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LOUISVILLE— B.J. Carman wasn’t about to let Justin McDaniel get the best of him again.
One week after Carman’s unbeaten start was snapped with a loss to McDaniel in the South Oldham Dragon Invitational, the LaRue County 182-pound senior returned the favor during Saturday’s State Duals.
In the small-school division third-place match, Carman topped McDaniel – a Louisville Moore senior – 10-2 to give the Hawks a 37-33 win over the Mustangs at Fern Creek High School.
“I was just thinking I need to beat him because the score was tied,” Carman said. “I just knew I had to go in there with my head straight, and I had my mind set on winning.”
Carman (43-1) led 2-1 going to the third period, when he scored on an escape, two takedowns and a near-fall to lock up the victory.
“It was a good, solid match,” LaRue County coach Gary Canter said. “You could tell the intensity was there and the strategy was there. Their styles are kind of different and it’s one of those matches that are decided by one move.
“I wasn’t overly nervous,” he added. “The thing about B.J. is he’s cool, as cool as they come. He doesn’t panic and he knows he can battle back into a match. He knew he had to just keep his game going.”
Carman liked that the match came down to him.
“I like it that way because it puts more pressure on me and makes me want to work harder,” he said. “It makes me know that I’m not just wrestling for me but the whole team.”
Carman and 170-pound senior Caleb Canter (37-0) each finished 4-0 and 152-pound senior Spencer Hines went 3-0 for the Hawks, who were 3-1. LaRue County also beat Fort Campbell, 36-33 and Louisville Fairdale, 46-29 in pool matches. The Hawks lost to eventual small-school champ Union County, 43-24.
The matchup against Union County, which won its second straight duals championship, didn’t come without its fair share of drama. Carman pinned Union County junior Devin Smith for a 6-0 lead, but the Braves reeled off 10 wins in a row en route to a 43-6 advantage.
“We started pretty good with B.J. getting a pin, but we didn’t win for a long time after that,” Caleb Canter said. “They’ve got some real tough kids in the lower weights and it was hard for us to compete there, but we kept our composure.”
Gary Canter disputed a couple of calls in junior Tony Couch’s 195-pound match to no avail. Canter argued Couch should have been given two points for a takedown in the second period, but the official said it came after Couch and junior Bryan Carter were out of bounds.
Then, in overtime, Canter argued Couch should be given one point because Carter had already been cautioned by the official. After conferring with other officials, Carter was given the 3-2 win.
“There were some questionable calls, especially on a couple of takedowns, but that’s a judgment call,” Gary Canter said. “I would like to have gotten one of those, so those hurt. But that wasn’t what cost us the match. We had to score in the upper weights and we had to be in front in order for it to work.”
The Hawks bounced back against Moore, which led 27-12 after the first six matches.
Juniors Kyle Edlin and Raymundo Perez each won by pin to pull LaRue County within 27-24. The Mustangs won two of the next three matches before Canter won his match by forfeit, and set the stage for Carman.
“I didn’t want to be that far behind,” Gary Canter said of his team’s 15-point deficit. “We had made a bump because of an injury to Tanner Mouser, and we were trying to cover for him. I knew by making that move that we were going to be in a hole – and it was a bigger hole than I thought we’d be in. But it came down to the big dogs, Bubba (Caleb) and B.J. Those two guys delivered for us.”
Things didn’t quite go so well for the Central Hardin Bruins, who went 1-3 and placed eighth in the big-school division.
Central Hardin beat Anderson County, 58-17 in its first match but lost its final three – to defending state tournament champion Campbell County, 59-15; Lexington Henry Clay, 35-31; and Woodford County, 34-33.
“We wrestled pretty good against Anderson and decent against Campbell. Man, they’re good,” Central Hardin coach Russ Pike said. “Then we come out in the brackets and it comes down to the last match against Henry Clay and we lose it, then it comes down to the last match against Woodford and we lose by one. We just have to do a gut-check. This is not the time of year you want any kid on your team to be struggling and making rookie mistakes, which is what we did today.
“It’s real frustrating, especially when we do this stuff in practice and then come out here and don’t do any of it,” he added. “We don’t do the stuff that we’ve been practicing.”
Senior Cody Mardis went 4-0 at 138 pounds, while seniors Andrew Lee (145) and Cody Reeser (220) and junior heavyweight Matt Daugherty each went 3-1.
This isn’t what the Bruins hoped to do. They wanted to contend for a top-five spot, but Pike said they just had an off day.
“We’re going to take the positives from it and tell them to suck it up,” he said. “We had some kids do well and wrestle tough. But we need to get it together. We’ve got one more match before regions. It’s time to put up or shut up, one of the two.”
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or email@example.com.
LOUISVILLE — Results from Saturday’s State Duals at Fern Creek:
3. LaRue County (3-1)
Def. Fort Campbell, 36-33
Def. Louisville Fairdale, 46-29
Lost to Union County, 43-24
Def. Louisville Moore, 37-33
106: Dawson Bingham 2-2
113: Dalton Bell 1-3
120: Kyle Edlin 2-2
126: Tanner Mouser 0-1
126: Hunter Harrison 1-2
132: Dylan West 3-1
138: Raymundo Perez 2-1
145: Griffen Dulak 0-2
152: Spencer Hines 3-0
160: Jared Whitlock 1-2
170: Caleb Canter 4-0
182: B.J. Carman 4-0
195: Tony Couch 3-1
220: Cody Strausser 0-4
285: Nathan Bell 1-2
285: Charlie Roarx 0-1
8. Central Hardin (1-3)
Def. Anderson County, 58-17
Lost to Campbell County, 59-15
Lost to Lexington Henry Clay, 35-31
Lost to Woodford County, 34-33
106: Grant Hall 2-2
113: Cody Thomas 1-3
120: Jared Coffell 1-3
126: Shaun Davis 1-3
132: Wyatt Overman 0-4
138: Cody Mardis 4-0
145: Andrew Lee 3-1
152: Cole Overman 2-2
160: Joey Pulliam 0-2
160: Dalton Parr 0-2
170: Brett Rafn 2-2
182: Trey Jaco 2-2
195: Charlie Sailing 2-2
220: Cody Reeser 3-1
285: Matt Daugherty 3-1