Cougars finish 2nd, Panthers 3rd in conference wrestling
Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]
As temperatures struggled to break over 20 degrees Thursday night, Charlestown High School was red-hot with activity on the wrestling mat as schools descended upon the Charlestown Sports Arena for the annual Mid-Southern Conference tournament.
While they fell short of ending the host Pirates’ now three-year MSC winning streak, the North Harrison Cougars and Corydon Central Panthers both had strong showings in their own rights as they rounded out the top three in the team rankings. Despite the Cougars crowning only two individual MSC champions as opposed to the Panthers’ four, the boys in blue outpaced their rivals with five runner-up finishes.
The first of the Cougars’ two championships came courtesy of senior Noah Phelps at 182. After opening his evening by advancing via forfeit, he needed just over a minute and a half to pin Silver Creek’s Jacob Losey. Phelps had a tougher time in the championship round against the host Pirates’ Clay McClelland, needing almost four minutes to secure another pinfall.
Senior Seth Kendall followed his teammate’s lead at 220 after advancing to the semifinals on a bye. In his first of two matches on the night, he needed less than a minute to pin Scottsburg’s Bryce Mack. Facing Eastern’s Mike Abney in the championship, Kendall secured his place as an individual MSC champion by securing a pinfall at 3:15.
The Cougars’ runner-up finishes came courtesy of Ashton McGinnis (126), Pearce Hubbart (145), Parker Rhodes (160), Jackson Emerson (195) and Landon King (285). Caden Cooper (120) and Noah Kendall (170) rounded out the Cougars’ successful tournament showing with fourth-place finishes.
As has been the case for the Panthers all year, their success began with the efforts of senior Bryson Rowley and junior Zane Schreck. Rowley breezed his way to the championship at 113 after advancing to the semifinals via forfeit, followed by pinning Salem’s Gracelyn Williams in just over a minute.
Rowley’s undefeated season continued in the championship when he pinned Charlestown’s Carson Collier in 3:28.
Schreck needed less effort at 120, advancing to the semifinals via forfeit before needing only 14 seconds to pin the Cougars’ Cooper. Salem’s Harley Shockey didn’t fare much better against Schreck, getting pinned by the junior in 1:09 in the championship.
Freshman Jayden Owsley had a similar strong effort at 126, advancing to the semifinals via forfeit before pinning Silver Creek’s Preston Smith in 1:50. He faced Cougars’ senior Ashton McGinnis, who made it to the championship with quick pinfalls over Scottsburg’s Trey Smith (0:17) and Charlestown’s Logan Latiolais (0:29). In a battle of the rookie against the veteran, it was the young Owsley who emerged victorious with a pinfall in 2:16.
Panthers’ senior Kaeden Owen and Cougars’ senior Parker Rhodes had a similar encounter in the championship round at 160. Rhodes advanced via forfeit before defeating Scottsburg’s Avery Lytle with a 7-2 decision. Owen advanced to the semifinal with a bye before winning an 8-4 decision over Charlestown’s Sean McAfee. Owen pulled away with a victory as he defeated Rhodes with a 7-1 decision.
Junior Bryce Gentry and sophomore Caleb Carroll had solid finishes as they each finished third at 170 and 182, respectively.
Rowley and Schreck both continued their undefeated seasons as they advanced to 33-0, while Owen moved to 23-8 and Owsley to 20-8. Seth Kendall moved to 29-1, while McGinnis advanced to 28-5.
With the conference tournament out of the way, both the Panthers and Cougars now turn their sights to Jeffersonville High School, the site of the Indiana High School Athletic Association sectional 30, which will begin Saturday.