BY TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Maconaquah took second and Eastern took fourth this weekend at the two-day Eastern Holiday Classic wrestling tournament. Fremont won with a perfect 9-0 mark.
The Braves finished 8-1 and had three weight class champs, 132-pounder Chase Wilson, 195-pounder Nick Ingram, and 220-pounder Marcus Thompson. Each went 9-0 and Wilson scored seven pins. Also for Maconaquah, Seth Parason (120 pounds), and Taylor McKinley (170) were 7-2, Caleb Hunt (182) was 6-2, Wesley Wilson (152) and Jim Sunday (160) were both 6-3, Daniel Stephenson (138) and Ryan Hintz (126) were 5-4, Cameron Bailey (145) was 5-1, Mason Silvers was 4-1, Jarrod Sphon was 4-2, Nick Childers was 3-1, Garrett Broyles was 3-0, Evan Alter (106) was 3-2, and Vince Taylor was 2-0.
Eastern went 6-3. The Comets scored wins over Tri-Central (42-23), Tipton (48-33), Northwestern (54-21), Sheridan (51-18), Alexandria (47-27), and tied Taylor (42-42) but won on criteria. Eastern lost to Mac (48-36), to Westview (47-39) and to Fremont (52-21).
Three Comets went unbeaten. 106-pounder Ty Swisher was 9-0 and took his 100th career victory in his last match against an opponent from Alexandria. Also, Corbin Hetzner (126) and Andrew Turner (145) were each 9-0. Other strong efforts came from Isaac Hanny (113), Trevor Pharris (132) and Taylor Arnold (138), each of whom went 7-2.
“I was extremely happy with the wrestling for the two days,” Eastern coach Bob Jarrett said. “[Swisher’s] total record is now 21-1, of course it’s his senior year and he’s just had a terrific year.”
Other unbeaten local wrestlers included Tri-Central’s Trez O’Neal (120), who was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler, Northwestern’s Luke Akers (160), Tipton’s Nate Hein (182) and Tri-Central’s Darius Stanley (285).
Also for Northwestern, Jesse Murdock (113) and Max Clark (195) had 5-4 records.
Preston Hendrickson led Taylor’s showing with a combined record of 5-0 in the 195 and 220 weight classes. Dylan Lapetina was 3-0 in the 182-195 classes. Kaleil Rucker (152) went 8-1. Kelsey Long (113-120) was 5-1. Logan Sarber (160-170) was 7-2, and Chad Elmore (113-120), Stephen Shotly (138-145) and Austin Smith (160-170) had 6-3 records.
“We had some highlights during the past two days,” Taylor coach Aaron Schlueter said. “We need to improve for the conference and sectional meets coming up.”
Kokomo went 5-4 at the Lafayette Jeff tournament. Kokomo beat Frankfort (44-24), North Knox (40-33), Cascade (52-27), Seeger (36-33) and Rensselaer (63-18), and the Kats fell to Lafayette Jeff (56-16), New Prairie (63-14), Kankakee Valley (51-19), and New Castle (51-25).
Fletcher Miller led the Kats with an unbeaten record at 220 pounds. A.J. Nelson (120) and Chad Gaddis (152) were each 8-1. Scotty Barbary (126) was 7-2. Szhantrayle Roberson (132) was 6-3. DaShaun Barbary (145) was 5-4.
“We have about five guys out of our lineup right now. Team-wise, it’s hard to compete with those top-level teams with so many guys out of our lineup,” Kokomo coach Ryan Wells said. “We had some young guys in there who stepped in and took some tough losses, but they were better at the end of the day [Saturday] than they were at the beginning of the day [Friday]. And some of the veteran leaders got a lot of wins for us. We’ve just got to get our guys back in the lineup and healthy.”
Western filled only 10 of the 14 weight classes but still scored a seventh-place finish in the 32-team Spartan Classic, held Friday and Saturday at Connersville. Cathedral won the team title.
“We ended up only taking 10 guys down there and seventh place is the highest we’ve finished since I’ve been at Western. We wrestled extremely well all weekend,” coach Chad Shepherd said. “It was by far the best meet we’ve had this year.”
The Panthers had six grapplers score podium finishes. Caleb Maddox went 4-1 and was runner-up at 126 pounds, Dustin Hinkle went 7-1 and was third at 145, Dustin Hinkle went 5-1 and was third at 182, Dante Graham had a 4-2 record in taking fifth at 220, Russell McDorman went 5-2 and finished seventh at 195 and Payton Lechner had a 4-3 record in taking eighth at 106.
“Dustin Hinkle beat at least one if not two ranked guys. Corey Hinkle was wrestling the No. 1 kid in the state and we had him beat with 55 seconds left and a couple things happened where it just didn’t go our way,” Shepherd said. “Caleb Maddox wrestled outstanding all weekend. Russell McDorman got in the losers’ bracket and wrestled back to seventh. I think the last match of the day was probably his best match of the tournament.”
Shepherd praised Graham and Lechner as well and also noted the efforts of Tanner Heady (2-2 at 132), Bailey Paugh (2-2 at 138), Skylar Braden (2-2 at 152) and David Ryan (3-2 at 285). Heady, Paugh and Ryan all wrestled up a class.
