we need to fill,” Riccio said. “We’ve had some kids get sick in the past week, while some aren’t quite at the weight that they need to be. We should get it all sorted out and be at full strength in the next couple of weeks.”
The teams won’t have to wait very long before they meet again, as they will both take part in the two-day Creekview Invitational Tournament — a traditional-format event — on Friday and Saturday.