Van Wert and Defiance opened Western Buckeye League wrestling action on Thursday, with the Bulldogs defeating the hosts 39-24.
The night started with a double forfeit at 145 lbs. and the first contested match of the night came at 152 lbs, when Cougar junior captain Isaiah Bretz came away with a fall in 37 seconds putting the Cougars ahead 6-0.
The Bulldogs knotted things up at 160, when JD McNett finished with a fall over Van Wert sophomore Ryan Pratt in the 160 lb. weight class.
The Bulldogs took the lead 9-6 after Isaiah Diaz beat Cougar sophomore Malachi Battle 5-1 in a 170 lb. match that was much closer than the score indicated.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 15-6 after Brandon Grunden pinned Van Wert sophomore Dale Hammons at 182 lbs, but the Cougars got back on the winning side with Junior Lloyd Eutsler pinned his Defiance opponent in 36 seconds at 195 lbs.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 27-6 after picking up two forfeits at 220 and 285 lbs. After double forfeits at 106 and 113, the Bulldogs picked up another 6 points by forfeit at 120 making the score 33-12.
The Bulldogs scored their final six points of the evening when Juan Perez recorded a fall over Cougar sophomore Ben Lange, making the score 39-12.
Van Wert rounded out the scoring by recording two falls in the last two matches of the night. Senior Captain Josh Dorsch came away with the fall in 5:27, while sophomore Gabe Steyer was able to pin his opponent at the 2:54 mark.
The Cougars recorded wins in both junior varsity matches that were wrestled. Freshman Macein Bigham pinned his Defiance opponent in 3:57, while fellow freshman Spencer Blue recorded a fall in 2:57.
The Cougars return to action Saturday at the Lancer Invitational at Lincolnview High School.