|Fri, Mar 14, 2014 11:27 PM
February 05, 2014 | 12:01 PM
"My favorite time of year. One week after another."
In the words of Corydon Central standout grappler Bailey LaHue, the wrestling postseason set in motion Saturday at the Jeffersonville Sectional.
The junior, ranked No. 2 in the state in the 120-pound weight class, had no problems in his three matches. In fact, LaHue spent a total of 3 minutes and 30 seconds on the mat during the course of the event. Not bad when a full match time is six minutes.
LaHue got on the mat, took care of business by pin, stepped a top the podium and thought about the future.
Corydon Central's Austin Kopp gains the advantage taking a shot against Jeffersonville's Donovan Smith in a battle for third place at 152 pounds. (click for larger version)
"I was pumped up, but really I was confident and relaxed," LaHue said. "All I could think about was all the other matches and what I need to do in the matches coming up. I get to thinking about regional, semi-state and state and working on what I need to get done."
LaHue came away as the lone sectional champion for Corydon Central, but he won't be alone at the Jeffersonville Regional on Saturday.
Five Panthers — Mason Kaufer (106), Ezra Paden (138), Austin Kopp (152), Robbie Leuhart (285) and LaHue — earned top four spots to advance.
"They did really good, but we were hoping for more champions," LaHue said. "They'll come back stronger next week because this week in practice we'll go through the ringer."
"We had five and could of had a couple more," Corydon Central coach Richard Clipp said. "Then again, we could have had fewer. We placed seven kids on the podium overall."
LaHue's longest match was his first of the day. He was able to pin Providence's Cody Sprigler in 1:45. In the semi-final, New Washington's Mathew Mosley tried to escape the grip of LaHue after a quick takedown; however, LaHue was able to pull the junior back in to eventually score a pin in 53 seconds.
Waiting around for the championship round, LaHue wasted little time against Floyd Central's Sean Brown. Off the whistle, Brown was on his back in no time. Despite the squirms of Brown to wiggle free, LaHue tightened his grip for a pin in 52 seconds.
"They were all first-period pins, and I don't think anyone even scored on him," Clipp said. "The kid he wrestled in the finals, he wrestled him in the Old Cap so he was familiar."
LaHue, undefeated with 18 wins, was keen on getting back on the mat after back-to-back weekend events leading up to sectional were canceled due to weather.
"It was two weeks off, and I was itching to go," LaHue said. "It kills me to be off, especially when I'm healthy. I constantly want to be wrestling and get match time."
Kaufer and Paden, a pair of sophomores, reached the championship round in their respective classes. Both, however, weren't able to close the deal.
Leading up to the final, Kaufer (22-4) was mightily impressive. He pinned Charlestown's Austin Weatherford in 19 seconds and followed it up with a 23-second pin of New Albany's Dakota Erickson in the semis.
Meeting New Washington's Noah Franklin in the final, Kaufer held an early upper-hand, scoring on a takedown. Midway through the opening period, Franklin flipped Kaufer and scored points for a near fall to take a 6-2 lead.
After a scoreless second period, Kaufer scored with a reversal to inch the match closer at 6-4 in the third. Late in the match, Franklin executed a reversal, leading to the 8-4 final score.
Paden (19-2), the defending sectional champion, had a solid lead up to the final as well. He pinned Christian Academy of Indiana's Kevin Morris in 1:11, then controlled the match against Floyd Central's Max Hauser to win 8-3.
In the final, Paden and New Washington's Yancy Crase went through a scoreless first period. Paden opened the second in the down position and traded points with Crase, each scoring two on reversals.
After the midway point of the period, Crase caught Paden and had him stuck at the 3:15 mark for a pin.
"If you're going to lose in the tournament, today was the day to lose," Corydon Central assistant coach Russell Kopp said. "It's the motivation for the rest of the series. It has happened to us before, and we came back."
Also moving on to regional was Austin Kopp (23-5). Wrestling in a tough 152 class, the freshman defeated Jeffersonville's Donovan Smith, 9-3, in the opener.
Kopp's lone loss came against New Albany's Tre Lynch in the semi-finals. Neither wrestler scored in the opening two minutes, but Kopp picked up a point in the second with an escape.
The third period was won by Lynch, scoring on an escape, leading to a 4-2 decision.
"He pinned me in the first period in the beginning of the season," Kopp said of his match against Lynch. "It was a lot better to come out and actually put up a fight all the way through."
