Pins have played an important role in Guy Melby's highly successful run as head wrestling coach at Sidney High School in Montana.
"We talk about getting six points all the time," said Melby, who has coached the Eagles to 11 state championships, including titles the last two years. "Every day we talk to the guys about scoring the first points and the last points (of the match). And we're always looking for pins."
Melby's Eagles obviously paid heed on Friday as they shot away to a 55-point lead in their bid for a repeat championship at the Bismarck Rotary Club wrestling tournament at the Event Center.
None of Sidney's designated 13 scoring entrants lost in the first two rounds of the tournament, and they piled up 17 pins along the way. All told, they won 21 matches by fall on the day.
So the Eagles head into today's 1 p.m. wrestleback round with a 243.5 to 188.5 advantage on second-place Bismarck. Six teams reached the 100-point plateau on the first day. Rapid City, S.D., Stevens was third with 169.5 points, trailed by Watertown, S.D., (155); Minot (140), and Century (114.5).
Melby wants to engage in no conversation concerning insurmountable leads.
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"Nobody remembers what you did the first day if you don't get it done the second day," he noted. "We've got to be better tomorrow than we were today."
The Eagles have plenty of gunpowder left in the cannon. Kaiden Cline (120), Jordan Darby (126), Aden Graves (145), Dylan Lutz (160), Riley Waters (182), Jett Jones (195) and Brodey Skogen (220) will wrestle for the Eagles in today's finals, which are scheduled for 3 p.m.
In addition, the other six Eagle scoring wrestlers are alive in the wrestlebacks.
Bismarck, Sidney's closest competitor, has five finalists, but only for remaining in the consolation bracket.
The Demon finalists are L.J. Araujo (106), Christian Tanefeu (113), Wilfried Tanefeu (120), Brock Fettig (152) and Gage Roaldson (170).
Other finalists include Reece Barnhardt (126) of St. Mary's, Clay Radenz of Century (138), Will Kleinknecht of Mandan (152), Garrett Jangula (170) of Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter, and Connor Stordalen of Century (285).
That said, Melby sees no room for letup.
"We'll have to come out and wrestle like its 0-0 tomorrow," he said.