Competing with a team depleted by illness and schedule conflicts, Hillsboro placed eighth among 18 schools at the Hesston Invitational Saturday.
The Trojans, fielding a team of only nine wrestlers, managed 82 points. Smoky Valley won the tournament with 169 points, Marion was second with 135 and Bluestem-Flinthills was third with 113.
Aaron Bina placed second at 160, losing 11-2 in the championship match to Garden Plain?s Nathan Becker.
Three Trojans placed as high as third in their respective weight classes: Darren Mueller at 125 pounds, Justin King at 145 and Matt Wiebe at 152.
?I was very pleased with Aaron Bina making it into the championship finals, as I expected him to do that,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?Darren, Justin and Matt all wrestled very well on the consolation side to make it back into the consolation finals. It was also a nice finish to have all three finish third.?
Also competing for Hillsboro were Mitchell Day (119), Bret Mueller, (130), Tanner Jones (171), Nodari Lomidze (189) and Daniel Kenney (215).
O?Hare thought his team competed well for the most part, but he did see room for improvement.
?We will have to convince these guys of the importance of keeping a high level of intensity throughout each match,? O?Hare said. ?We will also have to work a lot on mental toughness and competing with more intensity against higher-level opponents.
?Although we will have a number of technical points to continue to work on and polish, I felt, overall, our technique was decent for this time in the season,? he added.
Coming? The Trojans will complete their pre-holiday portion of their schedule as co-hosts with Marion for the first Marion County Winter Duals tournament Friday.
The 12 participating schools will be divided into four pools of three teams. Two pools will compete at each site. Each school will wrestle against the other two schools in its pool.
The top two teams from each of the four pools will advance to an eight-team bracket tournament at Marion. The four remaining teams will compete in a round-robin format at Hills?boro. In the end, teams will be placed one through 12.
Next year, the site location for the finals will be reversed.
In addition to the main event, junior-varsity matches will be wrestled at each location.
Action begins at 3 p.m.