Hillsboro takes 4th at Herington meet

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
by Don Ratzlaff

The Free Press

Led by Andrew Bina’s weight-class championship, the Hillsboro wrestling team placed fourth in the 12-school Charles McMillen Invitational at Herington on Friday.

The Trojans amassed 91 points to find their place behind powerhouse Abilene (214), Chapman (168) and Wamego (126). Marion placed eighth with 52 points.

“This was a real competitive tournament,” coach Scott O’Hare said. “It was probably as strong as it’s ever been and as full as it’s ever been.

“Obviously, Abilene is one of the top teams in Class 4A and Chapman and Wamego have been pretty well there, too. To finish in the top four with those three teams was good; we still beat every small school there. And we wrestled some really close matches against good competition.

“That’s was the good thing about this tournament, even though we didn’t place as high as we may have hoped,” he added. “Getting those close matches are going to be key down the stretch because we’ve got to be prepared to wrestle good competition later (in the season).”

Bina won the 152-pound class by pinning Andrew Sisson of Chase County, taking an 11-9 overtime decision over Brian Blackwell of Herington and then finishing with a 6-1 decision over Chris Wilson of Abilene in the gold-medal match.

Bina’s three wins improved his season record to 11-0.

“He had a pretty tough semifinals match that went into overtime-which was good to see him get pushed like that,”O’Hare said. “Andrew had a really nice finals match. Technically, he’s wrestling very solid. He’s drilling enough that he’s not having to think about things too much this year. He’s able to react and do it.”

Matt Brown and Kurtis Shaw were runners-up at 145 and 275 pounds, respectively. Each finished with a 2-1 mark for the day. Shaw’s loss in the finals was his first of the season after a 9-0 start.

Earning fourth-place finishes for Hillsboro were Nicholas Mueller (2-2 at 125 pounds), Ric Johnson (2-2 at 130) and Eric Cress (2-2 at 140), who fell from the unbeaten ranks after an 8-0 start.

“Eric and Ricky each wrestled a 2-point match against some pretty good Abilene kids,” O’Hare said.

Also competing for the Trojans were Alex Jost (0-2 at 103 pounds), Chris Jensen (1-2 at 119), Jacob Yoder (1-2 at 160) and CJ Shaw (1-2 at 215).

“To finish where we did, I’m pleased,” O’Hare said. “We’re doing a lot of good things, but we still have a lot of technique issues and a lot of work to do on aggressiveness and finishing.”

Results from Marion were not made available by press time.

Halstead double dual-Hillsboro and Marion both swept their matches against Hesston and Halstead in a double-dual meet Thursday at Halstead.

The Trojans defeated Hesston, 49-27, and Halstead, 60-9.

Against Hesston, the Trojans won six of the nine matches that were determined on the mat.

Chris Jensen (119 pounds), Eric Cress (140), Matt Brown (145) and Andrew Bina (152) won by fall while Nicholas Mueller (125) and Ric Johnson (130) won by decision.

Frankie Martin (135), John Hein (189) and Kurtis Shaw (275) picked up wins by forfeit.

Hillsboro lost at five weights: Alex Jost (103) by fall, Jacob Yoder (160) by decision, CJ Shaw (215) by fall, plus forfeit losses at 112 and 171.

Against Halstead, Hillsboro won eight of the 10 matches determined on the mat.

Jensen, Johnson, Matt Brown, Andrew Bina, Darcy Unrau (171) and Hein all won by fall, while Cress and Yoder won by decision. Jost, Matthew Brown and Kurtis Shaw won by forfeit.

Tyler Jones (135) lost by decision and CJ Shaw lost by fall.

“I was pretty pleased with the way we wrestled overall,” coach Scott O’Hare said.

“Obviously, it was nice to start the dual season off at 5-0 and still holding together there OK. We’ve got people put into the weights we hope to get them into by this time of the year.”

Results from Marion were not made available by press time.

Coming-Hillsboro and Marion will be competing at the two-day tournament in Halstead on Friday and Saturday. The field will include 23 schools.

“This weekend will be a big test for us to see how we’ll handle the two consecutive days of competition-and some good competition as well,” O’Hare said.

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