By KYLE McCASKEY
2:01 AM CST, December 7, 2012
Against most every other team in the state, Derby's 33-15 lead with five matches to go would have been comfortable.
But against Newton, it was not nearly enough.
“We never count ourselves out of anything,” said Newton's Dillon Archer. “No matter what is going on throughout meets, we always feel like we can come back and make strides in the end, and overcome the deficit.”
The Railers swept through the final five weights to pull off a 38-33 victory at Derby.
Jared Langley (172 pounds) and Noah Ornelas (182) started the rally with wins. Then Archer, a returning state champion, scored a tech fall over Blake Bradford at 195 to cut Derby's lead to 33-26.
Raymond Gallegos trimmed the deficit to one with a third period pin of Matt Kissinger. That left Garrett Lee needing only a win at 285 to finish the comeback. Lee erased any doubt with a pin with 20 seconds remaining in the first period.
“I think our team all the way through is very tough, and we have a lot of potential. Throughout every weight class, actually,” Archer said. 'But I think the fact that we have solid end weights to our roster gives us a lot more confidence with our closing methods in duals.”
Derby started strong, as Braden Dipman (106), Cody McDonald (113) and Garrett Xanders (126) stuck their opponents for an 18-3 edge.
“We talked about fighting and not giving up that pin – knowing where we're at and knowing we have to bail out and give up points to stay away from our backs,” said Newton head coach Jude Wilson. “We couldn't do that. They had a lot of good stuff they threw at us. We just weren't ready for it.”
Jared Suppes survived a match with state placer Garrett McEachern at 138. Suppes fell behind 4-0, and later 6-3, before hitting a pin 52 seconds into the third period. Newton's Peter Nelson reversed the momentum, however, by putting Derby's Chandler Ayer to the mat with seven second left in the 152-pound match.
Ben Becker gave Derby its biggest lead with a pinfall at 160 pounds, pushing the Panthers up 33-15, but it was not enough.
“We knew we had our hands full,” said Derby head coach Bill Ross. “We knew we had to build a lead in the lower weights because we knew their upper weights were very strong. We fell just a little short of that goal, and that was the difference in the dual.”
Derby is ranked No. 3 in 6A. Newton is No. 2 in 5A. Ark City, the No. 1 squad in 5A, defeated Derby by one point this past week.
“We still didn't know where we were at for sure,” Wilson said. “We looked at the results of last week and saw they were right in there with Ark City, so we knew this was going to be a good test to see where we were.”
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