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A dramatic match was decided by a less than thrilling tiebreaker.
On January 12, the battle of the last two SCISA 3A state champions, the Ben Lippen Falcons and Hammond Skyhawks, ended in a 39-39 tie. With all tiebreakers exhausted, the match came down to “Criteria I.”
As described by Hammond head coach Austin Hood, the Criteria I scenario gave the win to the team that scored the first points. That team was Ben Lippen. It was a “kiss your sister” conclusion.
Not that this particular meeting was any sort of preview of what is to come in February’s upcoming state duals as both teams had multiple varsity wrestlers out due to COVID protocols. Six were missing for Ben Lippen, and seven were scratched from Hammond’s weigh-in sheet.
Still, a lot was on the line for these schools, and the drama was palpable as the contest came down to the last match.
Ben Lippen 113 Stone Porter started off the scoring with a first period pin.
The Skyhawks then took the next four matches as Graham Friesner returned the favor with a first period pin at 120. That was followed by forfeit wins at 126 by Luke Martin and at 132 by Angesom Ladd. Then PJ Davis got a pin at 138 with 6.6 seconds left in the first period to give Hammond a 24-6 team lead .
The Falcons fought back as Preston Halter gutted out a 5-2 win over Hammond 145 Josh Prioleau with two takedowns and an escape. Harrison Jones then got a forfeit win at 152 to cut the Skyhawk lead to 24-15.
Hammond 160 Leo Addeo built an 8-0 lead before earning a pin 27 seconds into the second period, and James Marshall Bradley got a forfeit win at 170 to build the Skyhawk advantage to 36-15.
Ben Lippen came back with a Burton Brewer’s forfeit win at 182. Austin Huff then found himself tied at 3-3 after one period, but he was able to get a pin for the Falcons with 1:06 remaining in the second. Ben Lippen followed that with Price Medlin’s forfeit win at 220 and Frank Cahoon’s forfeit win at 285 to grab a 39-36 lead.
That left the final match at 106 to decide it, but unfortunately, the best match of the day didn’t decide anything.
The Falcons’ Stone Porter built a 5- 0 first period lead over Hammond’s Coban Rabon with a takedown and three back points. However, Rabon fought back in the second with two reversals and back points to tie the match at 7- 7 going into the final period. There Rabon got one takedown and held on to win 9-7 tying the overall match score at 39-39.
Then after much discussion at the scorers’ table, Criteria I was invoked, and Ben Lippen took the match.