Three Highland Huskies wrestlers advanced to their respective first-place matches to lead Highland to a one-point team in Saturday’s SEISC tournament at Highland High School, their first conference tournament victory in more than 20 years.
“Every single match — win or lose — my kids fought their butts off to the final whistle,” Highland coach Derick Ball said. “That’s what won us the tournament.”
Highland took the top spot with 133 points, just ahead of Wapello, which took second place with 132 points. Notre Dame – Burlington took third place with 120 points. Highland did that with wrestlers at just nine of 14 weights.
Highland’s Brady Hahn (31-3) won his first-place match in the 145-pound bracket with a dominant 14-2 major decision over Cael Baker of Pekin. The win showcased his progress this season. It was the third time they had wrestled this season, with Baker winning the first match between the two. Hahn narrowly won the second and now dominated Baker in the third meet up.
“He knew we needed bonus points and he broke that kid,” Ball said.
Cory Stewart (28-9) advanced to the 152-pound final, where he lost a 7-3 decision to Cade Chance of Cardinal High School.
Geoff Streb (14-17) was leading 4-2 in the second period of the 132-pound final when he was pinned by Christopher Ewart of Wapello at the 3:23 mark of the match. Streb pulled an upset in the semifinal, using a throw to pin Sam West from Notre Dame-West Burlington, who came in as the No. 2 seed.
Four Huskies placed fourth in the tournament: Caedon Harbison (15-12) at 138 pounds, Dan Burton (20-9) at 160 pounds, Cael Yeggy (20-16) at 182 pounds, and Bradley Rodgers (8-12) at 220 pounds.
Jordan Sosa (17-20) and Brogan Carolan (7-12) each took fifth place in the 170-pound and 126-pound brackets respectively.
Lone Tree High School had only three wrestlers in the tournament, but Tim Mills (21-13) advanced to the 195-pound final match, where he was pinned by Mason Juhl of Pekin at the 2:23 mark of the match.
Bryce Thompson (31-5) took third place, pinning Chase Witte of Wapello at the 4:47 mark of the match.
Will Hotz lost a 9-1 major decision to Jordan Johnson of New London in the first consolation round.