A Class B team race that’s quickly turned into a numbers game may have finished Thursday with more questions than answers.
Top-ranked Hastings took a first-day lead, but pushed only three of their eight quarterfinalists through to Friday’s semifinal.
“We knew we had some tough draws in the second round,” Hastings coach Brian Laux said. “We’re going to need them to respond tomorrow.”
That’s because there’s a dynasty in the rearview mirror.
Fourth-ranked Omaha Skutt, which has won 20 of the past 21 Class B team titles, put four of its five qualifiers into the semifinals.
“It’s not surprising to me,” Laux said. “They still have bullets.”
Laux’s group ran out to an early lead, but only Izaak Hunsley (132 pounds), Mason Brumbaugh (138) and Damen Pape (170) scored wins in the quarterfinals.
Hunsley and Pape combined for three pins and a major decision.
Skutt, meanwhile, got bonus points in seven of its eight wins Thursday, including five pins. They’ll have semifinalists in Zach Ourada (106), Caleb Lazure (126), Nick Stoltenberg (138) and Eli Jansen (182).
The SkyHawks will need a big semifinal round — where point values nearly double — to make up for any points that Hastings will accrue during Friday’s wrestlebacks. Hastings have six more wrestlers than Skutt in the consolation rounds.
The Tigers are looking for their first state team title since 1998.
While Laux liked the way his team wrestled for most of Thursday, he understands that wrestling a Class B team title from a program like Skutt isn’t done on opening day.
“Day 3 can look a heck of a lot different than Day 1,” he said. “We know it’s going to get more difficult.”
Fifth-ranked Columbus Lakeview finished Thursday in third place with Sidney and Lexington rounding out the top five.
Hastings 46, Omaha Skutt 40, Columbus Lakeview 35, Sidney 34.5, Lexington 30, North Platte 29, Scottsbluff 29, York 29, Wahoo 28, Cozad 26.5, GI Northwest 26, Blair 24.5, Waverly 24, Plattsmouth 23, Chadron 20, Aurora 19, Gering 19, Beatrice 18, Schuyler 16, Norris 13, Raymond Central 12, Adams Central 11, Fairbury 11, Ralston 11, Seward 11, Alliance 10, Auburn 10, Bennington 9, Gothenburg 9, McCook 9, Boys Town 7, Crete 7, Central City 6, Ogallala 6, Wayne 5, Holdrege 4, O’Neill 3, West Point-Beemer 1, Columbus Scotus 0, Conestoga 0, Falls City 0, Elkhorn Mt. Michael 0, Nebraska City 0, Omaha Concordia 0, Omaha Gross 0.
106 pounds: Zach Ourada,Skutt, dec. Ivan Lazo, Lexington, 6-3. Grady Arends, GI Northwest, dec. Austin Munier, Sidney, 13-10. Quinton Chavez, Gering, major dec. Ty Rainforth, O`Neill, 13-5. Caden Svoboda, Aurora, dec. Luke Bailey, Blair, 10-3. 113: Paul Garcia, Scottsbluff, major dec. Mitch Albrecht, Raymond Central, 14-6. Jaylan Ruffin, North Platte, dec. Thomas Ivey, York, 3-2. Tanner York, Beatrice, dec. Tristen Obermiller, Adams Central, 7-0. Jace Russman, Cozad, dec. Landon Zeckser, Hastings, 4-1. 