Derby sends 13, Heights 10 to state from 6A wrestling regional
DERBY Defending Class 6A champion Heights will be in the unfamiliar role of the hunter when the Class 6A wrestling tournament begins Friday at Hartman Arena.
The Falcons advanced 10 wrestlers to next week’s tournament, but Manhattan—advanced all 14 of its squad — 11 in the regional finals.
“This is a premier regional,” Indians coach Robert Gonzales said. “The state winner or state runnerup usually comes from this regional. There’s a great tradition here.”
Host Derby won three straight finals matches — defeating Manhattan wrestlers each time — and will advance 13 to state.
“They have a deep team,” Derby coach Bill Ross said of Manhattan. “They don’t have a lot of weak links on their team. But state’s a lot different. I think the team that wins state is the team that puts two solid days together. It’s going to be wide open.”
Senior Brady Heincker began Derby’s run, capturing the 138 division. Junior Ben Becker took the 145 class, but junior Chandler Ayer, entering with a 16-16 record, won three straight, including a 9-3 decision over the Indians’ Michael Leeper in the final.
“He keeps getting better every day, week in, week out,” Ross said of Ayer. “Within the last month, he’s beaten about four guys who had beaten him earlier in the year. So, he’s definitely improving, and his confidence is really starting to soar.”
Ross said he has emphasized peaking at the right time, notably Becker.
“Midway through the season, he hit a bit of a wall, but I think we’re crashing through that wall,” Ross said of Becker.
Derby’s other regional champ was Jeffery Morrow at 113. He is ranked sixth in the state.
Heights will be well represented, getting two regional champions in Matt Reed at 170 and Ulysses DeShazer at 195.
Reed took his final match on a 5-0 decision, but DeShazer had to rally pull his out in the final period. Manhattan’s Ty Suggs had scored an escape on him in the first period, and that stood up until DeShazer was awarded a penalty point, got an escape and then a takedown for a 4-1 victory.
Freshman Sean DeShazer will advance to state, but an injury kept him out of the finalin 106. DeShazer will be ready for state, Church said.
Ross issued a warning not to take the defending champion Falcons too lightly.
“It’s never over for Coach Church,” Ross said. “They placed second at regionals last year, then they ended up having a great run at state tournament. Maybe we can do that this year.
“Hopefully, we haven’t seen the best of us, but only time will tell.”
Manhattan 231.5, Derby 177.5, Wichita Heights 146, Junction City 144.5, Topeka 55, Washburn Rural 37.5, East 27, Southeast 17.
106—1. Stone, Manhattan, def. S. DeShazer, Heights, injury default; 3. McDonald, Derby, pinned Bramlage, Junction City, 4:30. 113—1. Morrow, Derby, def. Clemens, Manhattan, 2-0; 3. McCray, Heights, maj. dec. Bazan, Junction City, 10-1. 120—1. Perez, Junction City, def. Suppes, Derby, 7-5; 3. Vesta, Manhattan, def. Jones, Heights, 5-3. 126—1. Unruh, Manhattan, def. Neal, Heights, 2-0; 3. Phillips, SE, def. Reece, Topeka, 8-2. 132—1. Davis, Manhattan, def. Newton, Heights, 8-4; 3. Mikoleit, Washburn Rural, tech. fall Gash, Derby, 17-1. 138—1. Heincker, Derby, def. Hilgers, Manhattan, 7-4; 3. Millsap, Junction City, def. Wilson, WR, 2-0. 145—1. Becker, Derby, def. Matthews, Manhattan, 5-3; 3. Voeghtly, Junction City, pinned Stamps, WR, 1:45. 152—1. Ayer, Derby, def. Leeper, Manhattan, 9-3; 3. Miles, East, pinned McSherly, Junction City, 1:25. 160—1. Wagner, Junction City, def. Santillon, Derby, 9-4; 3. Peart, Heights, pinned Chaucey, Manhattan, 4:38. 170—1. Reed, Heights, def. Wood, Manhattan, 5-0; 3. Felton, Junction City, def. Stroud, Derby, 4-2. 182—1. Campbell, Manhattan, pinned Tillman, Topeka, 2:40; 3. Padilla, Junction City, def. Wilcoxson, Heights, 3-1 (OT). 195—1. U. DeShazer, Heights, def., Suggs, Manhattan, 4-1; 3. Marlatt, Derby, pinned Thomas, East, 4:22. 220—1. Parker, Manhattan, def. Gordon, Derby, 3-1; 3. Posey, Junction City, pinned Walker, Heights, 0:51. 285—1. Geary, Topeka, def. Rafalko, Junction City, 8-2; 3. Meador, Manhattan, def. Kissinger, Derby, 2-0.