NIWOT -- Skyline's Jesus Contreras beat Niwot's Matthew Strope just before time ran out when the two wrestlers faced off in early December. So to lose a rematch the same way would have been a nightmare for Strope.

Strope will sleep well Wednesday night after showing his Falcons foe there is a flip side to every coin.

Highlighting a 45-27 Niwot dual win, Strope beat Contreras 9-8 just before time ran out during the 145-pound bout. The victory avenged a 10-9 consolation finals loss at the Mike Stanley Invitational.

"I knew it would be a tough match coming in because he beat me by almost the same score at Fairview," Strope said. "In order to win, I had to wrestle tough and get that last point. In those last 15 seconds, I just gave it the last of the energy I had left."

Skyline’s Braden Richards, right, tries to lift Niwot’s Fernando Velasco-Ramirez during the match at Niwot High School on Wednesday. For more
Skyline's Braden Richards, right, tries to lift Niwot's Fernando Velasco-Ramirez during the match at Niwot High School on Wednesday. For more photos visit (Greg Lindstrom/Times-Call)

Tied 6-6 in the third period, Strope released Contreras to fall behind 7-6. He got the two-point takedown he needed to reclaim the lead but was immediately called for a hand-clasping violation that tied the match at 8-8 with 15 seconds left.

When the match seemed destined for overtime, Strope pulled off the unlikely escape that left him with his hand raised in triumph.

In a dual that lasted only 45 minutes, Skyline forfeited four spots and Niwot forfeited one, with neither team fielding a heavyweight. The two clubs split the eight contested matches.

Winning for the Cougars, Joey Lambert pinned Clark Roylance, Jessie Slepicka pinned Justis Evans and Chris Ramirez pinned Abel Rivera. Erick Herrera, Marcus Cano, Damien O'Hare and Brandon Slepicka each won by forfeit.


Niwot travels for a dual with Greeley Central on Thursday and will host the Gary Daum Classic, formerly the Boulder Valley Invitational, on Saturday. Cougars head coach Scott Sanchez used Wednesday's dual as an opportunity to rest some of his top guys and get tough matches for freshmen Austin Ivan and Fernando Velasco-Ramirez.

Sophomore Clay Robinson, who is ranked 10th at 106 pounds, got a needed break to recover from illness.

"They did OK," Sanchez said. "We're still shuffling kids around weight-wise to fill the lineup as best we can. Some guys are getting healthy still so hopefully we'll be good to go for this weekend."

Both returning from injury and preparing for the Gary Daum Classic, Falcons senior Braden Richards and sophomore Ruben Rivera made short work of the Cougars freshmen. Richards pinned Velasco-Ramirez in 1 minute, 36 seconds and Rivera pinned Ivan in 36 seconds.

Tristan Klingberg pinned Niwot's Morgan Schoep in 2:53 and Steven Feltenberger won a 4-2 decision over Niwot's Sean Harrison.

"We've been practicing over break and our coach really put us through intense training before this," said Feltenberger, who has battled a split lip since the holiday break. "So in my match, I was confident I could out-condition him once I realized he was more muscular than me."

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Niwot 45, Skyline 27

At Niwot HS

106 -- Erick Herrera, Niwot, won by forfeit; 113 -- Ruben Rivera, Skyline, pinned Austin Ivan, 0:36; 120 -- Braden Richards, Skyline, pinned Fernando Velasco-Ramirez, 1:36; 126 -- Marcus Cano, Niwot, won by forfeit; 132 -- Joey Lambert, Niwot, pinned Clark Roylance, 0:38; 138 -- Jessie Slepicka, Niwot, pinned Justis Evans, 3:07; 145 -- Matthew Strope, Niwot, dec. Jesus Contreras, 9-8; 152 -- Chris Ramirez, Niwot, pinned Abel Rivera, 1:17; 160 -- Tristan Klingberg, Skyline, pinned Morgan Schoep, 2:53; 170 -- Damien O'Hare, Niwot, won by forfeit; 182 -- Steven Feltenberger, Skyline, dec. Sean Harrison, 4-2; 195 -- Ray Rodriguez, Skyline, won by forfeit; 220 -- Brandon Slepicka, Niwot, won by forfeit; 285 -- Open.