Cadets top Greencastle, South Putnam for WCC crown
CLOVERDALE -- From the beginning it was clear that the Saturday's West Central Conference wrestling tournament was going to be a three-horse race.
Cascade, Greencastle and South Putnam had the highest amount of seeded wrestlers and by the time the championship rounds started, the gap between the three schools was less than ten points.
By the end of the day, the Cadets took home four individual champions and enough second-, third- and fourth-place finishes to edge the Tiger Cubs and Eagles 184-176-170.50.
Monrovia finished fourth with a team score of 109, while North Putnam took fifth with a score of 91, followed by Cloverdale's 75.
Both Cascade and Greencastle had four champions, while South Putnam had three winners on the day. Monrovia, North Putnam and Cloverdale each had a WCC champion as well.
Greencastle was hampered in its pursuit by having no third-place finishers, missing out on crucial points with four fourth-place finishes.
Nick Pingleton picked up the first title for Greencastle at 132 pounds, followed by Riley Boswell at 145, Aaron Langdon at 160 and Carter Lewis at 170.
GHS coach Matt McComish left prior speaking to the Banner Graphic.
South Putnam had three individual champions, all in a row, starting with Tanner Thompson at 182 pounds and continuing to Rudy Harris at 195 and Jacob Williams at 220.
Without wrestlers in four weight classes, however, the Eagles could not find enough points to challenge Cascade for the top spot.
South Putnam head coach Josh Hendrickson said that the squad now had the sectionals to look forward to.
"We definitely have some things to work on with the sectionals being our next meet but as a team we wrestled well," Hendrickson said. "We had a couple of big matches that did not go our way but we've got rematches coming up at the sectional to look forward to."
Hendrickson the team will work hard in preparation for the postseason.
"For the sectional, it's back to the basics," he said. "We'll work on aggressiveness, fundamentals of wrestling, but also going back and having some fun. Hopefully we'll have some guys that make runs in the tournament. It's an exciting time of the year."
North Putnam took fifth place, led by 120-pound champion Dean Kleiber and five third-place finishes.
NPHS head coach Bucky Kramer said the squad showed off the work it had put in over the season.
"In terms of where we started from (at) the beginning of the year, we've made drastic improvements as individuals," Kramer said. "Mathematically (with vacant weight classes), the highest team score we could have been was third but we're happy with where we stand and with the performances of the kids.
"Dean Kleiber comes out a champion for the first time. Trae Straziscar, Jordan Sarr, Caleb Winnings, Austin Buchanan-Murray and Eric Davis all came out with third place finishes.
"All of those kids have made a ton of improvement and came out today doing good things. We're proud of the kids."
Kramer said his team is also beginning to eye-up the postseason.
"We're looking forward to working over the next couple of weeks and advancing as many of those kids out of the sectional as we can," Kramer added. "We have South Vermillion Wednesday and Turkey Run next Tuesday. We'll go through drills and conditioning this week, try not to over-teach and keep them wrestling for the next two weeks."
Cloverdale had its own champion in Jacob Waycott at 126 pounds.
Clovers head coach Steve Livingston said that, even with the depleted numbers, the squad put in a good showing.
"The team score was no surprise really," Livingston said. "We only filled six of the weight classes today and with fewer teams, we weren't expecting a high team finish.
"We had two forfeits that came up in the morning, which might have made a difference in the team score, but overall the kids that were here today wrestled well."
Livingston said the small roster hasn't stopped the squad from getting better.
"We continue to improve individually," Livingston added. "I was proud of Max Secrest getting into the finals because he did not fare so well at the county meet. It was impressive for him, then, to get into the finals.
"Jacob Waycott had a great day and won his weight. Wade Warren was going to have a tough match with Joe Waters but came back and won third.
"We expected that from our guys. Several of them lost tough matches but those guys came back and got wins to finish the tournament.
"The six kids wrestled at or above their abilities today and we're proud of them and their efforts."
Livingston said that the squad has one final dual before the sectional and it was the kind of match that would be a great lead into the final weeks of the season.
"We've got Southmont on Tuesday, which we encourage everyone to come out and watch before we look toward the sectional," Livingston said. "Southmont's got a tough team and it's a lot on our plate for the last dual meet of the season but we'll get ready for that Monday.
"After that, we'll start preparing individuals for the sectional. We're a small school with holes in the lineup, so we're not worried about winning a team sectional title.
"We'll work with the kids to improve their chances of winning a sectional title," Livingston added. "With a week and a half, we'll try to get everyone healthy so that we get as many guys to the sectional as possible and go one week at a time.
"We do not need to be a champion to advance, so we're looking to survive one weekend at a time starting Wednesday."
WCC Wrestling Tournament
1. Cascade 184, 2. Greencastle 176, 3. South Putnam 170.50, 4. Monrovia 109, 5. North Putnam 91, 6. Cloverdale 75
106 -- Charles Capps (M)
113 -- Hunter Fox (CA)
120 -- Dean Kleiber (NP)
126 -- Jacob Waycott (CL)
132 -- Nick Pingleton (G)
138 -- Zach Batts (CA)
145 -- Riley Boswell (G)
152 -- Casey Fox (CA)
160 -- Aaron Langdon (G)
170 -- Carter Lewis (G)
182 -- Tanner Thompson (SP)
195 -- Rudy Harris (SP)
220 -- Jacob Williams (SP)
285 -- Lukas Stoutenour (CA)