Behind Jones? strong finish, Hillsboro places third at Herington

Facing perhaps its stiffest competition so far this season, the Hillsboro wrestling team placed third among 11 teams at the Herington Invitational on Saturday.

Class 4A powers Abilene and Chapman claimed first and second place, respectively, with 179 and 1461⁄2 team points. The Trojans accumulated 1151⁄2.

?I left this tournament with mixed feelings,? said Hillsboro coach Scott O?Hare. ?In the five seasons that I have been head coach, this was our highest finish at this tournament, and I can?t remember getting four guys into the championship finals at this tournament. However, it turned out to be a little disappointing after the medal round with only one wrestler winning his medal match.?

That one wrestler was Tyler Jones (3-1), who won the consolation final at 145 pounds to place third. The four Trojans to finish as runners-up in their respective classes were Nicholas Mueller (2-1 at 135), Frankie Martin (2-1 at 171), Jacob Yoder (2-1 at 189) and John Hein (1-1 at 215).

Alex Jost (1-2 at 112) and Aaron Bina (1-2 at 119) each lost their consolation-finals match to place fourth.

Also competing for Hillsboro were Dylan Delk (1-2 at 125), Darren Mueller (1-2 at 130), Lonnie Benda (1-2 at 152), Zach Jost (1-2 at 160) and CJ Shaw (0-2 at 285).

?Although we are wrestling pretty well, we don?t want to be content with just finishing in the top three,? O?Hare said. ?Now that we are past the weight certification issues this week, I am hoping the guys will be able to start focusing even more on the wrestling and mental aspects, and have less to worry about as far as weight management is concerned.?

Hillsboro double dual?The Trojans handily swept both ends of a home double dual Thursday. Hillsboro defeated Hesston, 49-21, then Halstead, 60-12.

Against Hesston, the Trojans won six of the 10 matches that were determined on the mat. Nicholas Mueller (135), Tyler Jones (145), Frankie Martin (171) and John Hein (215) won by fall while Alex Jost (112) and Darren Mueller (130) won by decision.

Winning by forfeit were Matthew Wiebe (140), Jacob Yoder (189) and CJ Shaw (285).

Aaron Bina (119), Dylan Delk (125) and Lonnie Benda (152) lost by fall while Zach Jost (160) lost by decision.

Against Halstead, Hillsboro won six of eight matches determined on the mat. Jost, Delk, Yoder and Shaw won by fall while Darren Mueller and Martin won by decision.

Posting forfeit wins were Dimitri McClelland (119), Jared King (140), Evan Just (145), Benda and Hein.

The Trojans lost the 103-pound match by forfeit, while Nicholas Mueller and Jost lost by decision.

?These were two good, decisive wins for us,? coach Scott O?Hare said.

?The varsity wrestlers had not competed since the Hesston tournament on Dec. 8, so it was nice to get them back out on the mat and see if the work they had been doing in late December and over break was starting to pay off.

?The guys are showing signs of improvement and our technique continues to get better. However, we are still making a lot of mistakes and missing some key scoring opportunities. At this point, my biggest concern is our lack of intensity and aggressiveness.

?Although we are competing pretty well right now, our goal is success at the regional and state tournaments,? O?Hare added. ?We are going to have to become more physically and mentally tough to reach our goals at the next level.?

Coming?The Trojans will compete in the Halstead Invitational, the team?s largest tournament of the season. Matches begin Friday at 4 p.m. and resume Saturday at 9 a.m.

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