Travis Saxon, Easton Hargrave and Justin Rockhill all took convincing individual wins for the Cowboys, but nationally ranked No. 9 Colorado Mesa spoiled the home finale for Highlands on Wednesday at the Wilson Complex in a 30-11 verdict.
The Mavericks, who are 19-2 in dual meets, won the first five matches to seize a 21-0 head start Wednesday.
Saxon broke the Cowboys’ drought by winning a defensive clash over CMU’s Tyler Miles in the 165-pound class.
Saxon’s takedown late in the first period proved huge in a 4-1 final.
Then Hargrave (174 lbs.) pitched a 9-0 shutout of Zak Slotten.
There was no score until Hargrave leveraged a hard-fought escape to spark a 6-0 run in the second period.
Igor Gomzin (184) looked to make it three wins in a row for Highlands but lost 3-1 to Nick Petersen in another defense-heavy battle. It would have been scoreless through the first two periods, if not for the Mesa grappler’s escape in the second.
Justin Rockhill (197) defeated Jordan Passehl 11-2 to give the Cowboys another win.
Rockhill scored two takedowns sandwiched around a Passehl escape to lead 4-1 after one. It was 9-2 going into the third.
Finally, CMU’s Paco Retana pinned Robert Rockhill with one second left in the last overtime period. The tally had been 1-1 at the end of regulation.
Two other Cowboys had close calls. Erick Rangel lost 7-5 in a match that had been knotted at 4-4 through two periods. Dan Gaylor lost 4-2, his bid for a last-second takedown just failing as time expired.