By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN – Oberlin may have won the team title, but Scott City did its best to make some noise on day two of the Class 3-2-1A regional wrestling tournament in Lakin.
The Beavers won two individual titles, placed second once, and won three third-place matches Saturday to qualify six wrestlers to state.
As a team, Scott City finished third, the same spot they were in after Friday’s early rounds.
But the Beavers made the biggest move atop the leaderboard on Saturday, scoring 50 points, thanks in large part to backside matches.
Oberlin won the tournament with 134 points, with Goodland second at 133. Scott City finished third with 130.5 points.
Clay Mulligan (132) and Luke Hayes (285) of Scott City both defended their titles and will look for their second state championship on Thursday and Friday in Hays.
Teammate Alex Kough (120) dropped a 3-2 decision to John Risewick of Norton, an opponent he had handled easily earlier this season.
Beavers winning their third-place matches after going through backside matches earlier in the afternoon were James Jurgens (113), Manny Turner (170) and Michael McEachern (220).
Holcomb made the best of its lone entry in the final round. Keegan Amos won the 113-pound title with a 7-4 decision over John Solko of Rawlins County.
Lakin’s lone entry to state will be Montana Fuller, who placed third at 285 with a 1-0 decision over Dustin Zahn of Quinter.
Elkhart’s Seph Iman finished fourth at 145 to round out the area’s qualifiers.
Mulligan, now a four-time state qualifier, is 36-2 heading into state and a state champ last year when he wrestled at the 112 weight, 20 pounds lighter. He took a 2-0 first-period lead before pinning Brent Juenemann of Oberlin at 2:54.
“I knew I had to go out there and wrestle smart," Mulligan said. "The only time I get beat is when I go to my back. As long as I keep it close and don’t go to my back, I know I can score from pretty much any position and rack up a lot of points."
Mulligan said he wrestled smart and took control of Juenemann’s leg, anticipated him turning back into him and was ready with a cradle for the pin.
Mulligan said he cut weight a lot to get to 112 last year, but he feels at home with his current weight class.
“I feel as long I go there and wrestle my match and not let anyone take my game away from me, I can wrestle with anyone and beat anyone,” Mulligan said.
Hayes, now 32-0, was state champion at 215 in 2011. He recorded his fourth pin of the tournament late in the opening period over Bradey Chard of Plainville.
Making quick work of opponents is a choice he made when he thought he wasn’t in good enough shape to go long matches, Hayes said. He worked on being quicker and stronger to put away opponents early, and it’s paid off. Now he has one more meet to prove something.
“I feel a lot of the pressure right now because I’m undefeated and the defending state champion,” Hayes said. “It feels really good, but at the same time, it’s a lot of pressure.”
For Kough, losing for only the third time this season was bitter-sweet. Having qualified for state all three years, he is looking for a better showing than what he thinks he gave in his 3-2 loss to Risewick, who himself is a state champion and runner-up.
“I beat him at Norton, though,” Kough said. “You have to get wrist control and keep your hips under you. I lost my hips. I didn’t wrestle my best. I’ll be more determined at state.”
Jurgens injured a shoulder last week at the league (GWAC) meet, which hindered him making the finals this week, one of his goals. Still, he said, qualifying as a freshman feels pretty good.
Amos, in winning the 113 title, continued his strong late-season run. Last year he failed to make weight going into the regional title match, so this year was a bit of redemption.
He took a 7-2 lead at the end of the first period and rode out the rest of the match for the 7-4 win.
“My goal was to have a good, strong match, take him down and not let him score any points on me,” the junior said. “I wanted to wrestle smart the whole time. I think I did that pretty well.”
Now 20-5, he looks to make a strong showing at state.
Teammate Jose Munoz missed qualifying for state when he lost a 5-4 quarterfinal match in overtime.
Turner’s road to state took extra periods. He won a quarterfinal match on Friday in triple overtime, then he won a consolation semifinal in overtime before getting a takedown with six seconds left in overtime again in his third-place match.
“I’ve been working at it since eighth grade,” the senior said after his semifinal win. “He stunned me with his aggressiveness and I couldn’t think of what to do. I just came out with something. I thought, Holy cow, did I just do this?”
Dylan Schumacher of Hays-TMP was voted outstanding regional wrestler of the year. Winning the title at 126, he is now a four-time regional champion and looks to win his fourth straight state title.
With a career record of 129-5, the senior has signed to wrestle next year with the University of Wyoming.
Eric Albers of Oakley kept his season record perfect at 33-0 by winning the 160-pound title.
