Two Wins Put Wrestlers Back On The Winning Track


After watching an 81-match winning streak end Dec. 12 in Tucson with losses to Salpointe and Sunnyside, the Longhorn wrestling team jumped back to winning ways three days later with victories over Coolidge and Santa Cruz.

In Eloy, the Horns came from behind to defeat Coolidge 45-28 and later pounded Santa Cruz 51-21.

Against Coolidge, the Horns had to forfeit both the 103- and 112-pound classes and fell behind 12-0.

The deficit grew to 15-0 when 119-pound Aaron Bratholt lost an 8-6 decision.

Horns faithful finally saw points posted on the scoreboard when R.C. LaHaye (125) won by a fall in the second period.

After another forfeit in the 130-pound class, the Horns trailed 21-6 and were scratching for points.

The situation turned even more bleak after sophomore Caleb Miller (135) lost an 8-6 decision and Horns trailed 24-6.

Facing adversity and a possible Central division upset loss, the Horns put together a rally rivaled in sports only by the fourth-quarter heroics of Arizona Cardinal quarterback Jake Plummer.

The comeback began inauspiciously enough when Doyle Van Horn won a 5-3 decision in the 152-pound competition.

The victory began a landslide that Santa Cruz could do nothing to slow.

Six consecutive wins by falls contributed 36 points to the Horn cause and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

The streak included a stirring win by senior Mike Armstrong (160) on a pin in the first period. Ben Gartner continued the onslaught recording a fall 2:59 in the second period.

Justin Davis (189) slapped his foe to the mat in the first period and Jimbo Armstrong -- despite weighing only 185 pounds in the 215-pound class -- pinned Coolidge's Ray Murrieta in the second stanza.

Mike Barker completed the comeback with a victory in the heavy weight class.

Santa Cruz no match
The dramatics were not nearly as tense in the 30-point victory over Santa Cruz as the Dust Devils forfeited the 152-pound through heavyweight classes.

Payson forfeited at 130.
The only Horns to see mat action were LaHaye, Miller, Levi Armstrong and Mike Wright.

LaHaye won on a fall, Miller took a 4-2 decision, Levi Armstrong lost 11-7 and Wright pinned SC's Elliot Garcia.

The wrestling team returns to action Jan. 6 in Wilson dome against Arizona Boys Ranch, Coolidge, Mingus and Marana Mountain View.

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