HOISINGTON — The most gripping high school wrestling matchup of the night belonged to a pair of athletes with state titles under their belts.
The two wrestlers were squaring off for a first-place finish in the 126-pound weight class during Friday night’s Cardinal Corner Classic.
Great Bend senior Chris Burley and Hoisington junior Brandon Ball drove their match into sudden death overtime, where Ball recorded a takedown for two points for a 5-3 victory.
However, it was Great Bend that won the tournament for the third straight season.
The Panthers finished with 264.5 points, beating second-place Hoisington, which finished with 201.5.
Larned finished seventh with 71 points.
“It was a good tournament,” Great Bend head coach Norbert Muth said. “Any time you can drive nine miles and get in five matches on a Friday, it’s a good tournament, and there were some good quality matches.
“With a tournament like that, where it relies on points, you can see the team effort. Every one of our kids knew that getting the bonus points for pins was important, and they were all going for the bonus points.”
Burley, a Class 5A state champion as a sophomore in the 112 weight class, finished second in his weight class.
“It was a good match, and that kid from Hoisington is a good quality kid,” Muth said. “It was one of those matches that could have gone either way.
“I told (Burley) that he can take it one of two ways. He can either let it eat at him, or he can let it fuel his fire. (Ball) is in 3A, so our goals are still intact.”
The Panthers had five first-place finishers — Cody Liles (120), Kade Sander (138), Emerson Campbell (152), Bryce Hofmeister (160) and Jacob Crane (285).
Liles finished with a perfect score of 26, pinning all five opponents at the tournament.
Muth said he likes where his team is at early in the season.
“At this point, I thought we wrestled well overall,” Muth said. “Obviously, we need to make improvements in a lot of areas, and as a coach, you always see places to improve. Everybody had some great effort. I can’t fault them for that.”
Greg Burley, who finished third at the state tournament last season in the 132 weight class, did not compete on Friday.
“He got banged up a little bit (in practice),” Muth said. “I don’t want to get into the specifics, but we didn’t want to do anything that might give him trouble later in the season.”
Hoisington claims four
Ball, who was a 3-1A state champion last season in the 120 weight class, led four first-place finishers for Hoisington with his overtime victory.
“What a match,” Hoisington head coach Dan Schmidt said. “It got so exciting, they stopped another match on another mat next to it just to watch. They were three to four deep all around the mat.
“You know, it was one of those cross-town rivalry things. Everybody knows everybody. Everybody knew the quality of the two wrestlers. You don’t get that kind of quality wrestlers living nine miles from each other very often.”
Chance Demel (145), Hagen Hanzlick (182) and Cayton Janousek (220) each finished first in their weight classes.
“One person that got his day overshadowed by what Brandon did was Chance Demel,” Schmidt said. “He got a perfect score, meaning he pinned all five of his opponents.
“Janousek didn’t have a complete bracket, but I think he pinned all four of his matches, too. Hanzlick pinned four out of five opponents. It was a lot of fun to watch.”
Reed leads Indians
with second-place finish
Larned heavy-weight Kaiden Reed led the Indians, taking second place in the 285 weight class.
Larned had eight kids competing.
“I think they wrestled well,” Larned head coach AB Stokes said. “We had some young guys make some mistakes here and there, but they did well overall.
“Reed’s been doing a good job all year for us. This was only his second loss all year, and losing to a 5A kid from Great Bend isn’t something to be ashamed of. I mean, Great Bend has some great athletes.”
Freshman Gary Barker (126) was the next top finisher at fourth place for Larned.
“He was in the match to finish third against the kid from Concordia,” Stokes said. “He did well, especially since this was his first varsity tournament.”
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
Cardinal Corner Classic
Hoisington Activity Center
1. Great Bend, 264.5; 2. Hoisington 201.5; 3. Concordia, 125; 4. Cimarron, 120; 5. Oakley, 100; 6. Thomas More Prep Marian, 82; 7. Larned, 71; 8. Lakin, 57; 9. Holcomb, 56
Great Bend results
106 — Ryan DesLauriers, second place
113 — Arturo Sanchez, second
120 — Cody Liles, first
126 — Chris Burley, second
132 — Brett Roberts, second
138 — Kade Sander, first
145 — Cody Lytle, second
152 — Emerson Campbell, first
160 — Bryce Hofmeister, first
170 — Darion Yager, fifth
182 — Joe Lindenberger, fourth
195 — Justin Henry, third
220 — Gunar Brewer, second
285 — Jacob Crane, first
106 — Cody Lang, fifth
113 — Landon Harmon, fourth
120 — Lexi Sanders, fourth
126 — Brandon Ball, first
132 — McKale McAnulla, sixth
138 — Cameron Richter, sixth
145 — Chance Demel, first
152 — Zach Sanders, second
160 — Austin McHenry, fourth
170 — Chris Crawford, second
182 — Hagen Hanzlick, first
195 — Avery Urban, second
220 — Cayton Janousek, first
285 — Darwin Brickley, fourth
120 — James Gilbert, fifth
126 — Gary Barker, fourth
132 — Gage Stude, fifth
152 — Skylar Hoch, fifth
170 — Caulan Brooks, eighth
182 — Jake Parkins, fifth
195 — Seth Hutchins, sixth
285 — Kaiden Reed, second