By Joe Warren
Nevada Daily Mail
CARTHAGE, Mo. -- The Nevada Tigers were edged by Carthage Thursday, 38-24, in a closely matched dual meet between the two Southwest Conference schools.
In a dual that Nevada needed to win just to keep their conference title hopes alive, eight matches were closely contested and six of them went against Nevada.
The Tigers lost matches at 130, 135, 160, 189 and 215 pounds that they probably could have won, and had another in the heavyweight class that turned on a dime in the third period.
The match started with Ethan Fast battling Zach Mason in the heavyweight division. Fast was the aggressor, and he controlled the tempo the first two periods as he held a 4-3 lead. In the third period Mason chose to be on top, and he quickly used it to his advantage as he caught Fast off-balance and earned a pin only 20 seconds into the period.
After Chris Harris was beaten by Clint Spencer by technical fall 17-2 to give Carthage an 11-0 lead, Mason Heard took on Justin Sanderson at 112.
Sanderson, a junior who medaled in Class 3 at state last season, gave Heard a stiff test, as the two battled to a 5-5 tie at the end of regulation.
In overtime Heard earned a takedown with 39 seconds remaining to get the sudden-death win.
At 119 pounds, Drew Shepherd fought hard against Josh Mason, but was beaten 14-3.
At 125, Wyatt Whitworth was pinned by Brady Gerstner with 48 seconds left in the first period.
Colby Shepherd took on Austin Armer at 130 pounds, and he pushed the issue for most of the match. Armer took advantage of that in the second period, turning a 3-2 deficit into an 8-3 lead. Shepherd would end up losing 10-3.
At 135, it was Nick Nelson battling with Preston Armer, and the two were closely matched. Armer led 9-8 with only 44 seconds left in the match. A late escape and takedown by Armer made the difference as he won 12-9.
The loss by Nelson left Nevada down 26-3. That's when the Tigers started to make a move.
At 140, Matt Kennedy pinned Paul Matteo with 14 seconds left in the second period.
At 145, Josh Palmer earned a pin of his own with only 42 seconds gone in the first period.
At 152 was another battle, as Nevada sophomore Cole Bond wrestled Carthage's lone senior, Chad Williams. Williams also was a returning state wrestler from last season, finishing sixth in Class 3.
Bond earned a takedown for a 2-0 lead in the first period, and neither wrestler scored in the second. In the third it was Bond controlling the tempo as he won 6-2.
At 160, Keith Overton was dominating Jeremy Bland (another state qualifier) before he slipped and got pinned with three seconds left in the second period. Overton led 3-0 before the turn of events.
Spenser Daniels won by forfeit at 171 and Ryan Herda lost a tough match at 189, by a score of 1-0.
At 215, Jerrod Alexander was down 6-5 to Charly Gaudsmith going into the third period, but fell 11-8.
"It's hard," Nevada head coach Kevin Huck said. "It's a disappointing loss. But (the conference) is not the most important thing, we've got bigger fish to fry."
Nevada (4-3 in duals, 1-2 in the conference) will be in Webb City for a dual Monday, their final conference match of the season.