Fast-Starting Baylor Pins 47-24 Loss On Bradley

Red Raiders Use Six Pins To Hand Bears First Loss Of Season

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - by John Hunt

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley’s Ben Smith knows that you have to beat the best to be the best and that’s why the veteran coach schedules teams like Baylor for tough dual meet competition.

It’s usually the opening match of the season for both teams and it’s a great measuring stick for both as each have their own goals as they compete in different divisions.

It's a great match pitting the two teams with more state wrestling championships between them than everyone else combined and there's always some exciting individual battles worth watching.

They’ve had some great matches in the past, but Thursday’s clash at Jim Smiddy Arena was one-sided from the start as Baylor forged a 25-0 lead with wins in the first five matches en route to a convincing 47-24 victory.

Baylor was missing several key starters, including two who are nationally ranked and defending state champions, but subs filled in nicely as the Red Raiders never seemed to miss a beat.

“I thought we stepped up tonight and I’m really proud of that, but we were missing some key kids and I really wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Baylor coach Rex Kendle following the match.

“We had a lot of kids show a lot of heart.  We had some backups who scored some big points, but they’re ready to break through and make a name for themselves.  It’s a long season, but this is a heck of a start.  Bradley has some tough kids and we always have good matches with them,” Kendle added.

Bradley’s Smith knows that a match like this will only make his team better in the long run as they probably won’t face another team with any more talent.

“We don’t have to travel five or six hours to get great competition as we have these guys.  We know they have nationally-ranked wrestlers from several states and I’m okay with that, but we just want to be on that same level as they are,” Smith began his post-match comments.

“We’re inexperienced in places, but they still have to perform.  We still have some things to figure out, but tonight, they were just better than us.  We got pinned in a couple of places where I was expecting to win, so that’s a big swing, but I’m really proud of Luke Belcher as he got a huge win over one of their best guys.

“At the end of the day, the gap between us is wider than I’d like, but our goal is to be the best in the state when the season ends.  We just scored 24 points against one of the best teams around, so that proves we can go with anyone.  We just need to be more aggressive in spots, but we’ll get there,” Smith finished on a positive note.

Mason Alley got the ball rolling for the Red Raiders with an impressive 13-1 major decision at 160 before Michael Kinsey made it 7-0 with a 10-5 decision at 170.

Omaury Alvarez, Tine Latimer and Gunnar Garriques then recorded three straight pins as Baylor’s lead was 25-0 before Bradley got on the board with a pin from Austin McClure at 285.

Baylor later added pins from Jacob Bond at 106, Jackson Bond at 126 and Nate Askew at 132 while Micah Tisdale closed the competition with a major decision at 152.

Bradley’s Belcher won the biggest match of the evening for the Bears when he scored a 3-1 decision in overtime over Garrison Dendy, who is a three-time defending state champ.

The match was scoreless through the first two periods before Dendy forged ahead with an escape midway through the third.  Dendy was penalized a point for stalling with one second left in regulation to force overtime and Belcher got the winning takedown with 18 seconds left in the extra period.

The other winners for Bradley included Cane Sawyer with a 13-2 major decision at 120, a technical fall by Ethan Lipsey at 138 and a forfeit for Bryson Terrell at 113.

Both teams will be competing in tournaments this weekend with Baylor heading to Charlotte, N.C. for the Lake Norman Duals.  Bradley will take part of  its team to Knoxville for the Knox Catholic Invitational while several JV guys will take part in the Ooltewah Invitational.


(Match began at 160 pounds)

106 – Jacob Bond (Bay) pinned Miguel Salinas-Rincon, 3:08;

113 – Bryson Terrell (Brad) won by forfeit;

120 – Cane Swanger (Brad) major dec. Judson Jarrett, 13-2;

126 – Jackson Bond (Bay) pinned Elijah McKenzie, 2:27;

132 – Nate Askew (Bay) pinned Taron Patterson, 2:23;

138 – Ethan Lipsey (Brad) won by technical fall over Peyton Smith, 5:47;

145 – Luke Belcher (Brad) dec. Garrison Dendy, 3-1 in overtime;

152 – Micah Tisdale (Bay) major dec. Carson Parker, 11-0;

160 – Mason Alley (Bay) major dec. Wade Brooks, 13-1;

170 – Michael Kinsey (Bay) dec. Knox Watson, 10-5;

182 --  Omaury Alvarez (Bay) pinned Eli Duncan, 2:23;

195 – Tine Latimer (Bay) pinned Hayden West, :53;

220 – Gunnar Garriques (Bay) pinned Jaylen Thomas, 1:50;

285 – Austin McClure (Brad) pinned K.D. Hill, 2:43.

(Email John Hunt at


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