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6 Panthers, 3 Cougars qualify for semistate

6 Panthers, 3 Cougars qualify for semistate
6 Panthers, 3 Cougars qualify for semistate
Photo by Brandon Miniard. Corydon Central senior Bryson Rowley goes low to take down Columbus North’s Bryce Hawkins during the first round of the wrestling regional at Jeffersonville on Saturday.
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

Jeffersonville High School was a hotbed of activity as wrestlers from 21 schools converged on Johnson Arena for the Indiana High School Athletic Association regional 15.

Fifteen wrestlers between Corydon Central and North Harrison, alongside Crawford County’s Donnie Feeler, battled for positioning in Saturday’s semi-state tournament in Evansville. Six of the Panthers’ eight grapplers in attendance managed to qualify while the Cougars will send seniors Seth Kendall and Parker Rhodes.

Out of the area wrestlers in attendance, Feeler, the defending regional champion at 106 pounds, had easily the best performance on the mat. The senior started his day by pinning Madison Consolidated’s Danny Mack and Providence’s Kalob Manning in just under a minute apiece. He had an easier time in the championship round when he pinned Columbus North’s Liam Curfman in just 31 seconds to claim his second consecutive regional crown.

A week after becoming just the second sectional champion in the Cougars’ short history, Kendall began his day in the 220 class by pinning Scottsburg’s Brice Mack in 1:35. After defeating Jennings County’s Gage Gasper 12-0 in the semifinals, Kendall battled Columbus East’s Tommy Morrill in the championship round, only to fall via an 8-2 decision.

The Panthers had a trio of runner-up finishers, including the first losses of the season for senior standouts Bryson Rowley and Zane Schreck. Rowley’s day at 113 began by pinning Columbus North’s Bryce Hawkins in 49 seconds, but he had a more difficult time against West Washington’s Mason Jones, needing 4:39 to pick up another victory by pinfall. He battled in the championship against Columbus East’s Liam Krueger before losing via a major decision, 9-1.

Schreck had a similarly strong start at 120. He pinned Southwestern’s Keegan Gross in 3:01 before doing the same to Jeffersonville’s Dawson Slaughter in 4:21. He made it to the championship round to confront Columbus East’s Noah Lykins but had to settle for a runner-up finish after sustaining an injury during the match.

Kaeden Owen had a strong day at 160, starting when he pinned Brown County’s Brandon Phelps in 59 seconds. In a rematch of the previous week’s sectional semi-final bout, Owen again defeated North Harrison’s Rhodes, this time advancing to the championship round by a 5-0 decision. Owen fell to Columbus East’s Kade Law in the championship round via a 10-2 major decision.

The Panthers’ remaining semi-state qualifiers came from Seth Johnson (third in 285), Jayden Owsley (fourth in 126) and Caleb Carrol (fourth in 182) while Rhodes finished fourth in 160. All will compete Saturday at the Ford Center in Evansville beginning at 9 a.m. The competition will also include schools that advanced out of the regionals at Bloomington South, Castle and Mooresville.

Team Scores: 1. Columbus East 255.5, 2. Jeffersonville 124.5, 3. Corydon Central 77, 4. Columbus North 71, 5. Charlestown 45, 6. Jennings County 41, 7. North Harrison 25, 8. Crawford County 24, 8. Scottsburg 24, 10. Borden 22, 11. Madison Consolidated 21, 12. West Washington 19, 13. Providence 16, 14. Salem 15, 15. Seymour 13, 16. Switzerland County 12.
No Team Scores: Brown County, Eastern (Pekin), New Washington, Silver Creek, Southwestern (Hanover).
Individual Champions: 106 – Feeler (CRAW) pinned Curfman (COLN) 0:31; 113 – Krueger (COLE) dec. Rowley (CORY) 9-1; 120 – Lykins (COLE) def. Schreck (CORY) via injury 1:30; 126 – Thornton (COLN) pinned Cain (JEFF) 3:21; 132 – Anderson (COLE) dec. Carter (SCOT) 6-5; 138 – Fisher (COLE) dec. Lewellen (CHAR) 6-0; 145 – Cheatham (BOR) dec. Owen (JEFF) 9-5; 152 – Pollitt (COLE) dec. Bartle (JEFF) 6-3); 160 – Law (COLE) dec. Owen (CORY) 10-2; 170 – Phillips (CHAR) dec. Statler (COLE) 10-4; 182 – Durnil (COLE) dec. Slocum II (COLN) 4-3; 195 – Clayton (JEFF) def. Schrader (COLE) SV-1 3-1; 220 – Morrill (COLE) dec. Kendall (NH) 8-2; 285 – Hartwell (COLE) dec. Corbin (JEFF) 3-1.