Triton wrestlers come up short

Head coach Luke Moffitt knows his Iowa Central wrestling team let a golden opportunity slip away here Wednesday night.

In their only home dual of the season, the Tritons (7-6 overall, 7-3 NJCAA) suffered a 24-14 setback to 13th-ranked (NJCAA) Iowa Western at Hodges Fieldhouse.

“We got beat in the close matches, which are the ones you have to find a way to win,” Moffitt said. “Our guys can’t be afraid to step up in the tough matches. Everyone just wants to wrestle easy matches, but the tough ones are the ones that will only make you better.”

No. 12 Darrell Pampkin (133 pounds) and Bryce Fisher (197) each registered major decisions for Iowa Central, while sixth-ranked Richie Lewis (149) and No. 10 Malcolm Allen (285) both prevailed by decision.

Pampkin, a sophomore, scored a 13-3 victory over Wilfred Charbono to give the Tritons their only lead of the evening at 4-3. From there, the Reivers (7-5) gained control by winning five of the next six bouts.

“Pampkin pulled off a big major for us,” said Moffitt. “On paper, I thought both teams were pretty evenly matched. Another thing that hurt us, though, was we had one guy that didn’t make weight again, which forced us to shuffle our lineup around. That just sets a bad tone for the rest of the guys.”

Fisher, a freshman, upset No. 5 Tim McDonald by an 11-2 final. Fisher earned a 220-pound Class 3A state title last year for Southeast Polk.

“Fisher lost a one-point match against (McDonald) at the Loras Open at the beginning of the season, so (last night) was a huge turnaround,” Moffitt said.

Lewis, a freshman, notched a 7-5 triumph over Tyler Nation. Allen, a sophomore, topped Nate Judge by a 9-2 count.

“Allen hasn’t really been able to ride guys in the past, but he’s made some improvement there between last week and this week,” said Moffitt. “Even though he lost, I thought Teddie Harvey did a good job, too. He bumped up (from 141 to 157) to help out the rest of our team and was in (his match) to win it. “

Harvey, a former three-time state qualifier for St. Edmond, dropped an 8-6 decision to Aleksei Vickers. Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Michael Licht (184) was also defeated by No. 7 Quinton Swanberg, 14-9.

Other triumphs for Iowa Western came from 10th-ranked Adrian Lozano (125), No. 3 Peter Stewart (141), Paul Ivy (165) and Matt Walker (174). The Reivers, who recently placed eighth at national duals, are in only their third year as a wrestling program.

“We just have to do things the right way, which involves working hard not just in the room,” Moffitt said. “Our diet, sleep and whole wrestling lifestyle that (us coaches) teach the guys needs to be followed to help in our conditioning.”

Last winter, Iowa Central was edged by Iowa Western in a 27-21 decision. During the 2011-12 campaign, the Tritons blanked the Reivers, 50-0.

Next action for the Tritons is Tuesday at fifth-ranked Ellsworth. Start time is set for 7 p.m. in Iowa Falls.