Shaking off the loss, Kopp defeated New Washington's Gabe Nix by pin then pinned Jeffersonville's Smith in 3:33.
"It's pretty good to get third and go to regional," Kopp said. "I want to make it to semi-state. That's the goal."
Once Corydon Central's Robbie Leuhart (7-12) finished his match against state-ranked Gavin Jolly-Little of Jeffersonville, a loss by pin, Leuhart went on a two-match win streak. He came up with an 8-4 decision against New Albany's Richard Mowery.
In his ticket round of the consolation bracket, Leuhart scored on a takedown in the opening period against Floyd Central's Franklin Korte. Leuhart went on to win 7-1. In the battle for third place, Providence's Blake Logsdon eked out a 4-1 decision. Fourth place, however, advanced Leuhart to regional.
Clipp said the regular season has been anything but regular.
"We lost half the season, probably 15 matches, due to weather," he said. "This has been a first all the way around. In 35 years, I've had one elbow injury, then in 20 minutes at Charlestown one day we had two."
In the team standings, Corydon Central placed sixth with 115 points. Tight for the team title, Floyd Central (233-1/2) edged out Jeffersonville (224-1/2).
A pair of Panther grapplers — Colt May (132) and Tyler Robinson (160) — were able to place fifth in their respective classes.
May scored wins, both by pin, over Charlestown's Cameron Hopson and Jeffersonville's Jack Ferraro. Hopson's shoulders hit the mat at the 1:29 mark, while Ferraro's fate was sealed 2 minutes and 11 seconds into the match. The Corydon Central freshman closed his season with an 11-10 record.
Robinson, also a freshman, had two wins by way of pin. The first victim was Eastern (Pekin) wrestler Mike Hall in 2:50, while the second was Jason Murner of Providence. Murner was pinned in 2:26 to help Robinson place fifth and close with a 14-11 record.
Also competing for the Panthers, Nathan Dobson (170) picked up a pair of wins by forfeit. He eventually lost to Providence's Zach Schansberg, by fall, in the fifth-place match.
Others in action for Corydon Central were Dylan Knear (113), Austin Smith (145), Wyler Taylor (182) and David Brann (220). All were unable to score wins. Taylor is the program's lone senior who competed at sectional.
The following will be first-round matches featuring Corydon Central wrestlers at regional: 106 — Mason Kaufer, Corydon Central, 22-4, vs. Kyle Lewis, Jennings County, 29-10; 120 — Bailey LaHue, Corydon Central, 18-0, vs. Will Speaker, Columbus North, 11-21; 138 — Ezra Paden, Corydon Central, 19-2, vs. Aaron Lanfair, Brown County, 19-5; 152 — Austin Kopp, Corydon Central, 23-5, vs. Colton Pifer, Jennings County, 19-5; 285 — Robbie Leuhart, Corydon Central, 7-12, vs. Kolby Mount, Scottsburg, 30-0.
The top four place winners in each weight class advance to the Evansville Reitz (at Ford Center) semi-state tournament.
Admission to regional is $7 per person.
Team scores: 1. Floyd Central 233.5, 2. Jeffersonville 224.5, 3. New Albany 190, 4. Charlestown 146.5, 5. New Washington 124, 6. Corydon Central 115, 7. Eastern (Pekin) 90.5, 8. Providence 89, 9. Christian Academy of Indiana 12.
Individual results: 106 N. Franklin (NW) dec. M. Kaufer (CC), 8-4; 113 J. Cunningham (FC) dec. S. Jones (Jeff), 8-3; 120 B. LaHue (CC) pinned S. Brown (FC), 0:52; 126 B. Haynes (C) dec. J. Deleon (Jeff), 11-6; 132 A. Ward (FC) pinned B. Peavler (NA), 2:30; 138 Y. Crase (NW) pinned E. Paden (CC), 3:15; 145 H. Castleberry (NA) dec. N. Burkland (FC), 10-4; 152 C. Troutman (FC) pinned T. Lynch (NA), 1:08; 160 J. Franklin (NW) pinned D. Frederick (NA), 1:41; 170 C. Herron (FC) maj. dec. Z. Higdon (C), 11-3; 182 M. Hayes (P) dec. C. Thompson (Jeff), 5-2; 195 D. Newbolt (Jeff) dec. D. Mowery (NA), 10-4; 220 J. Hurley (C) pinned P. Landrum (NA), 0:38; 285 G. Jolley-Little (Jeff) pinned C. Davenport (C), 1:22.