The Neosho Wildcats and the Carthage Tigers definitely put the brawl in the "Black and Blue Brawl" as the schools battled each other in the best sense Tuesday night.
Neosho took control of the dual over a six-match stretch from 120 to 152 pounds and earned 24 unanswered points en route to a 39-24 victory over their Central Ozark Conference rival.
Gabriel Selby (120) won a 14-9 decision against Tanner Russow, Cayden Auch (126) won a 11-4 decision against Dalen Moore, Kolton Sanders (132) won a 16-3 major decision against Dagan Sappington, Bret Camerer (138) followed that with a 14-4 major against Anderson Ixcol, Braxton Barnes (145) pinned Victor Salazar in 2 minutes, 35 seconds, and Alec Rothman (152) won a 12-1 major against Kelten Campbell.
It's fitting that on Senior Night, Neosho's lone seniors Barnes and Rothman helped the Wildcats' cause with 10 points. Bonus points are vital to winning a dual, and the Wildcats are no stranger to winning duals.
Carthage narrowed it to 27-15 after Trulyn Kendrick (160) pinned Keaton Sanders in 3:46 and Brandon Crow (170) won a 7-1 decision against Jeremiah Larson, but then sophomores Drayke Perry (182) and Caleb Elliott (195) came through in the clutch.
Perry came out like a man possessed and pinned Caleb Triplett with 34 seconds remaining in the first period.
Elliott, meanwhile, led Colton Winder for all of their match, but rather than merely take three points for a decision, Elliott earned Neosho six points by pinning Winder with 27 seconds remaining in the third period.
Neosho took a 39-15 lead entering the last two matches.
Carthage's Kale Schrader (220) won a 5-1 decision against Zane Persinger and Brener Ocana (285) pinned Joe Armstrong in 1:36 to close out the dual.
Neosho's Landon Kivett (106) won a 6-5 decision against Braxdon Tate in an opening match that started the dual on a high-excitement note and Carthage's Carlos Reyes (113) pinned Hayden Crane in 1:37 for the first and only Carthage lead of the night.
Filled with partisans cheering their respective teams on from all sides of the high school gymnasium, the festive night began with 17 JV matches on two mats.
Neosho's Nate Copeland (106) pinned Chris Lopez and Clismer Lopez in 55 seconds each. Cade Daniel (120 first match, 126 second match) won a 9-2 decision against Mateo Kaempfe and a 13-0 major against Cody Reeves. Jacob Selby (132) won a 8-2 decision against Eli Sneed and pinned Brett Rockers in 4:35. Noah Reiboldt (138) pinned Mitchell Frisinger in 1:46. Davencyl Alexander (152) pinned Fernando Lopez in 3:36. Jose Sanchez (160) won a 12-3 major against Erik Alvarado.
During the evening, Neosho also retired the singlet of former stalwart Montana Drum. Drum enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career at Missouri Baptist, and she joins a distinguished group that includes her peers Blake Stauffer, Dallas Smith, and Nate Rodriguez.
Neosho returns home Tuesday night for Homecoming festivities against Logan-Rogersville and Buffalo, the Wildcats' final home duals of the season after single duals against Collinsville and Carthage.