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Notebook: Lewallen’s confidence grows in victory against Sooners

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Oklahoma State's Boo Lewallen wins 12-4 against OU's Jacob Butler during the OSU vs. OU wrestling match on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, at McCasland Field House.

Norman - In the Oklahoma State wrestling team’s victory against Oklahoma on Sunday, Boo Lewallen picked up his ninth consecutive victory on the season, a 12-4 win.

Lewallen, who had surgery last year, said his confidence grows with each match.

However, Lewallen knew he had more in the tank and wanted to score more points earlier in matches.

“I’ve got to get my first period (offense) moving a little bit faster,” Lewallen said. “I want a lot more out of myself.”

Lewallen also said his goal this season is to win a national championship, something that hasn’t been done by an OSU wrestler since Dean Heil in 2017.

“I’ve got some work to do,” Lewallen said. “No matter what happens, I have to keep getting better and that means my confidence gets better.”

Lewallen, who grew up in Oklahoma, said winning a match in Bedlam means more than the average dual.

“The rivalry is huge for the sport, huge for the state,” Lewallen said, “I’m a big fan of this dual meet and I am glad we’re wrestling twice.”

In his time at OSU, Lewallen has suffered a series of injuries that have kept him out for extended periods of time.

However, coach John Smith said he is proud of Lewallen’s progress.

“He’s been in some battles and that’s what he needs right now,” Smith said, “He needs to continue to stay focused and keeping himself healthy for the second semester.”

Lewallen said there was a time he thought about quitting the sport altogether, but he looks back on that time and uses it for motivation.

“It was a dark spot and it’s something that motivates me every day,” Lewallen said, “It was a hard spot to come out of… so every time I get to wrestle it’s a big deal to me because it’s not a certainty.”

Piccininni and Geer rebound from Princeton losses

Last Friday, both Nick Piccininni and Dakota Geer lost their first matches of the season to top-5 opponents.

“There was a poor mentality out there,” Smith said after last week’s dual. “They didn’t seem to put it together.”

However, both wrestlers won on Sunday. Piccininni majored Christian Moody 14-2 and Dakota Geer upended No. 9 Jake Woodley 4-2.

Although Piccininni won with bonus points, Smith said he wants more.

“There’s such high expectations for Nick right now,” Smith said. “He wasn’t aggressive enough in chasing his turns.”

Smith echoed that same sentiment with Geer.

“He scored defensively which was good, but he didn’t do a whole lot,” Smith said. “I mean, he walked around the guy once… I need more from these guys, there’s gotta be more.”

Piccininni’s win was his sixth bonus-point victory in eight matches and improved his overall record to 7-1.

Geer’s win also brought his record to 7-1 after picking up his first top-10 victory of the season.

Unexpected wrestlers perform well

Dusty Hone (141) and Andrew Shomers (174) had struggled in their previous dual matches this seaoson.

They each faced top-15 opponents, including No. 3 Dom Demas at 141 pounds, who is one of the favorites to win the NCAA championship.

Both wrestlers kept their matches close and avoided giving up bonus points.  Shomers even took his match to sudden victory.

“You’d like to see Shomers finish that match,” Smith said. “He would’ve been a guy that man, sucked it up, weighed in below 165 pounds and you found a way to win the match - just a mental error.”

Smith also gave high praise to Hone, who nearly upset Demas.

“Dusty Hone has been really competitive for us,” Smith said. “Hey Dusty, you know he’s really been making some waves.”

Speaking of unexpected performances, true freshman Reece Witcraft upset No. 16 Anthony Madrigal, 6-5, at 133.

“You know, you don’t often give up riding time and win the match and that’s what he did today,” Smith said. “He’d probably be a guy you could consider the outstanding wrestler today.”

Witcraft improved his record to an impressive 7-1, but coach Smith wanted to see more out of the young freshman.

“You’ve got to show that fire in your belly,” Smith said. “He’s trying to find that right now, but it was good to see him get three takedowns, it was good to see him win Bedlam.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com