Chargers squeak by Braves in last few bouts, 36-28

    Bellmont senior Diego Hutker came oh so close to lifting the upstart Bellmont Braves to sudden victory, turning Carroll's Logan Jester twice, rolling out 10-1 in the decisive 132-pound match Thursday at the Teepee ... but he could not hold off Jester's power half-Nelson in period two and the Chargers scored a second straight dual meet victory over Bellmont, 36-28.
    After a gutty Trevor Gray erupted for a takedown and nearfall in overtime at 126 pounds to clip Carroll's Joe Israbian, Bellmont trailed just 30-28 and led in matches won 7-6. They needed that eighth win, to overcome three Carroll falls, but Hutker just wasn't able to seal the deal in a meet that most likely settled the NHC dual meet wars for 2013-14.
    "It was tough to lose that way after such a gutty performance from our kids, going 7-7 against the No. 12 team in the state," stated a disappointed Bellmont coach Brent Faurote.
    "It came down to Diego's match, but there were plenty of ways we could have got the job done, with another win or staying off our backs.
    "The main thing was that our team responded to the challenge," stated Faurote, whose Braves slipped to 2-1 in the NHC and 6-3 overall.
    "What an exciting dual meet," stated Carroll coach Scott Raypole.
    "There were a couple of matches that we thought we should have won, so you have to give Bellmont credit, but our guys who needed to came out and took care of business."
    The main guy taking care of Raypole, whose Chargers won for the first time in 26 tries against Bellmont last year, was Jester, whose father, ironically, used to be an associate pastor in Decatur. Hutker took a 4-3 record in the meet against the 13-1 Jester, but showed no respect.
    "Hutker goes out, hits a great headlock and hips Jester over, and does it twice for a 10-2 lead. The kid hits a power half in the second period and gets the turn. Diego has to be able to fight that off," said Faurote.
    "Logan is the kind of kid that never gets discouraged, just keeps coming. I saw his eyes when he was down and there was no panic. He hit a chicken wing, the kid left the elbow up and hit the half, then took his time and tightened it up," described Raypole, whose Chargers are now 12-0 overall and 3-1 in the loop.
    The coach feels good about Carroll's chances in the conference. "Not to put down the other teams, but we felt if we could get this one, we take the title. If we were going to win it, it had to be tonight," said Raypole.
    It didn't start out looking that way as Bellmont led 12-3 after four matches, including a one-point win by Logan Neher at 145, a fall by Brock Braun at 152 and a nifty 9-7 overtime win by 160-pound frosh Bryce Baumgartner.
    It would have been 15-0 Bellmont, but in the opener sophomore Danny Baker could not hold off senior Sebastian Hicks, yielding a takedown with three seconds to go to tie the match, then falling 10-8 in OT.
    "Baker loses a tough match in overtime, then Neher bounces back from a tough loss Tuesday to win 7-6. Brock gets the key fall against their sub," notes Faurote.
    Baker scored a three-point nearfall in period three and still led by two in the waning seconds of regulation, but couldn't stop the shot of Hicks.
    Neher trailed early 2-0 against 13-1 Alex Arney, but used his Fireman's carry twice to come back and earn the win. Braun hit a pancake in period one, then finished the job in 3:02.