With five wrestlers advancing to the semifinals and three to the finals, Hillsboro wrestlers placed fifth among 15 teams Saturday at the Hesston Invitational.
With two team members having to miss the tournament, the Trojans wrestled with a lineup of seven.
?To finish in the top five with only seven wrestlers gives some indication of the talent this team has,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?I was fairly pleased with how we completed most of the day on Saturday.?
The three Trojans to reach the finals in their respective weight classes were freshman Austin Cross at 145 pounds, and seniors Tanner Jones at 170 and Tyrell Thiessen at 285.
?Although it was a little discouraging seeing all three get defeated in the finals, I thought they all battled hard,? O?Hare said. ?As long as they use the losses as a learning experience and find ways to improve, it?s not something that will hurt them in the end.?
Cross, making his competitive debut as a Trojan, pinned Johnathan Trumpower of Flint Hills, Dax Stephens of Burden-Central and Jonathan Anderson of Hesston before dropping a 6-2 decision to Nic Johnson of Halstead in the finals.
?Seeing Jones and Thiessen in the finals was something that I fully expected from them,? O?Hare said. ?It was nice to see Austin have such a good tournament, being his first-ever high school meet. He wrestled very well to get to the finals and, other than a few little mistakes, he wrestled a solid finals match.?
After receiving a first-round bye, Jones pinned Zac Lewman of Marion and Nick Jacobs of West Elk before losing a 6-2 decision in the finals to Jesse Oliver of Wichita West.
Thiessen pinned Chris Franz of West in the first round, Patrick Deegan of Hesston in the second round and Daniel Couch of Burden Central in the semifinals before being pinned by Jaden Helms of Chapman in the finals.
?I think Tyrell struggled a little in his finals match due to being sick a better part of the week leading up to the tournament,? O?Hare said. ?He just looked gassed in the third period.?
Also competing for Hillsboro were: Preston Nelson, who went 2-2 at 152: Jesse Meier, who went 2-2 plus a bye at 160; Levi Men?dosa, who went 3-1 plus a bye at 182 to finish third; and Zac Ghahrmanzadeh, who went 0-2 on the mat with two byes.
?We will get back in the practice room this week, look at some of the technical mistakes that we made throughout the tournament, work on correcting them, continue to learn more and improve, and look forward to taking the mat at home on Friday in the Marion County Dual Tournament,? O?Hare said.
The tournament, hosted by Hillsboro and Marion, will be Friday and Saturday. The field also includes teams from Alma-Wabaunsee, Bluestem, Clear?water, Douglass, Minne?apolis, Republic County, Rock Creek, Chanute, Chaparral, Clay Center Community, Fredonia, Riley County, Smoky Valley and Well?ington.