Pins, forfeits help Grand Junction cruise past Durango on mat

Grand Junction High School scored 42 points by pin or forfeit Friday night en route to a 52-15 victory over Durango.

The Tigers took a 31-6 lead by winning six of the first seven matches, starting with 152-pounder Elijah Pittsinger’s 12-2 major decision over Brandon Stagner. The Tigers collected two forfeits and took a 16-0 lead.

Durango 189-pounder Justin Whirlow finished off Kenith Gedstad in 34 seconds to score the first win of the night for the Demons. Whirlow scored a takedown in the first 15 seconds and had Gedstad on his back within the next 15 seconds for the win.

After a Dylan Reed pin and a forfeit, Tigers 103-pounder Dylon Thompson had the first competitive match.

Thompson scored a takedown after a scramble in the first period to take a two-point-lead into the second. Thompson held Rudy Peterson down the entire second period and escaped with 10 seconds left in the third period for the 3-0 win.

“Dylon’s wrestled well all year,” Tigers coach Bud Glover said of the freshman. “He’s got a lot of talent.”

CJ Hamby and Ty Penning, two of the better wrestlers for the Demons, scored big victories over Chase Arrieta and Anthony Gullien, respectively. Hamby held off a late surge by Arrieta for a 6-3 win at 112 pounds.

Gullien and Penning’s match pitted two of the top-rated 119-pounders in the state. Gullien was trailing by six points with less than a minute to go in the third period, desperately needing a big throw to get back into the match.

Out of nowhere, the senior hit a slick lateral drop, a belly-to-belly toss that pulled Penning back over a high-arching Gullien. A quick 180 toward the end of the throw landed Gullien on top of his opponent; the entire move was hit in less than one second, bringing people on both sides of the mat to their feet.

Penning avoided near-fall points, but he wasn’t out of trouble.

With Gullien on top, Penning was dangerously close to giving up back points. Penning was trying to recover to his belly and Guillen was trying to get his opponent over to his back.

With 30 seconds left in the match and no movement in position between the two stubborn seniors, the referee called a stalemate. No back points were awarded, and Penning held off Gullien to win 8-2.

Jesse Ollier claimed a 7-4 win over Jim Emery to score Durango’s final victory of the night. With the score tied at 4-4, Ollier cranked a power half-nelson to turn Emery and collect the three winning back points.

Grand Junction freshman Alex Jay, who scored a pin Thursday night, snapped the three-match Demon winning streak by winning 5-2.

Jessie Hoffschneider and Jerry Blair had two straight first-quarter pins and Gage Casey stuck his opponent with one second left in the second period at 145 pounds to round out the Tigers’ win.

The Tigers continue their homestand at 10 this morning, taking on Montezuma-Cortez.


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