Hillsboro ninth at Winter Duals

Hillsboro’s Travis King grapples for an advantage over his opponent, Seth Tunnel of Wellington, in the opening round of pool competition at the Marion County Winter Duals Tourn­ament Friday at Hillsboro. King, a senior and returning state qualifier, won the match by fall and went on to post a 3-2 record for the day. The Hillsboro wrestling team, competing with six varsity wrestlers spread over 10 weight classes, placed ninth among the 12 schools competing at the Marion County Winter Duals event Friday.

The field of 12 schools was divided into four pools of three teams. Two pools competed at Hillsboro and the other two at Marion. Based on the results, the teams were then assigned to a bracket based on wins and losses to determine final placement.

Burlington won the tournament title, followed by Clearwater, Marion, Fre­donia, Douglass, Minnea­polis, Wellington, Royal Valley, Hillsboro, Bluestem, West Elk and Wabaunsee.

In pool play, Hillsboro lost to Wellington, 60-24, giving up 48 points in four forfeits while winning four of six matches wrestled.

In the next round, the Trojans lost to Minneapolis, 51-18, giving up 36 points in forfeits while winning three of six matches.

Assigned to the consolation bracket that would determine the ninth-place winner, Hillsboro defeated Wabaunsee, 30-18, giving up 12 points due to forfeits, but also receiving 12 points due to forfeits. The Trojans won two of the three matches wrestled.

In the final round, Hills­boro defeated Bluestem, 30-24, to secure ninth place. The Trojans gave up 24 points in forfeits, but also received 12 points. Hillsboro wrestlers won all four matches in that pairing.

Individually, the Trojans registered some strong performances. Freshman Ray­mond Johnston, wrestling at 113 pounds, went 5-0 for the day, including four pins.

Mac Bartel, a junior wrestling at 120, posted a 4-1 record with four pins.

Travis King, the team’s lone senior and returning state qualifier, went 3-2 with three pins.

Also competing were sophomore Kyle Horton, who went 2-3 at 152, sophomore Lane Flaming, who went 3-2 at 160, and junior Jaden Priest, who went 3-2 at 170 with two pins.

“We were pleased with how the kids competed and wrestled hard,” coach Scott O’Hare said. “They are showing a lot of grit and determination to battle through tough situations.”

But he also noted his wrestlers still have a lot to learn in regard to technique and fundamentals.

“We are losing a lot of situations that would be considered scrambles, where either wrestler has an opportunity to score,” he said. “At this point, although we are winning a few, overall we are on the short end. A lot of that has to do with position, balance and reaction.”

With the pre-holiday portion of their schedule complete, O’Hare said his team is at a decent place in their development.

“Hopefully, we can take some time over break to not add much more as far as technique, but focus more on fundamentals, positional situations, and wrestling by reaction rather than thinking,” he said.

At the break, Hillsboro wrest­lers have posted the following season records: Raymond Johnston, 10-2; Mac Bartel, 6-1; William Spaich, 4-1; Kaden Ward, 2-3; Travis King, 7-4; Kyle Horton, 8-4; and Lane Flaming, 4-6.

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