Arabians fall to Mt. Vernon in HHC matchup

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Pendleton Heights’ Alex Heineman won his 132 pound match against Mt. Vernon Wednesday Jan. 4, 2023

By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Just 10 days out from the Hoosier Heritage Conference meet, Pendleton Heights wrestling got one final look at a Hoosier Heritage Conference opponent.

Missing key team members, the Arbaians fell 60-15 to Mt. Vernon.

Pendleton Heights was without three of its top wrestlers because of injuries sustained at the North Montgomery Tournament the previous weekend — Jack Todd at 145 pounds, Jaylen Covington at 152 pounds and Jameson Walford at 170 pounds.

“Those are some of our best kids. We had four guys out, and three of them are all older, more experienced guys,” Pendleton Heights head coach Dave Cloud said. “Mt. Vernon has an excellent team, though, so I don’t think it would have changed the match, but it would have been a lot closer.”

“Well, Pendleton had some of their big guns out of the lineup. I thought we wrestled okay,” Mt. Vernon head coach Randal Hayes said. “Our guys knew some of their big guys were out, so it kind of deflated them a bit because they wanted to wrestle those guys.”

While the Arabians were without three of their top guys, they still got a glimpse of what could be one of the top teams at Saturday’s HHC tournament.

“You get better by wrestling good people,” Cloud said. “Randal runs an outstanding program down there — he’s a great coach, and he’s got good assistants and kids. They’ve got a lot of seniors, and they’re just a good team and should be one of the top teams at conference.”

Seven Mt. Vernon wins by fall fueled the way to the 45-point win, beginning with Aiden Kiner at 145 pounds.

Shawn Taylor (160), Jake Mellentine (220), Ty Barnhart (106), Conner Bayliss (113), Eli Broady (120), and Tristan Trevino (138) all followed Kiner with pins of their own.

The Marauders also got wins from Elijah Kiner (152) by major decision, Russell Weaver (195) by technical fall, Devin Kendrex (285) by decision, and Vanden Vail (170) by forfeit.

“Some of our younger guys filled in and learned what aggressive means,” Cloud said. “You think you’re being aggressive, but then you get someone that’s totally moving you around like they do. That’s college-style wrestling, and Mt. Vernon just really impressed me.”

In a 54-6 match, the Arabians took two of the final three contests.

Max Bowers defeated Carson Hill (126) by fall, and Alex Heineman defeated Caelan Alford (132) by decision. The other Pendleton Heights win on the evening came by Garret Pederson who defeated Hunter Austel (182) by fall.

“I thought some of our kids did a great job. Eli did a good job against Kendrex, who is one of the best kids in the state. He kept it off of a major, and really had him worn out by the end,” Cloud said. “Kayden was filling in and lost a close decision. I told him, imagine what you could have done if you would’ve gone out there thinking you could win from the start, instead of being intimidated. It was a good experience for a lot of our younger kids.”

The Arabians wrestled against Fishers on Tuesday night after press time, and return to action Saturday at the HHC tournament at New Castle.

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