Four CC grapplers bound for Evansville
Corydon Central’s Bailey LaHue was ready for the Jeffersonville Regional Saturday, but he sure didn’t spend much time on the mat.
Rolling through one match after another, LaHue spent a total of 2 minutes and 1 second wrestling in three matches, a second over one round.
LaHue was one of four Panthers, along with Mason Kaufer, Ezra Paden and Austin Kopp, to qualify for semi-state. LaHue was ready to get going, said his coach Richard Clipp.
‘I got a phone call at 5:10 or so and Bailey was at the school waiting on me,’ the CCHS veteran coach said. ‘We were scheduled to leave at 6:30. When we got in to the school, he checked his weight and said, ‘I can’t wait’.’
The 120-pound class was all LaHue’s. It is the third regional title for the Panther junior.
‘I’ve been really focused,’ LaHue said. ‘I just want to get in and get out.’
That’s exactly what he did. His first match, versus Columbus North’s Will Speaker, was LaHue’s lengthiest of the day. It took him 1:06 to stick Speaker for a pin.
In the semi-final, Greensburg’s Brandon Butz and his 26 victories were up next. Thirty-one seconds was all Butz lasted before his shoulders succumbed to the mat.
Coming into the championship round, Brown County’s Austin Walsh took a similar path to LaHue, scoring wins by pin in his first two matches.
That fact didn’t matter. Walsh came at LaHue first and, seconds into the opening round, Walsh was on his back, fishing his arms to escape. LaHue clutched tighter and scored a crowd-pleasing 26-second pin.
‘When they come at me, I get more fired up and go at them harder. I like that,’ LaHue said of the match against Walsh.
Now, LaHue will focus on becoming a three-time semi-state champion and earning a spot at state.
‘I plan on going up there and dominating,’ LaHue said. ‘There could be some good matches, but, if I wrestle my way, I can pull through some good matches. I can’t wait. Hopefully be at the Bankers Life. But it’s one match at a time or bad things can happen.’
‘Bailey looked pretty smooth and down to business,’ Clipp said.
As a team, Corydon Central placed seventh among 18 schools at the Jeffersonville Regional, scoring 55 points. The Panthers finished ahead of Jeffersonville (52 points) and Mid-Southern Conference rival Charlestown (47 points). Madison was the top school, edging out Floyd Central 86-84.
Wrestling at 106, Corydon Central’s Mason Kaufer reached the championship round for a rematch of the sectional final against New Washington’s Noah Franklin.
Similar to the week prior, Kaufer scored an early take-down. Late in the opening period, Franklin slipped Kaufer into a headlock for a reversal. He’d tack on two additional points for a near fall to lead 4-2.
Kaufer worked hard in the second period to keep Franklin down the entire two minutes. When it was Kaufer’s turn at the down position in the third period, he quickly scored two points to knot the match at four with a reversal.
A handful of stalemates led to overtime. In the overtime, Franklin scored a take-down to win 6-4.
‘It was the same as the sectional final, only it was a minute longer,’ Clipp said. ‘For the seven minutes we wrestled, I’d say Mason out-wrestled him for 5-1/2 of it.’
The result also got LaHue going.
‘Our 106 losing fired me up even more,’ LaHue said. ‘It was a tough loss, but I’ll be working with him to come back harder for semi-state.’
To reach the final, Kaufer was strong in the opening rounds. He scored a 9-0 majority decision against Jennings County grappler Kyle Lewis before blanking Brown County’s Evan Bullock 6-0 in the semis.
Paden (138) and Kopp (152) also punched tickets to semi-state. Paden, a sophomore, will make his second appearance at semi-state, while Kopp will make his debut as a freshman.
At regional, the first match in the eight-wrestler brackets is the ticket round to assure a spot at semi-state. In the opening round, Paden scored in the second period against Brown County’s Aaron Lanfair before eventually winning by pin in the third. The pin at the five-minute mark led Paden to face the talented Ethan Herrin (Jennings County) in the semi-final. Herrin won the match by pin in 1:18.
Dropping to the consolation round, Paden lost in overtime to Madison’s Chris Tingle. Paden scored a take-down in period one, but, by the start of the third, Tingle tied the match at 2. Starting the third period down, Paden was able to escape and lead 3-2. Late in the match, the referee awarded Tingle a point due to Paden stalling, forcing overtime.
In the overtime, Tingle scored on a take-down to win 5-3.
‘I thought we wrestled fine,’ Clipp said. ‘Overtimes weren’t too kind to us.’
