Competing for the second week in a row within a format that rewards a full lineup of wrestlers, Hills?boro settled for third place at the five-school Southeast of Saline Dual Tourn?ament on Saturday.
At this event, schools squared off head-to-head in a dual, round-robin format.
The host school claimed the championship with a perfect 4-0 record, followed by Russell at 3-1, Hillsboro at 2-2, Republic County at 1-3 and Bennington at 0-4.
Marysville was to compete in the event as well, but dropped out earlier in the week.
Hillsboro defeated Benning?ton 47-12, lost to Southeast 42-30, defeated Republic County 36-23 then lost to Russell 42-28.
?With getting Cody Delk back in the varsity lineup for the first time this season after recovering from a broken arm suffered in football, this was the largest line-up we have been able to field in a dual since prior to Christmas break,? coach Scott O?Hare said.
?However, we are still at a huge disadvantage because we were still competing with five open weight classes. Therefore, we were giving up 30 points going into every dual.?
O?Hare said the team scores are deceptive for that reason.
?Although we lost two duals in the tournament, we actually won five out of eight matches against Southeast of Saline and six out of nine matches against Russell,? he said. ?Therefore, it is important as a team that we look past those team scores and recognize the matches actually competed on the mat.?
Individually, seven of Hills?boro?s wrestlers nine posted winning records. The Trojans were led by Bret Mueller and Aaron Bina, who went 4-0 at 130 and 160 pounds, respectively.
Four wrestlers went 3-1: Darren Mueller at 125, Cody Delk at 135, Justin King at 145, and Matt Wiebe at 189.
Also competing for Hillsboro were Tanner Jones, who went 1-3 at 152, and Daniel Kenney, who was 1-2 at 215.
?We had some very solid performances and some big wins, but more importantly, we started to make some improvement in areas that have been concerns of late,? O?Hare said. ?Hopefully, we learned this weekend the importance of mental and physical preparation before each match.
?We also have to get much better at mental and physical toughness, as well as trusting our conditioning, so that we can pull out wins when they come down the stretch,? he added. ?We lost two overtime matches on the day and also lost a couple other very tight matches late in the third period when the outcome was still in question.
?Instead of taking advantage of opportunities, we stayed content and it cost us in some critical matches.?
Coming?The Trojans travel to Marion Thursday for a triple dual faceoff with Smoky Valley, Hoisington and Marion starting at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Hillsboro will compete at Pratt for the first Central Kansas League tournament. Team and individual inners will be crowned league champions. Matches begin at 9 a.m.