Knocking on the door for Tonganoxie wrestling
Team just misses runner-up as team at Eudora
EUDORA — The Tonganoxie High wrestling team continued its impressive start to the season with a strong showing at the Eudora Tournament of Champions on Friday and Saturday.
With seven of its 11 wrestlers placing in the top four and medaling, THS placed third with 228 points on Saturday behind Lousiburg (243) and Emporia (257.5).
“They wrestled with maturity,” coach Ross Starcher said. “They wrestled really good all weekend.”
Even so, THS had the potential to place even higher. Sophomore Korbin Riedel and juniors Gad Huseman, Patterson Starcher and Devin Duncan all reached the championship match in their respective weight classes, but each wrestler came up short in the final match and placed second.
A first-place finish was awarded with 38.5 points, as opposed to 32.5 points for a second-place finish. If three Tonganoxie wrestlers had won their first-splace matches, it could have passed Lousiburg and finished in second place.
“We wrestled some close matches in the finals and lost a few by a point,” Starcher said. “We just have to finish.”
Chance Rodriquez of Holcomb overwhelmed Duncan in the finals, but Riedel, Huseman and Starcher each lost very close championship matches.
Huseman held a 3-1 lead in the third period but ultimately lost 5-4 after being taken down with 26 seconds remaining. Patterson was tied 2-2 before being pinned with 12 second left in the second round, and Riedel his finals match 2-1.
“It puts a little bit of a damper on it (the weekend),” Starcher said. “But they still wrestled really well all weekend. We have a lot to build on. It’s early in the year, and the last one is the only one that matters.”
But Starcher was still very pleased with the way his team wrestled during the weekend.
Outside of the four wrestlers that placed second, the Chieftains also had good showings from their three other medalists.
Juniors Caden Searcy and Justin Hand both placed third, while junior Aidan McClellan placed fourth. None of the seven Tonganoxie medalists are seniors, and it only has one senior that wrestling on varsity, which has given Starcher optimism for their potential growth this year and beyond.
“It’s great to have all those guys in there and have that success this year,” Starcher said. “That’s exciting to see. We just want to keep building so that next year they’re phenomenal.”
Tonganoxie will travel Thursday to the Carbondale area and Santa Fe Trail High School for a double dual against Santa Fe Trail and Ottawa.
THS is home for its own tournament Saturday, the Randy Starcher Memorial Invitational.
The meet starts at 9 a.m. in the THS gymnasium and is the final competition of 2016 for THS.
Other teams competing are Atchison, Bishop Ward, Blue Valley Southwest, Burlington, Chanute, Concordia, Doniphan West (Highland), Eudora, Frontenac, Harmon, Jayhawk-Linn (Mound City), Louisburg, Paola, Prairie View, Schlagle, Shawnee Heights, Topeka West and Wyandotte.
Emporia 257.5, Louisburg 243, Tonganoxie 228, Lawrence 202.5, Buhler 196.5, Sprig Hill 191, DeSoto 164.5, Holcomb 149.5, KC Schlagle 147.5, Shawnee Mission East 144.5, Effingham-ACCHS 141, St. Thomas Aquinas 140, Ottawa 124.5, Lansing 108, Eudora 96, Wellsville 91.5, Shawnee Mission South 84, Fort Scott 77, St. Marys 65.5, KC Piper 35, KC Summer 27.
(tournament record, overall record in parentheses)
113 — 16. Blake Sparks (0-2, n/a)
120 — 4. Aidan McClellan (5-2, 8-3)
132 — 2. Korbin Riedel (5-1, 10-1)
138 — 2. Gad Huseman (6-1, 12-1)
145 — 2. Patterson Starcher (5-1,9-1)
152 — 3. Caden Searcy (5-1, 7-2)
160 — 3. Justin Hand (5-1,9-2)
170 — 2. Devin Duncan (5-1, 9-1)
182 — 14. Cody Knight (0-2, n/a)
195 — 8. Kolton McCrary (0-6, 4-9)
220 — 16. Jacob Miller (0-3, n/a)