Bina second, Kings third, Delk fifth
After a letdown last week at Halstead, Trojan wrestling coaches Scott O’Hare and Kurt Bowman went back to the drawing board to figure out how to get the Trojans back on track.
Hillsboro was stumped on finishing matches and short on confidence along the lines of technique and abilities and overall basics.
Apparently, O’Hare and Bowman knew what it took, as the Trojans were able to capture sixth place Saturday in the Eureka Invitational Tournament.
Out of the 22 competing teams, Hillsboro’s 119 points left them 38 behind tournament champion Marion.
“We did a lot of drill work on some of the basic wrestling skills and tried to encourage kids to wrestle with more passion and intensity,” O’Hare said. “The overall performance of the team was much better this weekend.
“This was a very tough tournament and most weight classes had a very deep talent pool. The guys competed hard, and did a much better job at executing some of the basic wrestling skills. Most of them wrestled with a lot of heart.”
When it comes to heart, there’s no doubting 135-pound senior Matt Yoder.
It helped the fifth-ranked Yoder take home the gold medal for the Trojans first individual tournament title of the season.
Yoder outlasted Clearwater’s Jerome Youngers, 5-2, in the title match to complete the day a flawless 4-0.
Aaron Bina (160) started his day hot, winning his first three matches all in under 3:35.
Bina took down Wellsville’s Cole Yancy in 2:24, Burlington’s Brent Sturgeon in 3:35, and Erie’s Matt Haviland in 2:50, to set up a title match with Herington’s Nick Trapp.
Despite a tough fight, Bina fell on the short end of a 13-6 decision.
Darren Mueller (130) endured a bittersweet day, going 3-3.
Mueller’s day started with a tough draw against Class 3-2-1A’s third-ranked and eventual champion Ky Biddle of Central-Burden.
Biddle was able to get the pin on Mueller in 2:32, but Mueller rebounded to dispose of Central Heights Kyle Miller in 59 seconds and Flinthills Jacob Rickman in 1:23.
Mueller kept rolling, defeating Wellsville’s Curtis Kunard, 5-2.
Caney Valley’s Jordan Wunder ended Mueller’s big day with a 14-2 decision.
Because of Mueller’s five-match limit, his day ended on the flip of a coin with Marion’s Brody Carroll taking fifth without wrestling Mueller.
“As a whole, we wrestled with more intensity and aggressiveness,” O’Hare said. “We attacked on our feet a little better, and that is an area we need to continue to improve on.
“We still have a lot of work to do over the next month to prepare for the regional tournament, but I did see some big improvements with some of the things that we had been having problems with.
“Hopefully this tournament will be a good stepping stone and confidence builder for some of them. These guys need to continue to improve both mentally and physically.”
The Trojans tackle a stiff test Friday at the Cardinal Classic at Hoisington with action scheduled to start at 3 p.m.