SYRACUSE – It was the most anticipated dual of the Wawasee December Duals, and it lived up to the billing. Wawasee and Northridge squared off with Northern Lakes Conference leverage on the line, and the Raiders won the final showdown of the day, 32-29, over the Warriors.
Both teams were 4-0 heading into the final matchup of the day, and both teams put on a show worthy of the anticipation. Northridge, the defending NLC champions after a 7-0 campaign a season ago, took on the upstart Wawasee side which came into the day 3-0 in the league and had moved to 4-0 after beating Plymouth in a dual earlier in the day. Northridge had moved to 5-0 in the NLC after its dismantling of Plymouth, setting up the undefeated showdown.
Wawasee beat Northridge on the mats, 7-6, and had a 3-2 edge on pins, but had to forfeit at 145 pounds and Ridge took a commanding 30-17 lead after back-to-back wins by Cade Freel by 8-2 decision on Xavier Ortiz and pin of Alex Castro by Conner Graber. Wawasee’s Damien Rodriguez and Northridge’s Jordan Contreras traded decisions, and nine points from Wawasee to wrap up was just short.
On the day, Wawasee had Jace Alexander, Chris Schuller, Braxton Alexander, Geremia Brooks and Elisha Tipping all go undefeated. Among the success for the quintet were two pins by Jace Alexander, three pins by Schuller, two pins and a tech fall by Braxton Alexander, two tech falls and a pin by Brooks and three pins by Tipping.
Wawasee opened its day with a 70-12 win over John Glenn, then won 47-18 over Plymouth, 71-3 over Heritage and 66-9 over Angola. Northridge, which sits at 6-0 in the NLC with a dual against Memorial left after the holiday, won its matches 60-16 over Angola, 60-16 over John Glenn, 52-20 over Plymouth and 76-4 over Heritage.
Wawasee (21-1 overall, 4-1 NLC) will shift gears to the IHSWCA Team State tournament next Saturday at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. Wawasee will wrestle in Class 2-A, to which the Warriors were ranked No. 1 coming into the weekend.