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OREM — Brian Scott found himself in a hole.
But despite not having much time left in his 220-pound match at the 2012 All-Star Classic at the Utah Community Credit Union Center on the UVU campus, the wrestler from Hurricane knew he was still in the mix.
Down in points 5-0 very late in the second period, Scott stayed calm and collected, and transferred some adjustments that were in his mind onto the mat.
"I wasn't sure what to expect from him (opponent Sylas Wells from Mountain Crest) because I had never wrestled him before," Scott said about falling behind in the match. "After that I decided to keep my legs away from him. I just kept pushing, and I knew it would turn out to be a dogfight."
Just as the second period ticked to a close, Scott scored a takedown, then a near-fall to knot the score at 5-5. Then, with just 20 seconds left in the third and final period, Scott took a 7-5 lead and followed it up with a pin.
"It's a fun event and it's a challenge, because it's not just 3A; it's the whole state," Scott said.
The night's action, which included 64 wrestlers from high schools all over the state across all classifications and weight divisions, featured several hard-fought, passion-filled matchups.
A particularly entertaining match occurred between 170-pound competitors Taylon Niederhauser from Mountain Crest and Talon Bryan of Juab.
The two wrestled to a 6-6 tie late in the third period, before Niederhauser surged ahead 9-6, and eventually came through with a pin with only three seconds remaining.
In the 113-pound division, Alta's Matt Findlay was another example that perseverance is an honorable virtue in both life and wrestling.
Findlay found himself down 7-3 in the third period to Britain Carter of Maple Mountain. Instead of throwing in the towel, Findlay cut the deficit to 7-6 and eventually tied it at 8-8. With things knotted up, Findlay completed the comeback and win with a near-fall in the very final seconds of the third period.
A 120-pound match that featured Branson Ashworth of Spanish Fork and Skyline's Brandon Winward produced no points through three periods of action.
In the overtime period, Ashworth was able to put two points on the board with just under a minute of time expiring.
Payson's Mitch Brown, who took part in the night's first match, said he approached it with a focused mind.
"I wanted to control the pace, but I didn't get up until the second period," Brown said of his 2-0 lead. "From there I knew I could ride things out." Brown eventually won the match 5-3.
Brown's head coach, Chris Loveless, says the event is a good vehicle for exposure.
"It really helps promote the sport in the state, and it's good for the kids, and an honor for them to be chosen to participate," Loveless said.
Jed Mellen, another Payson wrestler, fell behind early on to Logan's Quinn Hinckley, something he seemed a little disappointed with.
"I didn't come out like I should have," Mellen said. "But I got things under control and finished out well." Mellen eventually won by technical fall, 18-3.
Brandon McBride of Olympus, who holds state titles in Idaho, Illinois and Utah, forged to an early 3-0 lead after two periods. Although his opponent, Alta's Kyle Foy scored an escape, McBride remained steady and increased his lead to 3-1, and ultimately won 5-1.
The last match of the night featured Grant Lamont of Maple Mountain, the 2010 state champion, Pan Am Games gold medalist and Freestyle Greco-Roman All-American against Layton's Ken Astle, an undefeated 2010 state champion.
Lamont took an early 2-0 lead. After that, it proved to be a stalemate as both wrestlers tried but failed to gain further advantage, and Lamont was able to hold on for the 2-0 victory.
While it's not the state tournament, the night's all-star event still had a lot of significance to the participants.
"It's really important for what we want to do after this in college," Mellen said. "It's a good chance for others to see what we can do, and it's important to us to be one of the top wrestlers in the state."