38 special: Van Hoose topples Garner-Orr in 138-pound final
For two periods Wednesday night, two of the best wrestlers on the Western Slope battled in one of the best matches of the night.
Fittingly, the score was 1-1 late into the third period thanks to a single escape by both wrestlers.
Fruita Monument’s Daniel Van Hoose and Central’s Riley Garner-Orr grappled at 138 pounds in the finals of the Jackpot Duals.
It was the first foray into the 138-pound division this season for Van Hoose, and it looked like overtime was a done deal.
With both wrestlers on their feet and locked up, Van Hoose started circling to his left, trying to get the advantage. Then the Fruita senior made his move.
“I saw that the clock was winding down so I started circling really fast and I wanted to set him up,” Van Hoose said.
After circling, Van Hoose stopped, and taking advantage of Garner-Orr’s momentum, Van Hoose slipped Garner-Orr into a quick headlock and flung the Central senior onto his back to pick up the 6-1 win.
Van Hoose, whose only loss this season came to Grand Junction’s Josiah Rider at the Warrior Classic, said the competition against Garner-Orr made for a fun match.
“It’s fun because you know you’re going to battle and it’s a lot of fun having a guy that’s going to push you into the third period of the match,” he said.
After dropping about five pounds to move down to 138, Van Hoose said: “I feel great, energized, but a little tired.”
For much of the match, it was a matchup of two technicians going at it. Garner-Orr’s balance was evident and so was Van Hoose’s strength, which paid off with that last powerful move.
“I thought the weight room was more important than mat time in the offseason, even though both are important,” Van Hoose said.
After narrowly missing a takedown in the first period, Van Hoose found himself trailing 1-0 at the end of the second period after Garner-Orr pried himself free for an escape point.
“He’s a really good wrestler, he has real good balance so it’s hard to open him up and take shots and when he takes his shots they’re hard to defend,” Van Hoose said.
After starting on the bottom to start the third, Van Hoose scored his escape to tied the score at 1-1.
With the win, Van Hoose became a four-time winner at the Jackpot Duals.
“It’s kinda cool to say. It’s nothing like the Warrior (Classic), but it’s cool,” he said, smiling.
Van Hoose had wrestled at 145 all season until Wednesday and he said he will “most likely” remain at the weight for the remainder of the season. He was at 132 last year.
With Central in Class 4A and the Wildcats in 5A, the two won’t face each other after the regular season.