DES MOINES — Usually when Davenport Assumption's wrestling program brings a team to the state dual tournament, it wins.
More often than not, it wins big.
The Knights have accumulated a state record nine dual team crowns and had won 23 of their previous 27 duals inside Wells Fargo Arena.
Something unusual happened Wednesday. They lost in the opening round.
Fourth-ranked West Delaware pulled out close matches at 285, 126 and 138 pounds to clip fifth-ranked Assumption 34-24.
It was the first time a team coached by Pete Bush lost in the quarterfinals here and just the third occasion in 19 state dual appearances for Assumption. The last came in 2001 to Emmetsburg/Armstrong-Ringsted.
"We never, ever got the ball rolling during the season," Bush said. "Sometimes, we'd have flashes of brilliance, but other times we had flashes where it was like, 'Wow, are we a first-year team?'"
Assumption dropped a consolation dual to Webster City 41-32 before closing with a 45-26 triumph over Ballard to finish seventh place in Class 2A.
Bush pointed to matches at 285, 113, 126 and 138 as the difference in the dual against West Delaware.
The Knights' Nate Hempel suffered a 3-0 setback at 285, and TJ Fitzpatrick lost 6-0 to Evan Woods at 113. Fitzpatrick had beaten Woods earlier in the year, 9-3.
Then after Noah Weiman executed a four-point move in the third period to even his match with Alex Maury at 126, Maury scored a reversal late for a 6-4 win. At 138, West Delaware's Cole Engel edged Adam Laubenthal 10-8.
"Before the tournament, we had stuff planned out and predicted how it would go," junior Julien Broderson said. "There were three or four matches that didn't go our way, and that's what turned the tables on us."
Assumption (16-7) had more takedowns in the dual, 15-12, and received pins from Broderson (182) and Henry Martens (220). Its other four wins were by decision.
Webster City had four pins, an injury default and two major decisions against Assumption.
"It was a little shaky after the first dual," Broderson said. "It gets in everybody's head because we weren't expecting to lose that first one. Stuff happens, and it's not the end of the world."
Broderson had three first-period falls on the day. Trenton McDonough (106) and Matt Robertson (126) also went 3-0, while Kole Kreinbring (160) was 2-0.
Assumption strung together six straight wins from 195 through 120 in the final dual to salvage seventh place.
"Fortunately, we had some good showings in the last dual," Bush said. "Hopefully, those are the memories they take from this."
The individual tournament starts Thursday morning for five Assumption wrestlers — Robertson, Kreinbring, Broderson, Seth Adrian and Martens.
"Most of those guys wrestled well today, so that's a good sign of what's to come," Bush said. "I like this dual-team concept, but I really, really like the individual stuff.
"In my opinion, wrestling is about individual championships."