Times Sports Editor
The Bloomington South Panthers have an enviable history as a wrestling program and added another chapter with its 34th sectional team championship on Saturday at the Northview Sectional. The Panthers have the fourth most in state history behind Evansville Mater Dei (40), Bellmont (36) and New Castle (36).
The Panthers pulled away with 270 points to top the host Northview Knights' score of 192. Terre Haute South was third with 174 points followed by Edgewood in the nine-team sectional.
The Knights repeated as the sectional runner-ups and fared well in advancing eight competitors to the Bloomington South Regional on Saturday while also crowning two champions. Northview advanced five to the championship match in all.
"I think it was a fairly good performance, it was kind of what we were expecting," coach Dan Mikesell said of the runner-up team finish. "I was hoping we could maybe pull the unexpected. We did some things right in the semifinals to kind of set ourselves up, but we didn't get a lot of help in the semifinals from other teams and we kind of laid an egg in the first two matches of the finals. One of the matches I think we should have won because we'd beaten the kid before, and the other we got the lead, but couldn't quite hold on. I was disappointed in those two matches."
Austin Bell (21-5) was on of the Knights' two champions and he followed up a third-place last season during his sophomore year by taking the championship with a 5-3 decision against Sullivan's Colt Thompson.
Bell got a first period take down for a 2-0 lead and rode a 2-1 advantage into the third period where he got an extra point to start the final period. Leading by a 3-1 score, Bell was able to add a takedown midway through the final two minutes and rode out the victory over Thompson.
"It feels pretty good, it's my first one," Bell said of his sectional title. "I just wanted to keep the pressure on him and try to score some more points. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but I won the match. The hard work is paying off and I think I'm starting to hit my peak."
"I was real proud of Austin Bell, that's the third time he's beaten (Colt Thompson), three times in a row and that can be hard to do. I thought he wrestled the kid real smart, took it to him and was real aggressive," Mikesell said of his 130-pounder.
Senior Beau Judd already knew what that victorious feeling felt like as he claimed a 285-pound title last season. However, he added to his accomplishments by putting Edgewood's Brad Settle on his back in just 47 seconds for the championship fall.
"It feels great doing it again," Judd said following his title bout pin. "All the hard work is paying off finally, it feels great.
Judd pinned West Vigo's Nick Brownfield in the semifinal to reach the championship before making short work of Settle in the final to improve to 29-10 this season.
"Beau (Judd's) toughest competition was in the semifinals against the kid from West Vigo, he kind of got a raw deal on the seeds, but Beau made the most of it," Mikesell said. "Then he pinned the kid in the finals and that was a pretty exciting way to end the day.
"It's special to repeat as a senior, obviously people were gunning for him," Mikesell added. "I'm pretty proud of him, he's worked really hard, we're going to miss him next year, but we've got another week to get ready and hopefully we'll go down to regionals and have a good first round and move on to semistate."
At 215 pounds, unbeaten David Knight of Terre Haute North (32-0) and Northview's Aaron See (34-4) squared off in another doozy that was a rematch of an earlier season 4-2 victory by the 20th-ranked Patriot grappler.
In the sectional title bout, See fell behind 2-0 to start the match, but rallied back to claim a 3-2 lead with 15 seconds left in the opening period. See's takedown and escape sparked him into a 4-2 lead in period number two. However, Knight was able to tie the match with a takedown before See broke free for a 5-4 advantage. The Patriot senior didn't let let up as he gained a two-point takedown with 4.4 seconds left in the second period for a 6-5 lead.
See wasn't able to even the slate over the final minutes as he eventually dropped an 8-5 thriller.
"I thought Aaron (See) came back and wrestled a good match at 215 against a good senior with experience like David (Knight) has, (Aaron) just made one mistake and it costs ya," Mikesell said.
In Northview's first title bout, Caleb Nicosin (27-13) faced Edgewood's Tyler Bryant, a wrestler he had defeated 9-2 earlier in the season. However, this time around it was Bryant, who gained a third period escape point with just 1:05 left to claim a 1-0 victory at 112 pounds.
At 119 pounds, Northview's Skyler Hall (30-10) had revenge on his mind against Owen Valley freshman Devin Broukal (29-1), a wrestler who had pinned the Knights' senior at the WIC Meet last weekend.
Northview's Brody Girton (24-17) will advance to the regional after a fourth-place finish at 152 pounds, Larry Shaffer (33-9) lost a tough 3-2 semifinal decision against the eventual champion, Clayton Fiddler of Bloomington South. Shaffer then bounced back to claim third and will move on to next weekend.
Brandon Pleake (20-5) also advances after a hard fought third-place at 189 pounds.
Second-ranked Jacob Boomsma of Bloomington South won the 103-pound title after winning at 112 last season.
