Johnston second at CKL tournament

Led by a second-place weight class finish by freshman Raymond Johnston, the Hillsboro wrestling team placed seventh in the nine-team Central Kansas League tournament—even with only five Trojans competing.

Johnston, 4-1 in the 113-pound class, won by fall over Tre Garcia of Nicker­son, Jason Hecht of Hesston, Camdon Nickelson of Pratt and Inigo Barrena Carpio of Hoisington before losing a 6-4 decision to Braydon Lemuz of Larned, who had pinned him a week earlier.

“I was very proud of Raymond on his runner-up finish as a freshman,” coach Scott O’Hare said. “He had been battling some lower back pain most of the week so we had to limit him during his work-outs in an attempt to have it ready for the weekend.

“He started off a bit slow in his first match, but dominated his next three opponents by getting early takedowns, grinding on top, and pinning all three in the first period.”

Senior Travis King (3-2) placed third at 145 pounds. He defeated David Merchant of Hesston 15-12 with an 8-6 overtime advantage, lost to Nick Karber of Smoky Valley 4-3, defeated Derek Roadhouse of Pratt, 8-2, prevailed by technical fall over Noah Salazar of Nickerson, and lost by fall to undefeated Jonathan Ball of Hoisington, who is ranked No. 2 in Class 3-2-1A.

“Travis had to really work for a tough overtime victory in his first match of the day before losing a tight 3-4 match in round two,” O’Hare said. “He followed those opening matches up with two solid victories where he really dominated on his feet.”

Lane Flaming placed fifth at 160 pounds with a 2-2 record on the mat. He lost by fall to Trevor Weaver of Lyons and Matt Whitsitt of Hesston, then won by fall over Donovan McAbee of Pratt. After a bye in the consolation bracket, he won by major decision (14-1) over Donovan McAbee of Pratt.

“Lane finally had a few things start to click for him this weekend,” O’Hare said. He did some things very well. He actually took the lead with early takedowns in each of his first two matches and looked much better working in the top position. However, in both cases he made critical mistakes that put him on his back.

“Although its getting late in the season and time is running out, I’m very pleased with Lane’s progress.”

Jaden Priest placed seventh at 170 1-4 record. He lost by fall to Tony Morris of Halstead, Wyatt Pedigo of Hoisington, Cort Elliott of Smoky Valley, then won by an 8-5 decision over Caleb East of Larned to qualify for the seventh-place match, where he defeated Wendell Scobee of Lyons by fall.

“Jaden was probably in the deepest weight in the CKL,” O’Hare said. “Almost every team had a quality 170 pounder. He continues to make good progress but just hasn’t had many breaks in the level of competition.

“Although seeing this type of competition will pay off, it is tough on his confidence level. He is starting to get a more nature feel for what he needs to do and is executing some things really well, but higher level opponents tend to react faster to counter him.”

Connor Morey placed six at 220 pounds with a 1-4 record. He lost by fall to Jeremiah Slattery of Lar­ned, Hunter Huber of Pratt and Matthew Cedillio of Nickerson, before defeating Trace Scott of Smoky Valley by fall. In the fifth-place match, he lost by fall to Matthew Cedillio of Nicker­son.

“It was good to finally have Connor back in the lineup,” O’Hare said. He just recently got released for a shoulder issue he suffered back during the football season. This was his first competition this season.

“Although he has been attending practice all season, he has been very limited with what he has been able to do.”

In the team competition, Pratt and Hoisington placed one-two comfortably at 170 1⁄2 points and 165 points, respectively. They were followed by Larned with 97, Smoky Valley 89, Nickerson 57, Lyons 52, Hillsboro 33 1⁄2, Hesston 30 and Halstead 18.

Coming—The Trojans will compete Friday and Saturday at the Class 3-2-1A regional tournament hosted by Jayhawk Linn High School at Mound City. Competition on Friday will begin at 2 p.m.

Also competing are Central of Burden, Caney Valley, Canton-Galva, Cherokee-Southeast, Cherryvale, Chase County, Dexter, Douglass, Erie, Eureka, Fredonia, West Elk, Humboldt, Bluestem, Elk Valley, Marion, Pleasanton, Central Heights, Flinthills, Uniontown, Wellsville, Remington and Wichita Independent.

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