Kirtland came up on the short end of the scoreboard in a dual meet against Harvey on Thursday but the Hornets showed vast improvement from their first match of the season last week.
Harvey won the dual, 41-32, but Kirtland won six of the 10 matches wrestled.
“That’s a pretty good night right there,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis. “This time of year, we just want guys getting minutes on the mat. We’re not out there looking for quick pins; we just want minutes on the mat.”
Freshman Daniel Bak opened the night with a 4-minute, 30-second pin at 106 pounds. Junior Will Davidson followed that up with a pin at 120 pounds in 1:38. Freshman Drew Duncan then fell behind early to Robert Boykin at 126 pounds but rallied back to make it interesting before Boykin locked up a cradle to end the match with seven seconds left in the second period.
“Daniel Bak went out there and got a nice win,” Francis said. “Drew Duncan didn’t win his match but you could see in that match he was starting to come back until he got caught in the cradle. We liked what we were seeing from him. These younger guys are still learning to wrestle. We saw improvement from last week and that’s what we want.”
Harvey won the next five weight classes with three forfeits, a pin, and a technical fall to take a 35-12 lead heading into the 170-pound bout.
Kirtland then strung together three straight wins to pull to within 35-29 with two bouts remaining.
Sophomore Louka Babic recorded a pin in 1:01 at 170, junior Brennon Braud stuck his 182-pound opponent in 1:19 and junior Anthony Gencarelli recorded a 19-4 technical fall at 195.
“They saw where the score was at and they knew what they had to do,” Francis said. “Once again, the guys are just in the mindset, because this is just our second match and it would be nice to win it, but at the same time they’re just still in the happy to be wrestling mode, but that will be changing around here pretty quick.”
Harvey junior Antonio Poole dashed Kirtland’s hopes of a comeback win when he scored a six-second pin at 220 pounds to push Harvey’s lead to an insurmountable 41-29.
Kirtland sophomore Antwyne Stoves closed out the match with a 12-6 win at 285 pounds.
“Antwyne wrestled in junior high but he didn’t wrestle last year. We got him back out this year,” Francis said. “He’s not a tall heavyweight; he’s short, stocky and strong, and he’s a real good athlete. He can keep his balance and doesn’t get thrown around out there.”
Kirtland travels to Mentor on Saturday for a quad with the Cardinals, Kenston and South.