Sublette’s two wrestlers Saturday fell in the consolation rounds. Andy Davis lost to Jurgens in the match to get to state at 113, and at 160, Octavio Arredondo fell in the same round.
“They wrestled their tails off. We lost to two really good kids. But they’re still young and we’re looking forward,” Larks coach Matt Fox said.
Winning five of the six finals matches spoke well of the Beavers, coach John Lippelmann said. And Bryce Fairleigh and Lane Hayes both lost in the consolation quarterfinals, so things could have gone even better for Scott City.
“We’re on a mission right now,” Mulligan said. “Luke, Kough and I have all been talking about how we’re our three big guns for the state tournament. We’ve got to get these wins and bonus points, too.”
“I feel great about our chances,” Hayes said. “The six people that we have, we can really do some damage with them.”
Every match at state is going to be important, Lippelmann added.
“One of the better teams is going to win it,” he said. “I like to think we’ve got a shot at it.”
1 Oberlin-Decatur Community, 128. 2 Goodland, 112. 3. Scott Community, 130.5. 4. Hoxie, 121. 5 Norton, 114.5. 6. Oakley, 105.5. 7. Phillipsburg, 84. 8 St. Francis 81. 9. Plainville 74.5. 10 Ellis 67.5. 11 Atwood-Rawlins County, 53. 12 Hays-TMP 52.5. 13 Holcomb, 38.5. 14 Wichita County, 29. 15 Cimarron, Lakin, 14. 17 Sublette, 21. 18 Stockton, 18. 19 South Gray, 15. 20 Elkhart, 13. 21 Quinter, 11. 22 Hill City, 10. 23. Meade, 3. 24. Trego Community, 1.
106 – 1. Branson Addington, Norton, over Macrae Migchelbrink, Rawlins Co., Dec 5-2; 3. Lane Hoffman, St. Francis, over Troy Juenemann, Oberlin, Dec 7-0.
113 – 1. Keegan Amos, Holcomb, over John Solko, Rawlins Co, Dec 7-4; 3. James Jurgens, SC, over Casey Keller, St. Francis, Maj Dec 13-0.
120 – 1. John Risewick, Norton, over Alex Kough, SC, Dec 3-2; 3. Austin Avelar, Goodland, over Taylro Murphy, Oakley, Dec 11-5.
126 – 1. Dylan Schumacher, TMP, over Dayton Dreher, Oberlin, Fall 1:53; 3. Alec Hager, Norton, over Trevor, Axelson, Plainville, Dec 7-0.
132 – 1. Clay Mulligan, SC, over Brent Juenemann, Oberlin, Fall 2:54; 3. Caleb Studley, Phillipsburg, over Drew Jones, Hoxie, Dec 6-0.
138 – 1. Calvin Oches, Hoxie, over Michael Dusin, Phillipsburg, Fall 3:32; 3. Levi Hefner, Oakley, over Mikey Leibbrandt, St. Francis, Dec 4-3.
145 – 1. Kade Brown, Oberlin, over Gage Younger, Ellis, Fall 5:47; 3. Ross Coomes, Phillipsburg, over Seph Iman, Elkhart, Dec 5-3.
152 – 1. Dalton Snyder, Hoxie, over John Peden, Goodland, Dec 7-0; 3. Dylan Wiesner, Plainville, over Dylan Wolaver, St. Francis, Default injury.
160 – 1. Eric Albers, Oakley, over Matt Schneider, Phillipsburg, Fall 5:28; 3. Steven Yergey-Dible, Hoxie, over Cole Renner, Norton, Fall 2:50.
170 – 1. Rilery Hunsicker, Ellis, over Jason Berkgren, Oakley, Fall 1:50; 3. Manny Turner, SC, over Nathan Thyfault, Plainville.
182 – 1. Tyler Gastineau, Goodland, over Scott Heimann, TMP, Fall 3:58; 3. Brandon Salmans, Hoxie, over Zach Gienger, St. Francis, Fall :55.
195 – 1. Laine Herl, Goodland, over Jeff Shaw, Oberlin, Fall 2:51; 3. Connor Winters, Stockton, over Cody Faulkender, Oakley, Fall 2:11.
220 – 1. Riley Oharah, Goodland, over Channing Fortin, Oberlin, Fall 1:323; 3. Michael McEachern, SC, over Kane Washington, Hoxie, OT Dec 3-1.
285 – 1. Luke Hayes, SC, over Bradey Chard, Plainville, Fall 1:54; 3. Montana Fuller, Lakin, over Dustin Zahn, Quinter, Dec 1-0.