Columbus High wrestling won eight of 14 matches, five of those with bonus points and maintained its streak over Maroon Cup rival Norfolk in a 40-26 dual win Tuesday at CHS.
It was the fifth time in a row the Discoverers took down the Panthers and sixth in the last eight matchups.
Columbus won the first two matches of the night, lost four in a row but then put it away with wins in six of the next seven. The 16-point margin was the closest in the series since CHS held off Norfolk 31-30 in 2016.
Columbus winners included Tanner Kobza, Alex Korte, Blayze Standley, Anthony DeAnda, Kasten Grape, Adrian Bice, Blake Cerny and Clay Cerny.
The victory made CHS 17-6 with duals against Kearney, Lincoln North Star and the Midwest Duals in Kearney remaining on the schedule.
Columbus came into the day eighth in the Class A Wildcard Standings. The top eight qualify for the state dual tournament in Kearney on Feb. 8. The Discoverers have been part of the state dual festivities in each of the last four years.
Regardless of where Columbus sat in the standings, it wasn't part of the conversation for coach Adam Keiswetter or his group beforehand. There's still enough time to take care of business, and even if the Discoverers wouldn't take note of it, Tuesday's win was a big step in the right direction.
Norfolk was No. 2 in the standings, earning Columbus the maximum 50 points toward its dual average.
"We just want to perform," Keiswetter said. "I always tell the kids, 'It's not who you wrestle, it's how you wrestle.' We're not scouting these guys, we're scouting ourselves, watching our videos to execute our techniques better. That's what we're out there trying to do. We don't worry about the opponent so much."
The opponent came in as the No. 6-ranked dual squad according to NEwrestle.com. Columbus is one notch higher.
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The Panthers feature six ranked wrestlers, the Discoverers have eight. Still, only three of the matches featured ranked foes.
Columbus won three of those - No. 2 Tanner Kobza took down No. 8 Aaron Dittmer at 132 pounds and No. 2 Anthony DeAnda wrestled up to 195 and defeated No. 5 Laikon Ames. Norfolk's ranked win came at 160 when No. 4 Brayden Splater defeated Mac Shevlin.
Counting those three results and the other eight matches with ranked wrestlers, there were no upsets.
The night started with Kobza scoring an immediate takedown then turning it into a pin with 37 seconds left in the first period followed with Alex Korte scoring four takedowns, three nearfall points and an escape in a 12-2 major decision.
But up 10-0, Columbus fell behind when Norfolk picked up a 13-3 major, a first-period pin, 10-3 decision and 6-4 decision. Trailing 16-10, No. 2 Blayze Standley won 8-4, DeAnda 9-4 and Grape by pin with 46 seconds left in the first.
Columbus filled heavyweight for the first time this season, lost by pin and fell into a 22-22 tie. No. 2 Adrian Bice regained Discoverer control with a pin in just 24 seconds, No. 8 Blake Cerny accepted a forfeit at 113 then No. 7 Clay Cerny secured the win on a pin with 38 seconds remaining in the first.
Norfolk won the final match by 12-0 major but trailed by 18 at the time.
"Those guys wrestled us tough. They always do. They're coming here, they're ready to battle," Keiswetter said. "This is something they look at on their schedule and think, 'Hey, we wrestle Columbus.' Great environment, huge crowd. There were some moments it got really loud in here. It was fun."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.