120: Paul Ruff, Alliance, tech. fall Reece Jaqua, Wayne, 16-1. Jackson Nielsen, Blair, tech. fall Dylan Miller, Hastings, 24-9. Drew Arnold, Beatrice, pinned Dyson Kunz, Central City, 2:18. William Lomax, Boys Town, dec. Ean Bailey, Lexington, 10-5. 126: Caleb Lazure, Skutt, major dec. Kevin Price, Scottsbluff, 11-0. Nate Rocheleau, Gering, dec. Collin Quandt, GI Northwest, 11-6. Darian Diaz, North Platte, dec. Trevor Reinke, Beatrice, 1-0. Gage Perry, Columbus Lakeview, pinned Bryce Brown, Hastings, 5:34. 132: Brady Fago, Lexington, dec. Trevor Kluck, Aurora, 8-4. Wyatt Hotz, Gothenburg, dec. Noah Talmadge, Ralston, 10-3. Izaak Hunsley, Hastings, major dec. Gage Stokey, Ogallala, 10-0. Jerryd Hernandez, Scottsbluff, pinned Sean Martin, Seward, 0:55. 138: Joel Lemburg, Columbus Lakeview, dec. Juan Vergara, Wayne, 6-5. Trey Arellano, Sidney, tech. Fall John Karpov, Raymond Central, 20-5. Mason Brumbaugh, Hastings, dec. Miguel Roman, Schuyler, 6-5. Nicholas Stoltenberg, Skutt, pinned Cameron Kort, Adams Central, 1:32. 145: Devontae Gutierrez, Scottsbluff, dec. Seth Wonch, Aurora, 2-1. Brody Raines, Sidney, pinned Owen Friesen, GI Northwest, 5:54. Kole Ligouri, Auburn, pinned Cameron Zink, Ogallala, 0:57. Trystan Berry, Lexington, dec. Easton Albrecht, Raymond Central, 14-9. 152: Kaleb Canoyer, Waverly, dec. Blake Hoffmaster, Cozad, 10-4. Carson Core, Seward, dec. Carter Pursley, Aurora, 5-3. Harrison Gocke, York, major dec. Raymond Loftis, West Point-Beemer, 11-2. KC Higer, Sidney, dec. Zane Bennett, Wahoo, 9-5. 160: Zeth Gerkensmeyer, Columbus Lakeview, dec. Cash Arensdorf, North Platte, 11-4. Jake Lemmon, Chadron, major dec. Sam Moore, Central City, 10-0. Riley Kopf, Lexington, dec. Caden Yrkoski, Schuyler, 5-3. Gabriel James, Ralston, dec. Brady Robb, Sidney, 7-6. 170: Evan Canoyer, Waverly, dec. Zachary Serna, Norris, 9-2. Ace York, Fairbury, dec. Conner Wescoat, Cozad, SV-1 6-4. Damen Pape, Hastings, pinned Brock Skinner, Ogallala, 1:18. Gavyn Brauer, North Platte, pinned Jayden Wooten, Plattsmouth, 5:55. 182: Alec Langan, McCook, dec. Kole Bordovsky, Wahoo, 9-5. Eli Jansen, Skutt, major dec. Kolton Johnson, Crete, 11-3. Jacob Frenzen, Columbus Lakeview, dec. over Kobe Lyons, York, 3-0. Clark Riesen, Chadron, pinned Seth Firmanik, Fairbury, 1:29. 195: Grady Griess, GI Northwest, pinned Evan Morara, Hastings, 1:54. Conner Brown, Adams Central, dec. Cody Lomax, Crete, 12-7. Sam Kolterman, Wahoo, pinned Brayan Rodriguez, York, 2:41. Dylan Meyer, Norris, dec. Drake Rader, Plattsmouth, SV-1 4-2. 220: Jesus Maganda, Schuyler, dec. Blake Davis, Hastings, 3-2. Garett Menke, Bennington, major dec. Trent Weak, Holdrege, 20-6. Gabe Rand, Blair, dec. Colin Giron, McCook, 10-7. Devin Pfeifer, Plattsmouth, pinned Douglas Lazo, York, 3:05. 285: Trevor Brown, Waverly, dec. Trevor Nielsen, Plattsmouth, 10-3. Noah Stafursky, York, dec. Jade Wurth, Lexington, UTB 4-3. Josh Stallbaumer, Cozad, pinned Brady Soukup, Blair, 1:33. Jack Sutton, Wahoo, pinned Nouredin Nouili, Norris, 1:05.
Sign up for daily headlines from NEPrepZone
Get a daily roundup of game recaps, player features and more in your inbox.