Led by a second-place finish by Bret Mueller in the 130-pound class, the Hillsboro wrestling team placed 11th in the 15-school Herington Invitational Saturday.
Mueller went 3-1 for the day, losing by fall in the championship match. Coach Scott O?Hare said Mueller?s semifinal match was a highlight of the day.
?Up against an accomplished wrestler from Abilene, Bret wrestled one of the best matches of his high school career,? O?Hare said. ?Although he fell behind early, he scored six unanswered point in the third period to tie the match and send it to overtime.
?In the sudden death overtime period, Bret scored the takedown for the win and a trip to the championship finals.
?I was very proud of how Bret continued to battle to win these matches. How he responded to adversity in these two matches shows he is maturing.?
Two other Trojans placed among the top four in their respective classes: Darren Mueller, who went 3-2 at 125 pounds to place fourth, and Aaron Bina, who also went 3-2 to finish fourth at 160.
Also competing, but not placing, for the Trojans were: Justin King, 1-2 at 145; Tanner Jones, 1-2 at 152; Dylan Delk, 3-2 at 171; Nodari Lomidze, 0-2 at 189; and Daniel Kenney, 0-2 at 225.
?This has always been a tough, competitive tournament over the years, but this year was about as grueling as I can ever remember it,? O?Hare said. ?By adding a couple teams, increasing it to 15, they went to 16-man brackets and wrestled it on three mats.
?Once again, we were shorted handed in terms of competing for team awards, as we only had eight wrestlers competing in the 14 weight classes. The guys started out strong, winning five of seven first-round matches, and one receiving a bye.?
Coming?The Trojans will compete at the Halstead Invitational Friday and Saturday. Matches begin at 4 p.m. Friday and resume at 9 a.m. the following day.
?I think we have made some good progress since the dual tournament here in December,? O?Hare said.
?We are getting mentally and physically tougher. We are doing some things in practices that gets us excited about the direction we are heading. Now I am starting to see some of these things carry over into match situations.?