Hein?s 189-pound regional title powers HHS to 2nd


John Hein hooks an opponent?s leg. He won the 189-pound weight class and led Hillsboro to second place at Garden Plain?s regional.

Led by weight-class champion John Hein, the Hillsboro High wrestling team qualified six athletes this weekend for the Class 3-2-1A state tournament in Hays.

The Trojans finished second in the team race to the host school, Garden Plain, 177-141.

?Although these guys came up just short of winning a second consecutive regional championship, they have nothing to be ashamed of,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?The entire team showed a lot of heart and passion this weekend in the way they wrestled.?

Marion, meanwhile, qualified three wrestlers and finished in a tie with Chase County for seventh place with 93 team points.

Hein, the No. 1 seed at 189 pounds, lived up to the high billing by pinning all three of his opponents to improve his memorable senior-season record to 35-3. It will be his first appearance at state.

The Trojans picked up three second-place medals: Nicholas Mueller at 130, Matthew Yoder at 135 and Tyler Jones at 152. Also qualifying were Aaron Bina, third at 140, and Robby McClelland, fourth at 119.

Mueller, the No. 2 seed, won his opening two matches on Friday, including a critical 11-7 decision over Cody Wildin of Marion. The two had split their previous matches during the regular season. In the finals, Mueller lost to Tyler McMichael of Central-Burden for the second week in a row after posting two victories over him earlier in the season.

Yoder?s performance was the biggest pleasant surprise for HHS. Only in his first year of competitive wrestling and seeded seventh at regionals, Yoder won both of his Friday matches, including a win over the No. 2 seed. Then, on Saturday, he defeated third-seed Adam Regnier of Marion, 8-7, to advance to the finals. He lost 8-7 on a controversial call at the end of regulation that could have sent the match into overtime.

Jones, seeded third, won two matches on Friday, including a 13-6 win over Braxton Stone?braker of Lyons, who had defeated him at home a couple of weeks earlier. Jones lost a close match to nemesis Sage Thimmech of Garden Plain in the finals. It was his fourth loss to Thimmech this season. Jones will be making his third appearance at state.

Bina and McClelland qualified for Hays by battling through the consolation bracket. Bina won the third-place match with a win over Connor Baus of Douglass while McClelland lost his third-place match to Collin Dixon of Stafford, 9-2. Bina is a first-time state qualifier while McClelland will be returning after qualifying at 125 last season.

Bret Mueller, Dimitri McClelland and Gabe Anderson won their first match in the consolation bracket on Saturday. Mueller and McClelland lost their next match to end their season while Anderson won a second match to move within one more victory of qualifying, but came up short.

?The goal this week in practice for those who qualified will be to continue to improve on technique and to mentally focus on what they have to do at state,? O?Hare said.

?These six guys need to be sure they are not content with just getting there, but understand that they have a great opportunity in front of them.?

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