PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Feb. 4, 2013) - When two top-ranked wrestlers square up in any match it tends to cause some noise. Backing up his number-one ranking at 125-pounds, Jesse Hillhouse (Sr., Casper, Wyo.), defeated number-two ranked, Kyle McCrite by a 10-4 decision as the Pack would fall to No. 11 Grand Canyon 26-9.
The highly anticipated match was the final one of the night as the ramifications were the highest for the individuals. McCrite, the defending national champion, had seen his initial number-one ranking taken away by Hillhouse during the season, while Hillhouse wanted to prove the ranking was justified by beating the next toughest opponent in the weight class.
McCrite got off to a quick start, taking down Hillhouse first to earn two points. The lead quickly evaporated though as an escape and takedown gave Hillhouse the lead after one period, something he would not relinquish for the remainder of the match.
After starting on the bottom to begin the second period, a quick reversal would add another two points to go up 5-3 heading into the deciding period. Another two takedowns and 1:44 of riding time solidified the victory for Hillhouse to bring his overall record to 24-3 on the season.
Hillhouse is currently riding a 14-match win streak, tying former ThunderWolf Brian Luna for the all-time lead.
The Lopes as a team had a better overall night though, winning in all but three matches. At 165-pounds Trevor Grant (Jr., Winemucca, Nev.) used an energetic effort to surpass Juan Carlos Maynes. Grant pushed the action the entire match and used his pace to score a series of takedowns and a reversal to earn the win.
True Freshman Chris Frisbie (Fr., Castle Rock, Colo.) provided a spark at 197-pounds by defeating redshirt freshman Marcus Haughian 2-1. Frisbie showed he has a bright future ahead of him in the victory, scoring a takedown in the first period while not allowing Haughian to score but one point on an escape.
Grand Canyon provided a tough test for the Pack as the season winds down. The ThunderWolves will wrestle in their final dual meet of the season when they host Western State Friday night. It will be the last match before regionals kick off Feb. 22 in Chadron, Neb.