Western wrestles in the team state duals next Saturday at Westfield.
Peru placed ninth in the 32-team field. Penn was the winner, followed by Merrillville and Warren Central.
Evan Loe (145-pound weight class) was the top Tiger with a third-place finish with a 5-1 record. Peyton Sturgill (138) and Nick Cress (195) placed fifth with 5-2 records, and Garrett Sparks (160) was seventh (5-2).
WESTERN splits 2
Class 3A No. 6-ranked Western went 1-1 in Saturday’s action at the Twin Lakes Invitational. Class 4A No. 6 Logansport beat Western 60-47 in a semifinal round game. The Panthers bounced back to beat Carroll 61-41 in the third-place game.
Against Logansport, Western led 20-19 at the close of the opening quarter, but Logansport grabbed control in the second quarter and took a 38-26 lead into halftime. The Berries went on for a 49-36 lead after three quarters.
Miss Basketball candidate and Iowa recruit Whitney Jennings led the Berries with 25 points. She was coming off a 40-point game against Evansville Memorial in Friday’s opening round.
“We played a solid game,” Western coach Chris Keisling said. “We held Jennings to her season low of 25. We had an excellent first quarter and shot well, then we had that tough second quarter and fell behind. We came back in the third quarter and cut it to six. We never could get over the hump after that.”
Raven Black led Western with 12 points. Carley O’Neal followed with 11 and Caitlyn O’Neal and Jessica Givens added eight apiece.
Keisling liked how his squad took good care of the ball, finishing with just eight turnovers, and how it hit the glass. Black and Givens had seven rebounds apiece and Siera Daniel had six.
Logansport went on to beat Class 3A No. 5 Western Boone 69-60 in the championship. Jennings scored 37 points.
Western had a dominant showing against Carroll in the third-place game. The Panthers led 15-5 after the opening quarter, 43-22 at halftime and 59-30 after three quarters.
“We pressed all over the floor and we were able to take control from the get-go,” Keisling said. “We played a lot of players. It was a good team win. Carroll is a nice, up-and-coming team so it was a nice win to get out of there with.”
Carley O’Neal scored 16 points, Caitlyn O’Neal scored 13 and Givens, Black and Brooklyn Campbell added seven apiece. Carley O’Neal and Black earned all-tournament honors.
Macy Willoughby led Carroll with 11 points.
Western went 2-1 in the invite, pushing its season record to 10-2.
TAYLOR DROPS 2
Taylor lost twice on the final day of play at the Twin Lakes Invitational. In losers’ bracket play, Taylor fell 58-42 to Twin Lakes. Then to finish, Taylor fell 73-45 to Evansville Memorial in the seventh-place game.
Against Twin Lakes, Cami Hansen led Taylor with eight points and Brie Boehler added eight.
In the loss to Memorial, Savannah Delgado scored 13 points for Taylor and Hannah Mullinax had 10.
“I’m extremely pleased with these kids, the progression [Saturday],” Taylor coach Dennis Bentzler said. “We have had four games where we scored in the 20s this year. [Saturday] we played two quality teams. Offensively, we are much, much better. We are starting to attack the basket. The difference is we’re scoring in the 40s now and we’re still not shooting well.”
Bentzler said the squad took “baby steps” and expects the Titans to be better as a result of the tourney, despite taking three losses in the eight-team, two-day event. There were highlights despite the losses.
“Savannah Delgado was our representative on the all-tourney team,” Bentlzer said. “She had a phenomenal tournament. Not only [did she score a career-best 13], she had several steals. Savannah’s figured this thing out.”
Northwestern beat Bellmont 54-38 in the opening round, then fell to the host Hot Dogs 56-46 in the championship.
In the opening round, Northwestern led 15-10 after the opening quarter, 29-21 at halftime and 46-33 after three quarters. Sydney Zeck exploded for 26 points to lead the Tigers. She knocked down 6 of 8 attempts from 3-point range. Brooke Treadway was strong inside with 14 points and seven rebounds. Beza Townsend also had seven rebounds.
In the championship, Northwestern and Frankfort battled back and forth. The Hot Dogs led 16-6 after the opening quarter, but the Tigers controlled play in the second quarter and trailed by just one, 28-27, at halftime. The Tigers led 35-34 after three quarters, but the Hot Dogs regained control down the stretch.
Treadway led the Tigers with a double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds. Sophia Beachy had 11 points and Olivia McClure had 10 points.
“Sydney Zeck had a great first game. She had over 20 points in the first half and really took over the game offensively. She was definitely a difference maker in the morning game,” Northwestern coach Kathie Layden said. “Brooke Treadway continues to be a consistent force inside for us averaging a double double. She was slowed with foul trouble in both games [Saturday] and still had double-digit scoring. The game with Frankfort was a game of runs and we unfortunately were on the short end of the final run.
“Olivia McClure did a good job [Saturday] of handling the ball and getting us into offensive. She is showing the leadership that we need to be successful for the second half of the season.”