For Kopp, his first-round bout against a higher seed, Jennings County’s Colton Pifer, was dominated by the Panther. Kopp had Pifer on the run much of the match before scoring a pin in 5:30.
In one of the most thrilling matches of the day, Kopp was locked in a dual with top-seeded Cory Troutman in the semis. In the second period, Kopp scored points with a near fall, pushing Troutman to the brink of almost being stuck.
The match was back and forth until Troutman scored a take-down and near fall late to win 10-6.
Closing his day, Kopp had a rematch from sectional with New Albany’s Tre Lynch. Kopp scored an early takedown, but, in the third period, Lynch caught Kopp for a pin in 3:35.
‘I thought Ezra and Austin wrestled well,’ Clipp said. ‘Kopp had the lead against Lynch, but Lynch has a body type that gives him problems right now.’
Wrestling at 285, Corydon Central freshman Robbie Leuhart wasn’t able to advance beyond the opening round. Going against the undefeated heavyweight from Scottsburg, Kolby Mount, Leuhart got stuck 25 seconds into the match.
‘Robbie went up to (Mount) this morning and asked, ‘Do you want to partner?’ ‘ Clipp said. ‘So his work out this morning was the Scottsburg heavyweight. He was asking him questions, too.’
Ending his season, Leuhart closed with a 7-13 record.
Mount reached the championship round but lost to Jeffersonville’s Gavin Jolley-Little, 2-1.
Clipp said the team had a decent week of practice despite missing two days due to weather.
‘It’s a good experience for these kids to get down there and see (semi-state),’ Clipp said. ‘It just takes one move and two seconds and you’re a winner.’
At the Bloomington South Regional, Crawford County’s Andrew Patton placed fourth to qualify for semi-state. In the first round, Patton defeated Sullivan’s Nathan Barney by an 8-4 decision. Patton, however, would drop his next two matches.
Also participating for the Wolfpack at regional were Kirk France (132) and Hayden Fell (170), but neither were able to capture their first match.
Sixteen wrestlers fill each of the weight-class brackets at Saturday’s Evansville Reitz Semi-state with the top four advancing to the state final.
Pairings for the semi-state have been released with the following opening-round pairings for Corydon Central wrestlers: 106 ‘ Mason Kaufer (24-5) vs. Luke Stull (Bloomington South, 24-17); 120 ‘ Bailey LaHue (21-0) vs. Andrew Patton (Crawford County, 33-7); 138 ‘ Ezra Paden (20-4) vs. Ross Abram (Bloomington South, 35-5); and 152 ‘ Austin Kopp (24-7) vs. Phoenix Adams (Terre Haute South, 37-1).
The Evansville Reitz Semi-state will be at Ford Center, with the first match at 10 a.m. Feeder regionals into the semi-state are from Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville and Mooresville.
Admission is $10 for a season ticket or $7 for the final session only.
Team scores: 1. Madison 86, 2. Floyd Central 84, 3. Greensburg 74, 4. Jennings County 71, 5. Columbus North 59, 6. New Washington 56, 7. Corydon Central 55, 8. Jeffersonville 52, 9. Charlestown 47, 10. Brown County 46, 11. Columbus East 41, 12. New Albany 29, 13. Seymour 20, 14. Scottsburg 18, 15. Southwestern 17, 16. Providence 14, 17. Eastern (Pekin) 11, 18. Christian Academy of Indiana 0.
Individual results: 106 ‘ N. Franklin (NW) dec. M. Kaufer (CC) 9-4; 113 ‘ A. Ely (BC) dec. J. Cunningham (FC) 2-1; 120 ‘ B. LaHue (CC) pinned A. Walsh (BC) 0:26; 126 ‘ J. Deleon (J) pinned B. Haynes (Cha) 3:40; 132 ‘ A. Ward (FC) dec. T. Dempler (M) 13-10; 138 ‘ E. Herrin (JC) maj. dec. Y. Crase (NW) 11-0; 145 ‘ M. Ruddick (Sey) pinned A. Spray (SW) 5:42; 152 ‘ A. Jones (CN) pinned C. Troutman (FC) 1:52; 160 ‘ J. Partee (M) dec. J. Franklin (NW) 8-6; 170 ‘ J. Fisher (CE) dec. C. Herron (FC) 1-0; 182 ‘ L. Teague (CN) maj. dec. M. Hayes (P) 17-4; 195 ‘ M. Sandlin (M) dec. C. Redmond (JC) 4-0; 220 ‘ C. Castetter (JC) pinned D. Neisius (G) 3:20; 285 ‘ G. Jolley-Little (J) dec. K. Mount (Scott) 2-1.