The No. 2 Cardinal wrestling team dominated the field at the Garden Plain regional. Hoisington will send seven wrestlers to state and Larned will be represented as well.
The No. 2 Cardinal wrestling team cruised to a Class 3-2-1A regional title at Garden Plain on Friday and Saturday. Hoisington finished with 169.5 points, well-ahead of second-place Lyons with 111.5 points. Cimarron finished third with 89 points. Seven wrestlers qualified for the state tournament, including five regional champions.
Junior Brandon Ball (43-0), the returning state champ, pinned his first three opponents at 126 pounds, then defeated Lyons by technical fall for the title. Senior Chance Demel also remains unbeaten at 145 pounds with a 41-0 record. He defeated Sedgwick 6-1 in the finals. Other Cardinal champions were: Hagen Hanzlick (182), Avery Urban (195), and Cayton Janousek (220). Darwin Brickley finished second in the 285 pound class, and Landon Harmon is headed to state after a fourth-place finish at 113 pounds.
Headed for their first winning season in a long time, the Lady Eagles have had plenty big wins. None were any bigger than Friday night’s 60-47 win against No. 9 Ell-Saline. Tuesday, Ellinwood (12-7) dominated Larned 79-16 to claim at least a share of the MCAA title. In that win, the Lady Eagles led 23-1 after one quarter and 48-4 by the half. Sophie Hayes scored 22 points in the win. Rachel Doll added 16 points, and Kelsea Ward hit double-figures with 14 points.
The boys nearly got over a hump with a 48-45 overtime loss to Ell-Saline on Friday. Trailing 19-16 at the half, Ellinwood battled back to force the extra frame before coming up just short. The Eagles (5-14) lost to Larned 72-57 on Tuesday. Ellinwood has lost six-straight and eight of its last nine games. Senior Kyle Blakeslee scored 20 points in Friday’s loss. Derek Ward added eight points and Kaleb Schartz seven points.
Despite an off-season, the Lady Monarchs could have salvaged a share of the MCAA title with a win at Hoisington on Tuesday. Instead, TMP fell to the Lady Cardinals 57-36. Hoisington and Ellinwood will likely share the title. Friday, the girls (6-12) bounced back to hand Plainville (9-9) a 54-27 loss. Senior Heather Ruder has been a scoring threat all season. Friday, she came up with eight first half steals, scoring 19 of her 24 points in the first two quarters. Jenna Shuckman added eight points.
The Monarch boys could not get the upset at Hoisington on Tuesday, falling to the Cardinals 57-36. They were able to get by Plainville (14-4) 73-57 on Friday. Plainville jumped out to a 20-12 lead, but TMP (7-11) trailed only 48-47 after three quarters. The Monarchs outscored the Cards 26-9 in the final eight minutes. Jordan Gottschalk led the team with 18 points. Ryan Mayorga added 14 points, Shane Zimmerman 13 points, and Tanner Unrein 10 points.
The Indian boys have been on a roll. Including a 69-37 win at Ellinwood on Feb. 1, Larned has won four of its last five games, twice setting new scoring highs in that streak. Week 11 was a nice 3-0 week for the Indians with a 72-57 win against Ellinwood, a 54-43 win at Ellsworth, and a 58-46 win against Lakin on Saturday. Easton Palmer scored 20 points in the Ellinwood win, and Kamryn Bryant finished with 17 points. The Lady Indians (4-15) dropped a 79-16 game to Ellinwood on Tuesday, lost to Ellsworth 58-21 on Friday, then ended the week with a 46-35 win against Lakin on Saturday.
The Indians will be sending one wrestler to the Class 4A state tournament. At 285 points, junior Kaiden Reed finished fourth at the Abilene regional on Saturday. Reed got through the first round with a bye, then pinned his next three opponents before falling to Holton 2-1 in the consolation finals. He will take a 36-13 record into the state tournament.