Loughlin stays perfect with win over #1 Gill
LE MARS - The short-handed Cherokee Braves wrestling squad placed four of the seven grapplers competing in the Le Mars Wrestling Invitational here on Jan. 12, with undefeated and second-ranked (Class 2A) Nick Loughlin claiming the championship at 152 pounds, beating the state's top-ranked Class 3A wrestler in the process.
Loughlin won the title with a tense 3-2 win over Blaze Gill of Sioux City North, who was previously undefeated and ranked #1 in 3A. After a scoreless first period, Gill took a 1-0 lead in the second period after Loughlin let him up for an escape. Blaze then let Loughlin up in the third period to tie it at 1-1, before Loughlin managed a take-down for a 3-1 lead. Loughlin then let Gill up one more time late in the match to chart the 3-2 victory and run his season record to 20-0.
Cherokee's Tyler Lundsgaard placed fourth at 171 pounds in the rugged competition, losing 7-2 to Alex Hill of Sioux City West, pinning Keith Alons of Le Mars JV in 1:49, and losing by fall in 3:17 to Zach Dimmick of Le Mars.
Steve Veit placed fifth at 145 pounds, losing 10-2 to Luc Harm of Council Bluffs Abe Lincoln, winning by injury default over Adam Warren of Norfolk, Neb., losing by fall in 3:07 to Beau Bill of Sioux City North, and winning by fall in 27 seconds over Anthony Garrett of Sioux City West.
Patrick Loughlin also placed fifth at 160 pounds, winning 8-6 in overtime over Ben Beitelspacher of Le Mars, losing 9-0 to Ryan Rozeboom of Sergeant Bluff-Luton, losing 3-1 to Thoomas Moman of Norfolk, and winning by injury default over Darick Fuller of Sioux City North.
Also competing for the Braves in the tournament were Matt Sparks at 19, Dillon Devitt at 189, and Peter Cosgrove at 215.
S.C. North won the team title with 230.5 points, followed by Norfolk 189, SB-L 154, CBAL 153, Le Mars 128, S.C. West 115, West Lyon 89.5, Cherokee 70, and Denison-Schleswig 69.
"It was an exciting day," said Cherokee coach Jason Wood. "Steve, Pat, and Tyler battled some tough wrestlers in some very close matches to come out place winners. Nick had a very exciting day, advancing to the finals with two first-period pins (22 seconds over Justin Guy of Le Mars JV, and in 1:23 over Brayton Ringsdorff of Le Mars). Nick also beat Gill two years ago in Le Mars with a 3-1 win in overtime."