Doyle Trout had the catch of the day, a fourth consecutive state wrestling title.
And reeling in team titles Saturday were Millard South, O’Neill and Amherst.
Omaha Skutt, too.
The SkyHawks had only one champion — the last time that happened was 1997. But Korbin Meink’s 5-4 win over West Point-Beemer’s Riley Berg at 120 pounds on a late escape was what they needed to edge Scottsbluff 119-117.5 for their fourth consecutive title and 17th in 18 years. Second-day leader Plattsmouth, which went 0 for 3 in the finals, was third with 116 points.
“This was definitely a roller coaster (tournament), but well worth it,” Skutt coach Brad Hildebrandt said.
Isaac DeLoa hooked Millard South’s first Class A title since 2008 when the junior recorded his fourth first-period pin of the tournament. His 60-second fall, against Grand Island’s Chris Doty at 138 pounds, eliminated the Islanders.
“We felt if it came down to Isaac or Terry Jeub (the 220 winner), they’re solid,” Patriots coach Doug Denson said. “They don’t make mistakes. If we had the lead and had those two guys, they were going to bring it home.”
O’Neill’s Class C title, by two points over Valentine, was the school’s first in any sport.
Amherst’s sixth consecutive Class D state title was like shooting fish in a barrel. The Broncos got all the points they needed — 98 — on the first day.
Trout became the 25th four-time state champion. The Centennial senior received a standing ovation from what remained of a final-day crowd of 11,133 at the CenturyLink Center after his second-period pin of Valentine’s Noah Eklund at 126.
“I didn’t feel (pressure),” said Trout, who finished his career with a 175-8 record. “I just went out and wrestled, just like usual. Wrestling’s my job. I just go out there and wrestle hard full time.”
Skutt started the finals one point behind Plattsmouth, but it could have been two. The Blue Devils were docked a team point during consolations earlier in the day for unsportsmanlike conduct by a wrestler.
Then the Blue Devils, without a senior on the roster, couldn’t find the victory circle. Scottsbluff’s Ben Rodriguez outlasted Zach Prall in overtime at 132 pounds, keeping the Bearcats in the team race. Plattsmouth’s Andrew Null lost 8-5 to Sidney freshman Derek Robb at 138, and the Blue Devils’ Gage Orton got pinned in the third period by Trevor Nichelson of Ashland-Greenwood at 170.
Skutt didn’t send out its first finalist until the 11th of the 14 Class B title bouts. Van Schmidt lost 4-2 to fellow 106-pound freshman Max Hughes of Syracuse on a takedown in overtime.
Meink then scored his escape with 20 seconds left, after Berg got a reversal, for the 5-4 win that puts him halfway to four individual titles.
“We have some quality kids on this team. Korbin is the man,” Hildebrandt said. “He’s only a sophomore, but a huge leader for us.”
Meink’s win put Skutt up 119-112.5 over Scottsbluff, which got into second place when Keegan Hessler defeated Paxton Sternberg of Blair 8-0 at 120. But the Bearcats couldn’t overtake Skutt as Joe Berg of West Point-Beemer pinned the Bearcats’ Robert Price in the final period at 126.
Skutt wrestled without two district champions who were disciplined after being ticketed by Blair police for an incident during the Feb. 14 district tournament there.
Millard South outscored Grand Island 172.5-154.5 in Class A.
“It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve won, but it feels as good as the first time,” Denson said. “We lost by a half-point last year, and last night I couldn’t get to sleep because I wanted to see if the points added up. Every coach does that.
“The kids came through. They wrestled hard.”
O’Neill’s title wasn’t assured until Trout pinned Valentine’s Eklund.
“If you’re not able to put it in your kids’ hands, then Doyle Trout’s probably are some pretty good hands to stick it in,” Eagles coach Bryan Corkle said.
O’Neill, in third place after Friday, collected wins from its two finalists to overtake tournament-long leader Valentine 107-105. Blake Walters’ 3-0 win over Malcolm’s Jordan Redler at 152 put the Eagles in front for the first time, and David Fox picked up bonus points for his 19-6 win over Ord’s Cade Svoboda at 170.
Valentine, whose first two finalists (Hudson Pearman and Jacob Hand) had lost, competed in two of the final four weight classes. Jordan Kelber, a freshman, won at 106, but the Badgers also needed Eklund to upset Trout.
“We were one of less than 10 schools in the state never to win a state championship in any sport,” O’Neill’s Corkle said. “So the monkey’s off our back. We can’t say that anymore. We picked up a team title.
“We were an underdog the whole tournament.”
Amherst, which tallied 201 points to 95.5 for Class D runner-up Friend, had champions in Payton Schake at 220 and Tanner Hircock at 285 in a 3-2 upset of conference rival Zach Zeleski of Overton.
“We came close to being 5-0 in the finals,” Broncos coach Tyler Herman said. “We had two one-point losses and another in the ultimate tiebreaker. Heartbreaking, but not for a lack of effort.”
Brody Lewis of Franklin beat Brandt Florell in the ultimate tiebreaker at 132, Zemua Baptista of Friend nipped Devin Dibbern 3-2 at 152 to repeat as champion and Kalen Klingelhoefer lost 3-2 to Elm Creek’s William Bloom at 126.
“We brought 13 here, got 10 to the podium, had five in the finals and got two titles,” Herman said. “There’s a couple matches you’d like to have back, but it’s always like that.”
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