BROOMFIELD -- With injuries and unexpected losses, the past month has been anything but a cakewalk for Skyler McWee. But Legacy wrestling's 220-pounder went a long way Thursday night toward shaking off his sour run of luck.
McWee proved he was back in fighting shape coming up with the second of his team's five pins against rival and eighth-ranked Mountain Range. The senior flipped Kody Kleman early in the second period and had the Mustang on his back for one of the Lightning's fastest wins of the evening.
McWee was visibly heartened by the match, throwing up both arms in triumph after the victory. And he believes it could not have come at a better time with the meat of the regular season ahead.
"I'm getting back to my old routine and back to work," he said. "I've been a little rusty the past couple of weeks, so I'm happy I'm improving."
McWee's match in Legacy 's 45-21 win over Mountain Range was only his second performance since a week before winter break. A nearly dislocated shoulder kept the third-ranked wrestler off the mat until last week. Then, in what was supposed to be his grand return, the senior lost to No. 4 Nick Debruyn of Lakewood.
They were hard lessons to endure, McWee won't argue that. But they are ones he believes will keep him on his toes in a season he hopes will end in the Class 5A state finals.
"There are no more losses, plain and simple," he said.
Legacy wrestled like it had a point to prove against the Mustangs, because the team does. With only two returning state qualifiers from 2012, the team has been snubbed from the rankings for the better part of the season.
"They didn't get much respect at the beginning of the season, but now people are starting to watch," Legacy coach Mike Thompson said.
Wrestling with a chip on its shoulder, the Lightning won eight of 14 matches Thursday, including the first four of the evening. But even with the solid showing Thompson was surprised his team did not notch a few more wins. The shockers to the coach were 138-pound Brian Mooney falling in an overtime match and 145-pound Matt Hebel falling in his first match since the Lightning's season opener.
"But they were both close matches," the coach said.
Even with a couple of missed opportunities the Lightning nonetheless felt electric with the win. Luke Robinson got the vibe it was going to be a solid evening nearly right off the bat.
"We took it to them early and kept it going the entire match," said the 195-pounder, who came up with his team's first pin of the night.
And while Legacy still has plenty to prove in the reminder of the season, Robinson is confident his team is moving in the right direction.
"I think we stand a fair chance," he said. "I like where we're heading."
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Legacy 45, Mountain Range 21
At Legacy HS
106 -- Bryce Waters, Legacy, pin Josh Cordova, Mountain Range, 5:01; 113 -- Ryan Deakin, Legacy, pin Tim Romero, Mountain Range, 5:58; 120 -- Trenton Blazon, Legacy, pin Tanner Flint, Mountain Range, 1:55; 126 -- Trent Thomas, Mountain Range, def. Justin Rheinheimer, Legacy, 8-3; 132 -- Adam Otterson, Legacy, def. Ronnie Kahler, Mountain Range, 7-0; 138 -- Craig Eggins, Mountain Range, def. Brian Mooney, Legacy, 5-3 OT; 145 -- Pat Romero, Mountain Range, def. Matt Hebel, Legacy, 10-3; 152 -- Randy Boerner, Mountain Range, pin David Dentino, Legacy, 1:20; 160 -- Conner Casady, Legacy, def. Joel Geers, Mountain Range, 8-2; 170 -- Hagen Coral, Legacy, def. Anthony McArthur, Mountain Range, 9-8; 182 -- Derek Coleman, Legacy, winner by forfeit; 195 -- Luke Robinson, Legacy, pin Brandon Forney, Mountain Range, 2:36; 220 -- Skyler McWee, Legacy, pin Kody Kleman, Mountain Range, 2:40; 285 -- Jorge Rodriguez, Mountain Range, pin Logan Lyons, Legacy, :30.