Baldwin He's just a freshman, but Alan Callahan already has developed a flair for the dramatic.
Baldwin High's 103-pounder used a takedown in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime, then tacked on another last-second takedown in the extra frame to win his championship match Saturday at the Baldwin Invitational Tournament.
Callahan's 10-8 decision over Cody Tyler of Oak Park (Mo.) was the first of two individual titles secured by area wrestlers in the 11-team, one-day event.
"I wrestled hard, and it felt really great to have the crowd up on their feet and screaming," said Callahan, who finished 5-0 in the tournament, improving to 28-4 in his rookie campaign. "I just wanted it more than he did."
Down 7-6 with time running out in the third period, Callahan allowed Tyler a free escape, then took him back down to the mat just before the final buzzer to knot the score.
In the one-minute bonus frame, the grapplers took their time feeling one another out before Callahan shot in during the final 10 seconds and scored the deciding points, sending the partisan crowd into a tizzy.
"It was not being timid or anything. It was just setting up shots and trying to score," said Callahan of his buzzer-beating proclivities. "It was just a real big gut-check in overtime."
Santa Fe Trail sophomore Jake Kober also survived a battle of wills. After allowing an early lead to slip away in a six-point sequence late in the second period, the 215-pounder used a reversal, a stalling point and a penalty point to eke out an 8-7 victory over Royal Valley's Michael Campbell in the championship match.
"I was kind of disappointed in the last match," said Kober, who recorded three pins during pool competition and improved to 26-4.
Another pair of area wrestlers fell short in their championship matches. De Soto senior Neil Erisman saw his hopes for an undefeated season come to an end with a 3-2 loss to Oak Park's Brent Haynes in the 171-pound final. Erisman held a 2-1 lead late in the third period before Haynes - voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler - scored a takedown for the winning points.
Santa Fe Trail's Josh Connelly also lost in the finals, falling by a 13-3 major decision to Oak Park's Casey Caton in the 152-pound final.
Oak Park - the No. 4 team in the nation according to the latest Intermat rankings - won nine of the 15 championship matches, running away with the team title with 459.5 points.
Baldwin led the area contingent, finishing fourth with 255.5 points - just 1.5 behind Abilene. Santa Fe Trail was fifth with 252.