Delphi and Harrison had a chance to position themselves as the sectional favorite at their dual match on Thursday night.
Instead, it only proved how evenly matched the two programs are.
The Oracles scored a one-point victory when officials used the eighth criteria — total number of first match points scored — to break a 27-27 tie. Each team won seven matches, including two by pin and five by decision.
Both teams expect to contend for the championship in the 10-team field at the Lafayette Jeff Sectional one week from Saturday.
“This is basically a preview for the sectional,” said Delphi senior Kyle Fehlberg, whose victory at 285 gave the Oracles a 27-24 lead entering the final weight class. “We knew we needed to come out here and win tonight, and we got it done, it looks like.”
Five of the matches were decided by 3 or fewer points, and another was tied in the final 10 seconds. More important than the final team score, each individual wrestled for a potential seeding advantage over his opponent.
“Always, when it comes up to sectional time and we get going with the dual meets, every single point,” said Harrison junior Daniel Davis, whose match-ending victory at 106 forced the tiebreaker. “You’ve got to fight so hard for one escape or one reversal, because everything comes down to how well you get seeded and how well you did in these matches.”
Harrison led 24-15 after Raiders junior Ismael Rivera edged Tyler Burns 2-0 at 182 pounds. Delphi reeled off consecutive wins from Alonzo Berumen, Bryer Houston and Fehlberg to take a 27-24 lead. Houston needed overtime to slip past Seth Meyer 3-1.
By draw, the match started with 113 pounds and ended with 106. Davis needed at least a major decision to win the match outright, but his 10-5 victory over Oracles freshman Dean Hampton yielded only 3 points.
“I was trying to do the one single sweet move to put him right to his back and get the five-point lead,” said Davis, who won a Hoosier Crossroads Conference title last Saturday. “It doesn’t always work. I was going in looking for the pin, but he surprised me. He’s good.”