IOWA FALLS - The No. 2 NIACC wrestling team topped No. 5 Ellsworth 24-19 in its season-opening dual on Wednesday in the Ellsworth gym.
Luthens, who is ranked third, took a 6-5 decision from top-ranked Hector Candelaria, who was the national runner-up at 133 pounds in 2019.
Luthens now owns a 2-1 record against Candelaria. Luthens nipped Candelaria 8-7 in last season's dual meet and Candelaria edged Luthens 3-1 at the NJCAA Region XI tournament.
At 141, Luke, who is ranked third, pinned Ellsworth's Jackson Wenberg in six minutes, 33 seconds.
At 149 pounts, Mendoza, who placed fifth at nationals a year ago and is ranked second, improved his career record to 24-8 with a pin of the Panthers' AJ Mills in 2:34.
NIACC returns to action Nov. 16 at the Luther College Open.
NIACC 24, Ellsworth 19
125 - Clarence Lee-Green (N) dec. Mark Brado, 12-5; 133 - Brock Luthens (N) dec. Hector Candelaria, 6-5; 141 - Hunter Luke (N) pinned Jackson Wenberg, 6:33; 149 - Tony Mendoza (N) pinned AJ Mills, 2:34.
157 - Mikael Failor (E) pinned Kendall Sandifer, 2:45; 165 - Cameron Nesbitt (E) dec. Josh Barretta, 6-3; 174 - Christian Minto (N) dec. Justin Henry, 7-2; 184 - Rozell Baker (E) tech. fall Reldon Miller, 17-2; 197 - Holton Truax (N) dec. Trayvonne Jackson, 11-9; 285 - Darrell Mason (E) pinned Brennen Davis, :10.
Note - Ellsworth was deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.