Competing in a format that favors teams with full lineups, the Hillsboro wrestling team still managed to go 2-2 Saturday at the Southeast of Saline Dual Tournament.
The Trojans lost 40-9 to Russell, defeated Wabaunsee 31-12, lost to the host team 54-12, then defeated Republic County 39-11.
Eight Trojans competed in a lineup with 14 weight classes.
Against Russell, the Trojans forfeited three matches. But Coach Scott O’Hare said he was disappointed in the way his team started the competition.
“As a team, we came out very flat against a solid Russell team and only managed to pick up wins by our two seniors,” he said. “Tanner Jones narrowly escaped with a 2-1 decision, but Tyrell Thiessen took care of business with a first-period pin.”
Austin Cross was leading 5-4 in his match against the No. 5 ranked wrestler in Class 3-2-1A with time running out. But a mistake late cost him the win.
“Rather than continuing to wrestle hard to score off bottom, he settled with staying on bottom and tried to keep from getting turned,” O’Hare said. “In doing so, he gave up a set of back exposure points with less than 10 seconds left and lost 5-6.”
Beyond losing six of eight matches against Russell, O’Hare said he was disappointed in his team’s lack of aggressiveness and competitiveness.
“After some locker room talk following the Russell dual, the team responded by wrestling more aggressively and with a little more heart the rest of the day,” O’Hare said. “Although we still suffered some losses along the way, I was much more pleased with the effort and intensity.”
Individually, Jon Carey went 0-4 for the day at 120 pounds, Cross went 3-1 at 145, Preston Nelson went 2-2 with two forfeit wins at 152, Jesse Meier went 1-3 with one forfeit win at 160, Jones went 3-1 at 170, Levi Mendoza went 2-2 at 182, Franklin Jost went 2-2 at 195 with two forfeit wins and Thiessen went 4-0 with two forfeit wins.
“Right now, our biggest concerns turn toward getting ready for the upcoming league and regional tournaments,” O’Hare said. “Our top wrestlers need to continue to fine-tune the little things to help put them in position to ultimately reach the state tournament and bring home a state medal.
“Our less experienced wrestlers need to fix the mistakes they continue to make that are holding them back,” he added. “I think we have a few guys that could sneak up on the competition here at the end of the season if they can just stop making so many technical mistakes in positions and make things tougher on their opponents to score points.”
Coming—Hillsboro will compete Thursday in a quadrangular in Hoisington with Marion and Smoky Valley before competing Saturday in the Central Kansas League meet at Lyons.
Matches begin at 4:30 p.m.at Hoisington and 10 a.m. at Lyons.