ELKHART — Elkhart Central sophomore wrestler Nate Dibley rallied, then survived, Tuesday in his 4-3 win over Elkhart Memorial's Koby Lundy at 152 pounds.
It was a pivotal win in the match between the two rival schools as the Blue Blazers took a 28-18 lead on Dibley's dramatic triumph and went on to beat the Crimson Chargers 43-30.
Down 3-0 in the second period, Dibley got a takedown in the second to pull within 3-2. Another takedown gave him a 4-3 lead with 40 seconds left in the match.
The ending was nerve-wracking as Lundy had Dibley on his back and came inches away from getting a takedown.
"I just wanted to finish strong," Dibley said. "When it's looking tough towards the end you just have to push through."
Dibley made coach Zach Whickcar look smart as he was bumped up from his normal weight of 145.
"I thought he gave us a better matchup," Whickcar said. "They started bumping kids and we wrestled (against Lundy) last year and I didn't think it could hurt. It was a big match for us. I think it swung things a little bit for us in our favor."
Memorial coach Brian Weaver pointed to one move Lundy didn't make that was the difference.
"Koby did a great job as far as bumping up a weight class," Weaver said. "We just made one error at the end. If we would have hooked the leg we would have gotten a takedown. It was more the matter of the moment. It was a high-intensity match."
Whickcar laughed when asked about his own thought process during the final tense moments.
"We've just got to finish," Whickcar said. "He's wrestled well the last couple of matches for five minutes, for four and a half minutes. We've got to wrestle hard for six minutes. Finally, he did it. The last two matches he's been up five to six points in each match and lost it late in the last minute or two. I'm proud of him and happy for him. I'm sure it's a relief for him."
Dibley's win was was one of seven straight for the Blazers, who went from being down 18-10 to up 43-18.
Others that got key wins during that run for Central were Raul Martinez (132), Chaz Boyd (138), Austin Garcia (145), Xander Stroud (160), Tykease Baker (170) and Braulio Amezquita (182).
"It's awesome to win, regardless of who you're facing," Whickcar said about his 7-1 squad. "For us, it's not necessarily about beating Memorial. It's about improving. I don't really care about the results of a dual meet as long as we're progressing and getting to where we need to be for sectionals. That's what's important for us."
One wrestler who appears headed in the right direction is Dibley, who owns a respectable 4-3 record in his first year of varsity wrestling.
"I was preparing for the worst this year and hoping for the best," Dibley said.
ELKHART CENTRAL 43, ELKHART MEMORIAL 30
285: Nick Connor (EC) major decision over Edwin Avila 16-3. 106: Matt Kline (EM) pinned Sean Johnson 3:07. 113: Peyton Nichols (EM) by forfeit; 120: Christian Mejia (EM) pinned Brad Felder 1:27. 126: Austyn Cole (EM) pinned Jose Abarca 2:46. 132: Raul Martinez (EC) by technical fall over Nathanael Schwaim 17-2 (3:18). 138: Chaz Boyd (EC) major decision over Kendall Jenkins 15-6. 145: Austin Garcia (EC) pinned Nathan Zamudio 2:42. 152: Nate Dibley (EC) def. Koby Lundy 4-3. 160: Xander Stroud (EC) def. Jordan Siddons 3-1. 170: Tykease Baker pinned James Goldsborough 1:03. 182: Braulio Amezquita (EC) pinned Jorge Palomino 2:00. 195: David Eli (EM) pinned Alex Lucius 3:10. 220: Brett Coulahan (EM) pinned Omar Perez 1:08.