Dru Spires (25-15) of Bloomington South won the 125-pound championship over Owen Valley's William Newforth and Edgewood's AJ Kerr took the 135-pound title over the Panthers' Seth Seitzinger.
Terre Haute South's PJ Montgomery (31-0) won at 140 pounds against the Panthers' Spencer Boyd (35-2) and Ben Farmer claimed the 145-pound title after winning at 152 last season. The Braves' Tsali Lough moved up after taking the 145-pound class last year and won the 152-pound title on Saturday. Jeff Spicer (39-3) of Edgewood won at 171 and Garrett Goldman of Bloomington North won at 189.
The Bloomington South Regional begins on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Northview Wrestling Sectional
Bloomington South 270, Northview 192, Terre Haute South 174, Edgewood 157, Owen Valley 144, Terre Haute North 135, West Vigo 99, Sullivan 89, Bloomington North 78.5
Top-four advance to Bloomington South Regional
1. Jacob Boomsma (BS) wins by fall over Seth Clawson (EW), 0:21; 3. Joseph Gilham (SL) wins by dec. over Royce Low (THN), 2-0; 5. Brendan Pratt (BN) wins by tech. fall over Tyan Uppal (THS), 18-2
1. Tyler Bryant (EW) wins by dec. over Caleb Nicosin (Nv), 1-0; 3. Samuel Summitt (BN) wins by dec. over Zack Runyon (BS), 4-3; 5. Nathaniel Arguello (THS) wins by dec. over Mark Ella (THN), 7-5
1. Devin Broukal (OV) wins by fall over Skyler Hall (Nv), 3:58; 3. Dakota Case (THS) wins by fall over Nathaniel Sullivan (SL), 1:55; 5. Jackson Snyder (EW) wins by dec. over Ross Abram (BS), 4-2
1. Dru Spires (BS) wins by fall over William Newforth (OV), 4:49; 3. Eric Ella (THN) wins by dec. over Dyaln Crusenberry (EW), 6-4; 5. Renner Winston (THS) wins by tech. fall over Trey Boor (Nv), 19-3
1. Austin Bell (Nv) wins by dec. over Colt Thompson (SL), 5-3; 3. Jordan Castillo (BS) wins by forfeit over Dalton Kemp (OV); 5. Cody Helms (THS) wins by maj. dec. over Adrian Alexander (THN), 10-2
1. AJ Kerr (EW) wins by dec. over Seth Seitzinger (BS), 7-5; 3. David Padan (THS) wins by dec. over Robert Stewart (OV), 14-9; 5. Jacob Creasey (WV) wins by dec. over Brenden Longfellow (THN), 5-3
1. PJ Montgomery (THS) wins by dec. over Spencer Boyd (BS), 4-3; 3. Jedidiah Page (THN) wins by dec. over Jack Petry (OV), 2-1; 5. Baylor Girton (Nv) wins by fall over Riley Witvoet (SL), 4:48
1. Ben Farmer (BS) wins by dec. over Nathaniel Page (THN) 6-2; 3. Jedidiah Cox (SL) wins by maj. dec. over Duane Deerwester (THS) 15-2; 5. Ryan Cowden (EW) wins by fall over Daniel Newforth (OV), 3:52
1. Tsali Lough (THS) wins by dec. over Sam Horrocks (BS), 3-1; 3. Dustin Query (THN) wins by dec. over Brody Girton (Nv), 7-5; 5. Dominique Davis (BN) wins by fall over Jonnathon Sullivan (SL), 2:40
1. Clayton Fiddler (BS) wins by dec. over Ryan Roach (WV), 13-5; 3. Larry Shaffer (Nv) wins by forfeit over Evan White (OV); 5. Damien Chambers (EW) wins by dec. over Conner McMasters (BN), 3-0
1. Jeff Spicer (EW) wins by dec. over Benjamin Bird (WV), 3-1; 3. Joey Todd (BS) wins by dec. over Sam Cook (THS), 3-2; 5. Nathan Duregger (Nv) wins by maj. dec. over Ethan Yates (OV), 16-6
1. Garrett Goldman (BN) wins by fall over Colton Bridges (BS), 1:15; 3. Brandon Pleake (Nv) wins by dec. over Blake Ray (WV), 7-1; 5. John Hathaway (SL) wins by forfeit over Chase Behrman (OV)
1. David Knight (THN) wins by dec. over Aaron See (Nv), 8-5; 3. Colton Dixon (BS) wins by fall over Mike Hill (OV), 3:17; 5. Dustin Montgomery (WV) wins by fall over Robert Bennett (THS), 0:39
1. Beau Judd (Nv) wins by fall over Brad Settle (EW), 0:47; 3. Nicholas Brownfield (WV) wins by fall over Joel Blakely (THS), 0:59; 5. Ghassan Dajani (BS) wins by forfeit over Corbin Knapp (OV)