Takeaways: Iowa State showing growth, but struggling to earn bonus points

Julien Broderson celebrates his 4-1 victory over Oklahoma State’s Anthony Montalvo on Jan. 30 at Hilton Coliseum.

Sam Stuve

The 13th-ranked Iowa State wrestling team had three duels Saturday and won two out of the three, losing its lone duel to the fifth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys by one point.

In its wins against the Iowa Central Tritons (NJCAA) and the Lindenwood Lions (NCAA D2) on Saturday, as well as the loss against Oklahoma State, some Cyclones continued to show development.

However, not winning any matches by more than a decision came back to haunt the Cyclones.

Iowa State showed growth

In Iowa State’s last home duel against a top-10 opponent, it was blown out in 31-7 fashion, although some of those matches could’ve gone the other way.

After going out and beating an Oklahoma team that was ranked 18th at the time, Iowa State had another crack at a top-10 opponent in facing Oklahoma State.

This duel was a lot closer than the Missouri duel in the team score, with Oklahoma State winning by just one point.

“No question that was a tough one,” Iowa State Head Coach Kevin Dresser said. “Effort was good, just a lot of places where we lost, obviously a close match that we shouldn’t have probably won and we missed a couple of bonus point situations.”

Dresser said the team’s fight was really good and the positive take from Saturday is that “this team could be pretty darn good here in a month.”

Three Cyclones won against Oklahoma State that didn’t win against Missouri on Jan. 17.

Freshman Zach Redding defeated Reece Witcraft of Oklahoma State 6-0 at 133 pounds, redshirt senior Ian Parker followed up his Jan. 24. 4-3 win over then-fifth-ranked Dom Demas of Oklahoma with a 12-6 win over redshirt senior Dusty Hone and redshirt freshman Julien Broderson defeated redshirt sophomore Anthony Montalvo in tiebreaker period one, 4-1.

In Redding’s match, he rode on top Witcraft, an NCAA tournament qualifier from a year ago, for the entire period, then scored six points in the third period to win 6-0.

“The coaches have been preaching to me for a week and a half about taking the piss and vinegar out of them and riding them tough instead of just looking for a turn,” Redding said in regards to riding out Witcraft in the second period. “I kind of felt wither away and so I was able to get the ride out.”

For Redding, he said the loss in the Missouri duel he suffered Jan. 17 stuck with him.

“In the duel against Missouri I kind of sat on a lead and it came back to bite me,” Redding said. “In this one I knew I had to go get another one (takedown) and that’s what I did.”

Redding is now 5-2 this season with his only losses of the season coming by one point each to Oklahoma’s Anthony Madrigal (3-2 in tiebreaker period one) and Missouri’s Matt Schmitt (4-3).

“Zach’s doing a good job for us, he works really hard and wrestling is something that is really important to him,” Dresser said. “One of the things that attracted me when I recruited him is that I could tell that wrestling was really important to him and his family; he studies it, he’s not afraid to wrestle anybody and that shows right now.”

Iowa State is now 1-2 against Division I (DI) opponents and part of the reason for Saturday’s loss could be due to not winning any matches by more than just a decision.

Iowa State struggling to dominate

In the three duels Iowa State has had against DI opponents (Missouri, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State), Iowa State has won just one match by major decision (worth four team points), technical fall (worth five team points) or pinfall (worth six team points).

The only win by major decision Iowa State had this year was in redshirt senior David Carr’s match at 157 against Jarrett Jacques of Missouri, in which Carr won 14-1.

Meanwhile, Iowa State’s DI opponents have had five wins by either major decision, technical fall or pinfall.

This may not seem that significant, but it was in the Oklahoma State duel Saturday. Nine out of the 10 matches Saturday were won by decision (worth three points).

The one match won by a major decision or greater was won at 149 pounds.

Boo Lewallen’s win at 149 earned Oklahoma State four team points, which was huge for it in terms of the team score.

Both teams won five matches Saturday.

Iowa State won all of its matches by decision, while Oklahoma State had four wins by decision and one by major decision, giving it the one-point edge over Iowa State 16-15.

Had Iowa State won one match more than a decision, it would’ve tied the score at 16 and won the duel via criteria (more total individual points scored from all matches combined in this scenario).

Broderson making strides at 174

After getting pinned in 46 seconds by Missouri’s Peyton Mocco (who has since risen to the 16th-ranked wrestler in the country) on Jan. 24 and falling to 2-2, Broderson hasn’t been in a downward spiral since.

In fact, he’s won three matches in a row.

Dresser said he’s proud of how far Broderson has come in a few short weeks.

“He continues to make strides, he’s a dangerous dude and people have to respect him when he gets in certain positions because he can throw you on your head,” Dresser said.

Broderson followed up a 4-3 win in the Oklahoma duel over Anthony Mantanona on Jan. 24 by picking up two wins Saturday in two different ways.

In his match against Iowa Central’s Keaton Geerts on Saturday, he put Geerts in a headlock, tossed him on his back (something Broderson seems to look to do quite often) and pinned Geerts at the 2:22 mark in the first period.

Against Oklahoma State’s Montalvo, a wrestler he lost to at last year’s Southern Scuffle tournament in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it was a low-scoring match that needed a tiebreaker to decide a victor.

Tied at one apiece, Broderson began the first portion (30 seconds) of the tiebreaker period in top position and rode out Montalvo, not allowing him to score in 30 seconds.

Broderson then began the second portion of the first tiebreaker period in the bottom position, where he not only scored a point by escaping from Montalvo’s control but he got a takedown and put Montalvo on his back for good measure to win the match 4-1.

“It was an exclamation mark to how that match was,” Broderson said in regards to throwing Montalvo on his back. “There’s not a ton of fans (in attendance because of COVID-19 protocols) but it sure felt like there was in the last seconds of that match ran down so it was an awesome feeling.”

Dresser said he thinks Broderson wore Montalvo out throughout the match.

Currently, Broderson is ranked 20th in the nation at 174 pounds.

The next step for Broderson in Dresser’s eyes is attacking his opponents’ legs when both wrestlers are standing.

“Julien needs to continue scoring points and getting to more leg attacks,” Dresser said. “He’s just starting to get confidence in his leg attacks, he’s always been an upper body guy and he’s got a lot of confidence there but if he continues to get more confidence in his leg attacks he’ll be the total package.”

What’s next?

Iowa State is off to Fargo, North Dakota, for duels at 1 p.m. Feb. 7 against the North Dakota State Bison and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits at 3 p.m.