Trojan wrestlers 11th at Herington

The Hillsboro wrestling team placed 11th among 15 teams competing Satur­day at the McMillin Invita­tional Tournament at Herington.

“This tournament provided us with some of the toughest competition we have seen up to this point in the season, as it usually does,” coach Scott O’Hare said.

Abilene outdistanced the field with 338 team points, followed by Mulvane with 211.5, Chase County 145.5, Council Grove 116, Chapman 115, Herington 96, Reming­ton 94, Jefferson West 91, Wabaunsee 86, Leon Blue­stem 80, Hillsboro 55, St. John’s Military 54.5, Burden-Central 49, Onaga 37 and Halstead 21.

“Beginning last year, they changed the format from a typical double-elimination tournament to a combination of round robin and scramble brackets, depending on the number of entries at each weight,” O’Hare said. “This format does not favor our small squad of only seven scoring wrestlers from a team scoring aspect.

“However, it is very beneficial for us from an individual wrestler perspective because everyone gets four to five matches regardless of wins and losses.”

Senior Travis King had the best day for Hillsboro, posting a 4-1 record to be the runner-up at 145 pounds.

Mac Bartel went 3-2 at 120 for fifth place while Jaden Priest posted a 3-2 mark at 170. Kaden Ward broke even at 2-2 at 138 pounds.

In other matches, William Spaich was 1-4 at 126 pounds, Kyle Horton 2-3 at 152, Lane Flaming 0-4 at 160 and Dylan Horton, who wrestled unattached at 152 pounds, posted an 0-5 record.

“As far as placing at this tournament, a lot depends on getting wins early in the tournament, which we unfor­tunately did not accomplish,” O’Hare said.

“However, overall the guys improved throughout the day and wrestled some good matches down the stretch. As a team, we started 0-7 in the first round—King had a bye—but were able to recover and finish the day with a combined record of 15-18 with our scoring wrestlers.”

O’Hare said his wrestlers need to keep improving from a technical standpoint, and become more comfortable reacting to specific situations without having to recall what to do.

“Overall, as a group, they know what to do,” he said. “They just have to get more confident, do it more explosively, and learn to transition between moves more seamlessly.”

Coming—This week, Hills­boro will compete at the two-day Hal­stead Invita­tional. Action begins Friday at 4 p.m. and resumes Saturday at 9:30 a.m.