January 15, 2014 Updated: January 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm
After Kenneth Bullock put up a major decision in the 160-pound weight class, Vista Ridge had a chance to enjoy a lead over visiting Lewis-Palmer.
However, that lead would quickly fade.
With a strong middle-heavyweight lineup, the Rangers (2-0 Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) were able to notch a 62-14 win over Vista Ridge (0-2).
"I knew they had a really tough team. I've seen a lot of those kids coming up for a really long time," Wolves coach Nate Hill said.
Hill was most pleased to see his young roster, against L-P's senior-heavy lineup, didn't back down.
"We've seen some crazy improvement from day one to now," he said. "They easily could have put their heads down, but I saw some great things and was pleased with how they wrestled."
After two pins for a 12-point Rangers lead, compliments of Joe Neumann in the 132-pound class and Darryan Vanderpool at 138, Vista Ridge's Chris Mann at 145 was well on his way to a major decision over L-P's Cody Green. However, Green sustained an injury in the third period and was unable to finish, giving the Wolves their first six points.
At 152, Vista Ridge's Austin Mildbrandt won a major decision to pull within two points of the Rangers. It was at 160 where Bullock, a sophomore, broke loose in the third period to major decision Lewis-Palmer's Ian Mullins 10-2 to give Vista Ridge its only lead, 14-12.
Bullock was a first-time wrestler last season and is having a breakout year, Hill said.
"He did every last thing in the offseason," he said. "He busted his butt and was the hardest worker in the room. He's earned a lot of things that are happening for him now."
That lead didn't last long before Joseph Glenn of L-P pinned Taylor LeBlanc in the first minute at 170 to put the Rangers up 18-14.
"I wasn't entirely sure what was about to happen in the classes behind me. I knew that some of us would have good pins," Glenn said. "I was thinking I had to get team points for us, and the best way to do that was with a pin."
The remaining middle-heavyweights from L-P created a sort of murderer's row for the predominantly sophomore-freshmen Wolves roster as Brad Ellis, at 182, came up with another pin to push the lead to 10 points. Ryan Earl had a third-period pin at 195.
Vista Ridge had to give up the next two classes with forfeits, clinching the win for L-P.
"It went mostly the way we were hoping," Glenn said.
As the lightweights finished, the Rangers' Alec Oberndorfer had a first-period pin at 106. Trevor Wilch booked a fall in the second period at 120.
L-P's 126-pounder Brad Kadkubowski earned a 15-0 technical fall 15-0, and Ed McCarron won a 3-2 decision at 113.
Lewis-Palmer is focusing on its dual against crosstown rival Palmer Ridge, Glenn said.
"If we win that, we've got a chance at that league title," the 19-4 senior said.
For Vista Ridge, the road to February depends on working on little things in the wrestling room, Hill said.
He said: "We can't dwell on things but move on."