Jacks take final two matches; win 18-17
GILLETTE, Wyo. – After trailing 17-12 with two matches left, South Dakota State won the final two matches to defeat Wyoming, 18-17; beating the Cowboys for the first time in school history.
“All the credit goes to the 10 guys that went out and executed their gameplan today,” head coach Chris Bono said. “I could not be more proud of this group for believing in our coaches, themselves and their teammates.”
Brance Simms and Eric Orozco won the final two matches 6-0 and 9-4, respectively.
Alex Kocer (149) and No. 18 Cody Pack (157) gave SDSU a 6-0 lead after recording back-to-back wins to open the dual.
Kocer earned his 20th victory of the season after defeating Brandon Richardson, 6-3. After giving up the first takedown, Pack escaped and recorded a takedown midway through the second period to take control of the match and went on to win, 4-2.
After dropping the 165-lb bout, John Nething II used a balanced attack to down Brent Havlik, 8-3. Wyoming tied the match 9-9 after No. 20 Ben Stroh pinned redshirt freshman Ben Schwery. The Cowboys took a 12-9 lead following a Shane Woods’ 4-1 win over Trey Hable.
J.J. Everard earned a hard-fought victory over Tanner Harms in the 285-lb bout, 7-3; tying the dual up, 12-12.
Wyoming took a 17-12 lead after No. 8 Tyler Cox recorded a technical fall in the 125-lb bout.
Following Simms’ 6-0 win and the dual on the line, senior Eric Orozco beat Cole Mendenhall, 9-4 to win the decisive match and solidify the Jackrabbit win.
“He finds a way to win,” Bono said of Orozco. “He deserves to get a win like that for how hard he has worked and his complete buy-in of the program since day one. I am extremely happy for the young man.”
SDSU moves to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in WWC action.
“It’s a great win for our program and we’re excited to build on it next week,” Bono said. “We could not turn this program this quick without the support of our athletic director, administration, coaching staff and community support.”
SDSU continues Western Wrestling Conference action on Jan. 26 as the Jacks welcome Air Force to Frost Arena.
South Dakota State 18, Wyoming 17
149: Alex Kocer (SDSU) over Brandon Richardson (UW) – Dec., 6-3/ 3-0
157: No. 18 Cody Pack (SDSU) over Andy McCulley (UW) – Dec., 4-2/6-0
165: No. 18 Dakota Friesth (UW) over Joe Brewster (SDSU) – Dec., 5-3/6-3
174: John Nething II (SDSU) over Brent Havlik (UW) – Dec., 8-3/9-3
184: No. 20 Ben Stroh (UW) fall over Ben Schwery (SDSU) – 3:31/9-9
197: Shane Woods (UW) over Trey Hable (SDSU) – Dec., 4-1/9-12
285: J.J. Everard (SDSU) over Tanner Harms (UW) – Dec., 7-3/12-12
125: No. 8 Tyler Cox (UW) tech. fall over Ben Gillette (SDSU) – 24-9, /12-17
133: Brance Simms (SDSU) over Gunnar Woodburn (UW) – Dec., 6-0/15-17
141: Eric Orozco (SDSU) over Cole Mendenhall (UW) – Dec., 9-4/18-17