DES MOINES - Nikko Wheeler made the most of his state debut Thursday night.
In a Class 2A first-round match at Wells Fargo Arena, the Humboldt 182-pound junior scored a 22-4 technical fall over Carlisle's Nathan Stickley.
With the convincing win, Wheeler upped his mark to 39-9 on the season.
"Personally, I like when the stakes are high and there is a lot of pressure on me," Wheeler said. "Everyone is tough down (in Des Moines), and there are a lot of close matches. The biggest thing is you just have to stay mentally tough, which is what (HHS) Coach (Chad) Beaman always puts an emphasis on."
Wheeler will now face Cole Bonde (41-4) of Bedford/Lenox in the quarterfinals. Bonde moved on by edging No. 9 Phirom Peterschmidt of Mid-Prairie, 4-3.
Second-ranked Reed Dreyer (195) overcame a 6-2 first-round setback to Solon's Lance Evans with a pin (2:41) of Cale Stork from Harlan, improving to 36-5 on the year.
On the heels of a 6-0 loss to West Delaware's No. 1 Dean Broghammer, Dylan Hendricks (285)blanked Zach Davis of Albia by a 4-0 final for his 36th win this season.
Kylie Zender (113) and Thaylan Bowman (138) each went 0-2 for Humboldt.
Weston Shaw (152) and Garrett Johnson (195) both punched 3A quarterfinal tickets for the Bulldogs, while Jacob Adams (126), Kory Kuecker (138), seventh-ranked Joe Teague (170) and Tyler Frideres (182) are still alive in the consolation bracket.
Shaw (30-7) upset No. 5 Blake Wolinski of Dallas Center-Grimes, 1-0. Shaw, who is making a return trip to Des Moines, will now meet Western Dubuque's fourth-ranked Dawson Nemmers (30-4).
Johnson (32-11) pinned Kennny Rhodd from Council Bluffs Lewis Central in 2:22. He will hook up with Iowa City West's No. 2 Mickey Pelfrey (46-6) in the quarterfinals.
Adams (28-6) lost a 12-2 major decision to No. 4 Damon Griffin from Linn-Mar. The two-time state participant then bounced back with a 9-7 triumph over Burlington's Dallas Terry.
After falling short in a 9-7 decision against Jacob Showalter from Waterloo West, Kuecker (36-4) managed to turn the tide with a 3:33 fall time over Glenwood's Jesse Bendt.
Joe Teague (29-8) fell to Oskaloosa's Andrew Landgrebe 6-4 in OT, while beating?Calvin Buchanan of Sioux City East by 15-0 technical fall.
Frideres (33-10) dropped his opener to Linn-Mar's Andrew Halladay in a 9-5 decision. Frideres then defeated Ankeny's John Ware, 6-4.
Going 0-2 for Algona was Austin Long (145).
For the Lynx, No. 3 Dylan Fielder (182) and Landon Johnson (285) each won their opening 3A bouts. Third-ranked Connor Larson (160) also remained in medal contention with a 1-1 mark.
Fielder (37-2) delivered a 14-6 major decision over Cedar Rapids Jefferson's Drake Allen. The three-time state participant, who owns a 91-26 career record, will now meet No. 4 Luke Sargent (33-6) of Southeast Polk.
Johnson (33-8) posted a 5-2 victory against Waukee's Ryan Glenn - an Iowa State football signee. Looming in the quarterfinals for Johnson is No. 1 Pedro Gomez (34-3) from Marshalltown.
Larson (34-6) fell short in a 5-2 decision against Clinton's ninth-ranked Dillon Chase. He then came back with an 8-3 triumph over No. 10 Mitchell Otto of Sioux City East, avenging two previous losses.
Jake Powers (145) and Gavin Dinsdale (220) were each 0-2.
Reaching the 2A quarterfinals for the Rams were Jordan Challen (132) and Jeremy Scheuermann (145).
Challen (38-9) pinned Centerville's Bradley Irwin in 3:50.
Challen now tackles fourth-ranked Oscar Ramirez (36-1) from Estherville-LC.
Scheuermann (40-5) prevailed over Central Springs' Kegan Fingalsen, 8-0. Up next is No. 6 Jacob Holschlag (42-6) of Union.
Aaron Beaman (220) dropped both of his matches.
Eighth-ranked Chase Goodman (126) and Rylan Richardson (182) can each still make the podium for the Titans Goodman (51-5) lost a 15-0 technical fall to Union's No. 1 Max Thomsen. The four-time state qualifier - who owns a 184-26 varsity mark - then rebounded with a 2:49 fall time against Austin Moen from Saydel.
Richardson (44-12) was pinned in :21 by Chase Shedenhelm of Denver-Tripoli. Richardson followed with a 7-2 decision over Roland-Story's Sam Mathis.