Lakeview High wrestling faced on familiar foe and two quality opponents in a competitive quadrangular Thursday night in Schuyler.
Less than a week after the Vikings wrestled 10 duals over two days at the Nebraska Duals, they were back in action against Central City and David City.
Lakeview earned hard-fought wins over both, improving its season record to 11-2, but it was anything but easy.
Lakeview edged out Central City 34-33 in the opener then won a rematch with David City 33-27 less than a week after the two teams were also separated by just six points in the 16-team dual tournament held at Central Community College.
The Vikings trailed the Bison 29-25 with three matches remaining and faced a 27-27 tie with the Scouts before a pin secured victory in the final match of the night.
"There were matches all night that went back and forth. You'd feel like you were in control then have a big swing. That Central City dual, we had a match with a kid who was probably up 10 points but because of battling some illness, just ran out of gas and had to get on his back," coach Jeff Bargen said. "There was something like a 12-point swing in that match.
"Even our little guy, Hayden Johston, had to fight off his back to make sure he didn't get pinned, and we hung on. That David City dual, we started out well, endured some questionable calls but gained control when the big guys came around. I'm just real proud of the guys. It was a great atmosphere to be a part of."
Lakeview, tied for eighth in Class B in the latest NEwrestle.com rankings, features four wrestlers in the top six of their respective weight classes. Two weeks ago, the Viking set school records for team points at a tournament and number of finalists.
Central City only has two listed in the rankings, and is not part of the top 10, but gave Lakeview everything it could handle.
The Bison led 16-9 through the first five matches. Kevin Dominguez at 113 pounds won 5-0 in the opener followed by 126 No. 6 Gage Perry pinning his opponent late in the first period.
Central City picked up two pins and a 9-0 major decision to take the lead.
It became a back and forth affair at that point. Boston Barcel won a 14-4 major decision, Central City answered with one of its own 9-0, No. 2 Zeth Gerkensmeyer (160) picked up a pin, Central City took a 10-9 ultimate tiebreaker, No. 2 Jacob Frenzen pinned his opponent in 1:03 then Central City did the same 33 seconds into the third.
Another Central City pin pushed the Bison ahead 27-25 with three to go.
Bradyn Kucera made it 28-25 with a 4-3 win then Cody Thompson, wrestling in his first match of the year, pinned his foe at heavyweight in just 31 seconds.
Then, as Bargen mentioned, Johnston fought his way out of a few predicaments, lost 8-0, but kept his team ahead for the win.
Up next was Class C No. 4 David City with five wrestlers listed by NEwrestle.com.
In the previous matchup, Lakeview won eight of the 14 matches, scored bonus points in five of those and accepted a forfeit win.
Thursday, the Vikings again won eight, pinned three times and took decisions in five others. Lucien Engle started it off on the right foot with a pin at 120 followed by wins from Gage Perry, Logan Jaixen and Lemburg.
Lakeview lead 15-0 at that point. David City made it 15-9 on a 5-2 win and a pin but LHS won a sudden victory, an 8-1 decision and a pin to extend out to 27-9.
Four straight David City wins with two pins put the Scouts temporarily ahead 27-25 until Kevin Dominguez closed a Lakeview win with a second-period pin.
Jaxien's win was a turnaround from the week before when the same opponent took victory by pin. All other rematches finished with the same victor.
"I've been pleased with our competitiveness. Not everything has been perfect all the time, but I feel like outside of a little bit of low point against O'Neill at the Nebraska Duals when we were a little flat, we've been pretty good," Bargen said.
"We knew it was going to be tough tonight. The kids kept their composure in some tough situations -- had some questionable calls go against us, but kept battling and competing."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com