Not all wrestling regionals are created equally. The Class 3-2-1A tournament in Norton featured five of the top six teams in the state.
Maybe it was home mat advantage. The Blue Jay wrestlers won a powerful Class 3-2-1A wrestling regional with 188 points. Decatur Community finished second with 145.5 points, and No. 1 Plainville finished third with 134.5 points.
At 132 pounds, John Risewick improved to 36-3 with a regional title. Senior Cody Ellis won the 145-pound class, improving to 22-7 with a 14-6 win against Decatur in the finals. Norton qualified seven more wrestlers to state. Sophomore Caysean Campell finished second at 106 pounds, and junior Branson Addington placed second at 120 pounds. Alec Hager at 126 pounds, and Jared Tallent at 138 pounds also finished second. Tallent lost 9-7 in overtime of his championship match. Ethan Ross finished third at 113 pounds, Lucas Engel placed fourth at 220 pounds, and Jared Bohl finished fourth at 152 pounds.
The Cardinals entered the powerful Class 3-2-1A regional at Norton as the No. 1 team in the state. The ranking did not translate to the mats as Plainville finished third with 134.5 points. Norton won the regional with 188 points, and Decatur Community finished second with 145.5 points.
Senior Bradey Chard claimed the lone regional title for the Cardinals, improving to 30-1 with a pin in the championship match of the 285-pound group. Senior Harrison Gilliland, the No. 1 wrestler in 3-2-1A, dropped his first match of the year to No. 2 Brandon Salmans of Hoxie in the 195-pound finals. At 160 pounds, junior Dylan Wiesner reached the finals only to fall to unbeaten Calvin Ochs of Hoxie. Trevor Desair finished third at 145 pounds, Andrew Malin placed fourth at 182 pounds, and Colton Wise finished fourth at 170 pounds.
The Panther boys dropped their first game of the year with a 63-50 loss to Concordia on Tuesday. Concordia already held a two-point lead over Phillipsburg heading into the final quarter where they outscored the Panthers 26-15. Phillipsburg (16-1, 7-0 MCL) bounced back to handle Trego 77-49 on Friday. Senior Seth Derr hit 11-of-13 shots for 27 points in Friday’s win. He also added seven assists and five rebounds. Dylan Means finished with 10 points, and Sean Newlan scored eight points.
The Lady Panthers (8-10) downed Concordia 48-44, and defeated Trego. Phillipsburg won the battle of the Panthers on Tuesday by outscoring Concordia 29-16 in the middle quarters. Junior Mattison Dusin pulled off another double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Madysen Frantz added 10 points, and Mindy Gower pulled down 12 boards to go along with five points.
The No. 7 Lady Bulldogs put a wrinkle in the MCL standings with a 55-51 win against No. 2 Smith Center on Tuesday. They turned around and fell to Hill City 57-54 on Friday, essentially dropping out of the race for a league title. Tuesday, Osborne (14-5) cruised early, leading 11-6 after one quarter and 28-16 by halftime. Junior Jessica Princ missed a double-double by one rebound with 19 points. Caitlin Miller added 18 points, 11 boards, and four steals, and Rachel St. Clair finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and four steals.
The Bulldog boys remain winless against league opponents following a 61-54 loss to Smith Center and a 56-52 loss to Hill City. Friday, Osborne (3-14) outscored the Ringnecks 19-13 in the fourth quarter but came up just four points short in the comeback. Sophomore Brandt Wolters led the team with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Jake Tiernan and Kenton Ubelaker each hit three treys and added 11 points apiece.
The Lady Railroaders got a little help from Osborne on Tuesday as the Lady Bulldogs handed Smith Center its first MCL loss. No. 4 Ellis moved to 8-1 in the MCL, 17-2 overall with a 45-32 win at Norton on Friday night. Ellis did its damage in the odd quarters, outscoring the Lady Jays 28-9 in the first and third quarters combined. The boys outlasted Norton 65-64. After building a 40-23 halftime lead, Ellis was outscored 41-25 in the second half.
Ellis also had a survivor out of the Norton wrestling regional. At 152 pounds, No. 2 ranked Gage Younger lost an 8-4 decision in the championship round to fall to 36-2 on the season.
History is repeating itself in Smith Center. Last year, the loss of two starters hurt the Lady Red down the stretch. Tuesday, without leading scorer Sydney Benoit in the lineup, Smith Center lost its perfect league record with a 55-51 loss to Osborne. More importantly, Smith Center is now in a three-way race for the No. 1 seed heading into sub-state. Friday, the No. 2 Lady Red got back on track with a 73-32 win against Stockton, leading that game 64-28 after three quarters. Alexis Ryan scored 16 points in Tuesday’s loss, followed by 14 points from Trenna Cox and 10 points from Colbie Decker. The Redmwn boys downed Osborne 61-54 on Tuesday.
The Smith Center wrestling squad qualified four members to state from the Norton regional. Junior Clint Rogers (126), junior Steven Kriley (138), and senior Kyler Atwood (182) each placed third. Cale Rogers finished fourth at 106 pounds.
The Golden Eagle basketball teams struggled to an 0-4 week. The boys fell to Oakley 60-51 on Thursday, and lost to Phillipsburg 77-49 on Friday. The boys trailed 32-26 at the half in Thursday’s loss. Senior John Griffith had a nice night with 25 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the outside. He also dished out four assists and grabbed five rebounds. Clayton Riedel filled another stat sheet with 11 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, and four assists. The Lady Golden Eagles fell to No. 7 Oakley 52-22, falling behind 26-12 after two quarters. Bailee Fritts and Hailey Weigel each scored six points.
Trego had two wrestlers advance out of the Norton regional. At 170 pounds, senior Cameron Staples (26-7) lost to Oakley’s Jason Bergren in the finals. Junior Brandon Schoenthaler (16-15) finished fourth at 145 pounds.
The No. 10 Tiger boys escaped upset-minded LaCrosse on Tuesday with a 59-57 win. Stockton seemed to be in control most of the game, outscoring the Leopards in each of the first three quarters to lead 45-33 with just eight minutes to play. LaCrosse stormed back, eventually taking the lead with a minute to play. Justin Wiltfong tied the game with a free throw, then a three-point miss netted a two-point putback at the buzzer for the win. Jaden Williams scored 20 points in the win.
The Lady Tigers also won at LaCrosse in a 45-32 contest. Friday, the girls fell to No. 2 Smith Center 73-32. Stockton led 20-12 at the half of Tuesday’s win. Morgan Beougher finished with 12 points in the win.
The Ringneck boys kept up a hot streak with two more wins in week 11. Hill City has now won seven straight to improve to 12-7 on the year. Tuesday, the squad downed Northern Valley 50-42. Friday, the Ringnecks outlasted Osborne 56-52. In that Friday win, Hill City led 29-21 at the half and 43-33 after three quarters. The Bulldogs battled back with 19 fourth quarter points but could not make up the deficit. Solomon Wilson led all scorers with 25 points. Shane Jones and Deric McKeever each added 13 points.
The Osborne girls were riding high after a Tuesday win against No. 2 Smith Center. Hill City had the answer on Friday, handing the Bulldogs a second MCL loss with a 57-54 win. The Lady Ringnecks built their lead early at 21-11 in the first quarter. Osborne outscored Hill City 28-21 in the second half but could not make up the early gap. Shelby Stewart paced all scorers with 25 points. Megan Gansel added 14 points.