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9 postseason lives on the line at wrestling semistate

By Jim Gordillo, 02/12/21, 5:15PM EST


The bus ride will be only half as long but the route to state remains as tough as ever.

This year’s semistate wrestling meet has been moved out of the Ford Center in Evansville to Jasper High School for financial reasons with fan attendance limited to just two tickets per participant.

Action starts at 10 a.m. and it will take the usual two wins to advance to the state finals.

Here’s a look at how the brackets stack up for the nine county wrestlers left in the running. The group includes three state qualifiers from last year, Edgewood’s Cash Turner and Bloomington South’s Delaney and Tristan Ruhlman.

113: South sophomore Miles Libby (17-8) is matched up with Corydon Central junior Bryson Rowley (34-3), who was a regional runner-up to No. 8 Noah Lykins of Columbus East. Freshman Reece Courtney of Center Grove, ranked seventh, is the likely second-round foe. He pinned Libby in early December.

126: Sophomore Cash Turner of Edgewood (29-3), ranked 21st, opens with senior Jacob Pierre of Mater Dei (17-7). A win likely earns a tough matchup with second-ranked Brady Ison (19-1), a freshman from Brownsburg whose first loss (2-1 decision) came to No. 3 Cheaney Schoeff of Avon (29-4) in the regional final. Schoeff was second in the state at 113 last year. The other lower bracket regional champ is sophomore Keegan Williams of Evansville Memorial (30-1).

132: South senior Cade Meier (22-3), a state qualifier in 2019, returns to semistate after a year away, drawing senior Jacob Wolf of Switzerland County (26-4), a semistate qualifier last year. Two semistate newbies battle in the other opener. Regional champ Reece Fisher of Columbus East, who lost to Meier 11-1 in December, is in the same foursome with No. 4 Kysen Montgomery, who dropped a 5-2 OT decision to No. 8 Ben Dalton of Monrovia (34-0) in the regional final.

Dalton, a two-time state medalist, is in the upper most bracket with No. 13 Edgewood senior Lane Deckard (29-3), who opens with Jakob Lewellen of Charlestown (30-4). Whoever escapes that foursome likely gets No. 1 Alec Freeman of Mater Dei (22-0), a medalist at 120 last year.

138: South sophomore Delaney Ruhlman (24-1), ranked second, drew All-Name Team member Diesel Duncan, a senior from Ben Davis (18-3). No. 20 Colin Knox of Charlestown is the likely second round foe. The other regional champ in the upper bracket is No. 3 Blake Boarman of Mater Dei (24-1), a three-time state medalist and defending state champ, who lost to Ruhlman 11-3 in mid-December.

145: No. 22 junior Aiden Reynolds of Bloomington South (19-5) has a tough draw in No. 8 junior Ashton Hayhurst of Mater Dei (13-3). Winner likely gets No. 3 Hayden Watson of Center Grove (26-3), who tech-falled Reynolds in early December and was third at 120 last year.

152: Junior Chase Hostetler of Bloomington North (19-4) makes his first trip and opens with senior Scott Fitts of Mater Dei (13-7), with the winner getting the survivor of a tussle between No. 10 Ben Phillips of Charlestown (34-0) and No. 19 Logan Carrington of Greencastle. Fitts and Phillips met in last year’s first round.

170: Bloomington South junior Tuff Fender (16-9) gets a rematch with No. 6 Sam Morrill of Columbus East (31-1), who was eighth at 160 last year. Morrill beat South’s Wade Presson in the second round of semistate last year and pinned Fender this year at the Olympians Invite in December. Seniors No. 14 Blake Weidner of Mater Dei (19-4) and Beau Hess of Martinsville meet in the other first-rounder.

220: No. 2 Tristan Ruhlman of Bloomington South has no top-10 ranked wrestlers in his bottom bracket. He opens with Dakota Sanders of Mooresville (11-5) while either No. 15 Nick Boots of Mater Dei (17-6) or Dylan Fulton of Madison (31-11) await. No. 22 Jakkarey Oliver of Whiteland and No. 14 Kelton Farmer of Evansville Memorial are also in the bottom bracket, with No. 5 Josh Howell of Terre Haute South, No. 9 Logan Huggins of Reitz and regional champ Tommy Morrill of Columbus East (Ruhlman beat him by tech fall in December) in the upper group.


Number indicates regional finish. Winner of first two rounds advances to state finals.

113: 2. Bryson Rowley, Corydon Central (34-3) vs. 3. Miles Libby, Bloomington South (17-8); 1. Reece Courtney, Center Grove (27-3) vs. 4. Gavin Wheeler, North Posey (20-9).

126: 1. Cash Turner, Edgewood (29-3) vs. 4. Jacob Pierre, Evansville Mater Dei (17-7); 2. Brady Ison, Brownsburg (19-1) vs. 3. Jayden Criswell, Scottsburg (23-2).

132: (Upper bracket) 2. Lane Deckard, Edgewood (29-3) vs. 3. Jakob Lewellen, Charlestown (30-4); 1. Ben Dalton, Monrovia (34-0) vs. 4. Camden Lupfer, North Posey (18-10). (Lower bracket) 1. Cade Meier, Bloomington South (22-3) vs. 4. Jacob Wolf, Switzerland County (26-4); 2 Devin Heneisen, Evansville Harrison (20-7) vs. 3. Braedon Spears, Plainfield (21-6).

138: 2. Delaney Ruhlman, Bloomington South (24-1) vs. 3. Diesel Duncan, Ben Davis (18-3); 1. Colin Knox, Charlestown (25-0) vs. 4. Lane Whitsell, Boonville (23-8).

145: 1. Ashton Hayhurst, Evansvile Mater Dei (13-3) vs. 4. Aiden Reynolds, Bloomington South (19-5); 2. Hayden Watson, Center Grove (26-3) vs. 3. Eli Pollitt, Columbus East (20-12).

152: 2. Scott Fitts, Evansville Mater Dei (13-7) vs. 3. Chase Hostetler, Bloomington North (19-4); 1. Ben Phillips, Charlestown (34-0) vs. 4. Logan Carrington, Greencastle (28-5).

170: 1. Sam Morrill, Columbus East (31-1) vs. 4. Tuff Fender, Bloomington South (16-9); 2. Blek Weidner, Evansville Mater Dei (19-4) vs. 3. Beau Hess, Martinsville (28-4).

220: 1. Tristan Ruhlman, Bloomington South (19-0) vs. 4. Dakota Sanders, Mooresvile (11-5); 2. Dylan Fulton, Madison (31-11) vs. 3. Nick Boots, Evansville Mater Dei (17-6).