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Damian Ilalio of Manhattan looks to the referee as he pins Smith Center’s Eli Franklin on Dec. 12. Ilalio was successful on Saturday despite Manhattan’s struggles as a whole.

The Manhattan High wrestling team stumbled out of the gate Saturday in its first competition since returning from the winter moratorium. The Indians went 1-3 in their tournament at Dodge City.

MHS opened against the hosts and struggled mightily, falling 57-15. Manhattan won just three matches in the entire match, with Tucker Brunner winning by forfeit at 138 pounds, Blaisen Bammes winning by sudden victory at 145 pounds and Damian Ilalio winning by fall at 285 pounds.

Manhattan rebounded in its second match, defeating Valley Center 48-24. Jantzen Borge (113 pounds), Jameal Agnew (120 pounds), Brunner, Jaxon Vikander (170 pounds), Clayton Frehn (195 pounds) and Ilalio all won by fall.

However, Manhattan failed to find the win column for the remainder of the day. MHS lost its third competition of the tournament, 32-30, to Garden City.

After a back-and forth exchange early, Manhattan won by fall at 170 and 195 pounds to draw within striking distance heading into the 285-pound weight class. Needing a fall or technical fall to win the match, Ilalio only managed a 3-0 decision.

MHS suffered another narrow defeat immediately afterward, dropping to Pratt 40-35. MHS dropped three of the first four weight classes by either fall or forfeit before reeling off three straight wins at 132, 138 and 145 pounds. However, Pratt took advantage of Manhattan forfeits at 182 and 195 pounds to secure its victory.

Manhattan’s day ended with a 42-36 loss to Emporia. After opening the match on a 4-1 run, MHS dropped six of the next seven weight classes by either fall or forfeit. By the time Ilalio pinned his opponent after just 16 seconds, it was too late.

The Indians return to the mats Friday at Tonganoxie against Chanute, St. Thomas and Tonganoxie. Friday also is the girls’ wrestling Centennial League tournament.