Blair 138-pound wrestler Landon Templar doesn't mind a little extra mat time.
“No,” the junior said. “I do not.”
After 78-3 and 50-22 dual routs of Fairbury and Norris on Friday night, the Bears found themselves down to Columbus Lakeview 15-0 with Templar in the circle. The BHS standout needed to knock-off highly-ranked Viking Logan Jaixen to get his team on the scoreboard during the middle stages of their second home dual tourney of the season.
The 138-pound bout went to overtime, and the BHS grappler won by sudden victory with a quick takedown. Templar flexed for the family members in attendance and helped push his Bears to a 47-18 dual win.
Overall, coach Erich Warner's Bears went 5-0 for the night. They closed out their tournament title with wins against Millard North (37-33) and Glenwood, Iowa (53-18).
Templar's win against Jaixen was a highlight.
“I'm ranked behind him, so I knew this was a big one,” he said. “It was a big one to win the dual, and I wrestle better when its on the line for my team.”
The overtime victory pulled BHS within 12 team points of Lakeview, but also set off a 10-match winning streak against the Vikings. Charlie Powers and Yoan Camejo followed up Templar's match with a pin and a tech fall, respectively, before another pin by Dylan Berg at 160 pounds.
Dane Larsen then picked up a Blair decision at 170 pounds before Braden Hanson battled Landon Ternus at 182. Hanson led Ternus 5-1 going into the third period, but fell behind 7-5 with less than a minute to go. The Bear reversed out of a precarious situation, however, scoring his own back points as time expired to get a 10-7 victory.
Next, Dex Larsen — who also earned a notable win against Norris' highly-ranked Dylan Meyer — pinned his Vikings foe in 1:53 before Gabe Gaskill earned another down-to-the-wire win at 220 pounds. The BHS wrestler trailed 4-0 going into the third period, but finished the match with a 7-6 decision after cradling Austen Smith for late near fall back points.
“He was tired,” Gaskill said. “We wore each other down and I had to make a risky move to try to win.”
Instead of cradling the Lakeview grappler and rolling him from his butt to his back, he rolled the Viking forward over his head and stacked him up.
“I had to go for it,” the Bear said.
To close out the Blair win, Lance Hume added six points by forfeit before Jesse Loges earned his by pin at 106 pounds.
From there, the Bears edged Millard North by four points — with pins by Atticus Dick, Templar, Powers and Loges — and Glenwood by 35. Powers finished the night with five pins in five matches at 145 pounds, taking just 7:39 to do it.
Camejo, Dick, Loges and Templar added three pins apiece, while Luke Frost notched two tech falls.
The five dual victories pushed Blair's season record to 14-2. The Bears are next scheduled to compete Jan. 2 at Council Bluffs Lewis Central after the holiday break.