|Sat, Mar 15, 2014 11:31 PM
January 08, 2014 | 01:23 PM
Billed as one of the top in-season wrestling tournaments in the state, Corydon Central made the trip to Connersville for the Spartan Classic on Dec. 27 and 28.
Facing stout competition throughout the event, Corydon Central's Bailey LaHue ended the calendar year with yet another placing at the top of a podium, winning the honors in the 120-pound division.
It wasn't an easy road for the talented junior, who had to defeat a fellow fourth-place finisher at the state meet last year, to earn the top billing at Connersville.
In the championship, LaHue (fourth at 120 at state last year) had to face East Noble's Connor Knapp, also a junior (fourth at 113 at state last year). It was a battle of ranked wrestlers with LaHue No. 2 and Knapp No. 4. LaHue won the tight match by a 2-0 decision.
Along the path to the championship round, LaHue had to face several wrestlers with post-season success. In the opening round of the 32-team event, LaHue had to face Benton Central's Cole Lukaszka, a sectional champion and semi-state qualifier at 113. Lukaszka was no match for LaHue, coming away with a 13-2 majority decision.
Two wins by fall came in the next two rounds, one in 1:42 versus Fort Wayne Northside's Keaton Braun, then in 27 seconds, he pinned Dekalb's Kyle Davis.
In the semi-final, LaHue tussled with Carroll's Ben Cauffman, a junior who was second at sectional and regional at 106 a year ago. Also a close match, LaHue pulled out the victory, 5-2, to reach the final.
Wrestling at 106, Corydon Central sophomore Mason Kaufer came away with a third-place finish at Connersville. He won his first match by pin in 1:17 then followed with a 4-0 win over Roncalli's David Roth.
Advancing to the semi-final, Kaufer lost to fifth-ranked Breyden Bailey of Indianapolis Cathedral. The freshman won by fall in 3:54. Bailey went on to win the individual title at 106.
Dropping down to the consolation bracket, Kaufer scored two additional wins, both by fall. He pinned Greenfield Central's Jacob Miller in 1:38, followed by a pin in 5:07 against Beech Grove's DeMonte Dawkins.
Scoring a seventh-place position was Corydon Central freshman Austin Kopp at 152.
Two wins came in the winner's bracket: defeating East Noble's Riley Jones (1:52) and Fishers' Daniel Montes (10-8).
Handing Kopp his first loss at the tournament was Cathedral's Brant Larson in the quarterfinals, winning by fall in the second period.
Bouncing back in the consolation rounds, Kopp scored wins over Fort Wayne Northside's Logan Snyder (1:27) before being pinned by Lebanon's Evan Stembaugh. Wrestling for the seventh-place spot, Kopp defeated Elwood's Alex Mireles 9-3.
Coming away with the top spot among teams was Indianapolis Cathedral (246.5) followed by Carroll (218.50). Corydon Central was 17th out of 32 teams, scoring 76 points.
Up next for the Panther grapplers will be the annual Old Capital Classic on Saturday. Wrestling will begin in the morning and will feature eight teams: Corydon Central, Columbus North, Evansville Central, Floyd Central, Gibson Southern, Lexington Henry Clay (Ky.), Southport and Zionsville.