Mid-Prairie crowned champions in five of the final six weight classes in the 2A sectional in Albia Saturday. But the host Blue Demon team was crowned sectional champion by 14 points because of a dominating performance in the lower weights and key victories up and down the line-up.
Albia scored 199 points sending seven wrestlers into next week’s district tournament in Mount Pleasant. Mid-Prairie advanced six with five champions and a runner-up.
Carter Anderson at 106, Brodie Conner at 113 and Stephen Conley at 152 were champions for Albia. Dawson Bonnett at 120, Logan Carter at 126, Justin Keller at 132 and Paul Ballard at 220 were runners-up.
“Headed into the week, we scaled back a lot of what we normally do in the practice room to give the kids an opportunity to not only heal their bodies, but also their minds,” said Coach Dave Wenger. “When you get to this point in the year, many times winning matches just boils down to whose body is healthier and who has the right mindset. That was our main focus on the week and we will continue to work on it moving forward as the stakes get even higher.”
By winning IHSAA 2A Sectional 9, the Blue Demons have qualified for Regional Duals. They will face (#14) West Burlington-Notre Dame in Davenport on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. The winner of that dual will go on to face Davenport Assumption in the regional championship for a berth in the State Duals.
Two-time state qualifier, junior Carter Anderson (40-1) spent a total of 56 seconds on the mat. Teams very much interested in avoiding the second ranked wrestler, handed him two byes. He pinned Kade Martin (20-12), Davis County in :56.
At 113 Brodie Conner (40-6) beat Brogan West (7-13), Davis County 15-3 then pinned Mid-Prairie’s Mose Yoder in 3:24 after racking up a 10-0 lead.
Dawson Bonnett (32-11) was favored to win the 120-pound bracket and breezed to the title round with a 2:37 pin over Caydn Hall (26-11) of EBF, but was up set 2-1 by Davis County Dawson Townsend (21-2) in one of the best championship matches of the sectional.
At 126, Logan Carter pinned Brecken Courtright (8-18) of Fairfield to earn the finals, but lost a major decision upset to Davis County freshman Deken Sorensen (13-11). Sorensen scored a pair of first period takedowns and three-point nearfalls in the second and third to earn the win. Carter came back with a dominant performance over Tyler Schutt (15-14) of EBF with a pin in 3:44.
Davis County continued to frustrate Albia when Mustang junior Taylor Huggins (21-4) beat Albia sophomore Justin Keller (33-4) at 132. Keller had beaten Nathan Curry (11-13), EBF by pin in 3:02 to make the finals. Huggins scored a takedown in the first period, a reverse and three-point nearfall in the second period before reversing Keller to open the third. Then the Albia wrestler stormed back scoring a reverse and three-point nearfall, nearly scoring a pin before Huggins sealed the victory with an escape and a takedown.
Keller came back on fire in the wrestleback to pin Zach Westercamp (6-8), Fairfield in 3:28 to win second.
At 138 freshman Bode Thompson (4-18) earned fifth place points, losing to Jayden Ball (7-15), Davis County and earning two byes.
Junior Eli Zanoni (34-11) lost a heartbreaking 6-4 decision to senior Payton Cline (17-11), Fairfield and was denied a wrestleback at 145. Zanoni fell behind 4-2 to Cline going into the third period, but tied the score at 4-4. Cline managed a late takedown and fought off a last second shot by Zanoni. Zanoni pinned Alex Garman (12-23), EBF to win third. Defending state champion Matthew Lewis (29-4) won the title. Zanoni placed third and scored 14 team points.
Albia senior Stephen Conley (38-5) won the 145-pound title scoring a 10-0 major decision over Austin Payne (17-15) before scoring a solid 3-1 win over Fairfield’s Logan Adam (13-19). Conley led 3-0 before giving up a third period escape.
Lance Helm (17-11), one of Albia’s up and coming freshmen, lost to Kyler Ricard by pin in 4:55, then lost a 10-4 decision to Sam Hash (1-0), Centerville, to place fourth and provide Albia with nine important team points.
Sophmore Devin Kimball (14-16) placed third, scoring 13 team points. He topped Carter Moore (4-15) 2-1 before falling to Lucas Henderson (33-7), Centerville by pin in :46. He came back to pin Kaden Meader (22-20), Mid-Prairie in 4:39, but lost by pin to Blake Jager (23-10) of EBF in 3:45.
Joe Myers (7-7) placed 5th and scored six team points, losing to Clayton Young (14-14) by pin in 3:10.
Carter Kamerick (6-10) added six team points with a fifth place finish at 195. He lost by fall to Arya Patel (3-28) Fairfield..
Freshman Paul Ballard (30-5) finished second, scoring a pin in 1:01 over Cruize Flanders (16-27), Centerville. He met eventual champion Josh Wallington (34-3), a Mid-Prairie senior and was pinned in 1:22. Ballard got a wrestleback and pinned Cesar Smithburg (21-11), Fairfield in 1:24 to advance to districts.
First Round District matchups on Saturday @Mt. Pleasant
“We didn’t necessarily have our best day,” said Coach Wenger. “Several individual matches flipped from previous results in the season and that’s sometimes hard to take. Fortunately it didn’t cost us a chance to move on to next week, but it certainly sets up some interesting scenarios for districts, where we will look to flip those matches back in our favor. It certainly could be the difference in moving on to yet another week.”
106-Carter Anderson (40-1) v Carter West (Notre Dame/W.B./Danville) 35-7
113-Brodie Conner (30-6) v Peyton Pilgrim (Assumption, Davenport) 8-8
120-Dawson Bonnett (32-11) v Blaine Frazier of Notre Dame/W.B./Danville (41-3)
126-Logan Carter (21-6) v Tate O`Shea (Keokuk) 28-1
132-Justin Keller (35-5) v Alejandro Morales (Keokuk) 22-12
152-Stephen Conley (38-5) v Grifen Molle (Notre Dame/W.B./Danville) 43-1
220-Paul Ballard (30-5) v Sam Carrasco (Mount Pleasant) 22-12
1. Albia 199
2. Mid-Prairie/Wellman 185
3. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 168
4. Fairfield 153
5. Centerville 142
6. Davis County 129