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Millard South clinches Metro conference wrestling title for eighth time in nine tournaments

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With a lineup half full of conference champions Saturday, Millard South’s cup was running over.

The top-ranked Patriots put ten in the finals, getting golds from seven on the way to the team title of the Metro Conference wrestling tournament at Omaha Buena Vista.

It’s the eighth crown in the last nine Metro tournaments for Millard South, which outscored runner-up Papillion-La Vista 310.5-196.5.

“I thought it was a fun tournament,” Patriots head coach Nate Olson said, referencing the event’s format change. “We had the pools on Friday, put all 14 guys into the top 8, and then I think we just went out and showed the city of Omaha who’s No. 1.”

Olson and company had winners in Kiernan Meink (106 pounds), Isaac Ekdahl (113), Miles Anderson (126), Joel Adams (145), Josiah Aburumuh (152), Henry Reilly (160) and Caeden Olin (195).

Meink got things going for the Patriots, coming out on the right side of a third-period scramble for the deciding points of a 4-2 decision over Omaha Bryan’s Abdi Unle, a battle of the top two wrestlers in the state at 106 pounds.

Ekdahl, a unanimous No. 1 at 113 pounds, kept the early momentum with his 3-2 win over No. 2 Tyler Durden of Papillion-La Vista. Durden, a returning state champion, got an escape with 20 seconds left to cut the deficit to one, but couldn’t find any late magic. It was the second one-point win of the season for Ekdahl over Durden.

Anderson and Adams left little to doubt in a pair of second-period technical falls. The duo — each a defending state champion — outscored finals opponents by a combined 36-6.

The only Patriot pin in a gold medal match came from Aburumuh. The junior’s throw and fall over Cannon McCarty at Omaha Westside was one of only three finals victories Saturday by a wrestler not atop one of the three polls.

“He’s always a competitor,” Olson said of Aburumuh. “He’s super athletic and does some crazy, funky stuff. He’s able to catch a guy in a nice throw and put them on their back. Once guys are on their back, he just squeezes.”

Reilly solidified his hold on the top spot at 160, securing his second win of the season over second-ranked Michael Myers of Omaha Westsde with a 6-3 decision. Myers cut the deficit to one late, but a late Reilly takedown gave the junior the victory.

Olin put the cherry on top with a 7-2 decision at 195 pounds, the second Metro title for the junior.

The group of Millard South champions went a combined 37-0 over the weekend. They were part of a 37-2 showing Friday night in the tournament’s opening pool rounds.

It was the kind of performance that Olson said is a credit to the national competition his team has battled over the season’s first six weeks.

“Some of our guys with .500 records that are just getting grinded up, now they get to wrestle some Nebraska kids and they’re going out there and getting some wins and some pins,” he said.

It was the second-straight runner-up finish for a Papillion-La Vista team ranked No. 3 in Class A by NE Wrestle. The Monarchs got their lone gold medal from Cal Price at 132 pounds, with the second-ranked Price beating Gino Rettele of Millard South 10-3.

Three teams split the other six titles evenly. Millard West got bracket championships from a pair of top-ranked teammates in Enrique Haynes and Noah Blair. Haynes won gold when Omaha Central’s DJ Bonam Jr. suffered a head injury in the opening seconds of their anticipated showdown for the crown at 120 pounds. Blair, a returning state champion and unanimous No. 1 at 182 pounds, worked a 7-3 decision over No. 2 Coleton Haggin of Papillion-La Vista.

Tanner Hosick scored what was likely the biggest upset of the day with his sudden victory win over Millard South’s Logan Glynn in the 138-pound final. Glynn, ranked No. 1 in all three polls, was called for locked hands midway through the sudden victory period, giving the third-ranked Hosick the deciding point in a 4-3 win.

Hosick’s teammate Grant Moraski held on down the stretch in a 3-2 win over Millard South’s Aiden Robertson, a meeting of the top two wrestlers at 170 pounds.

Omaha North big men Tyler Stewart and Tyson Terry controlled the final two gold medal matches of the day. Stewart, ranked No. 1 at 220 pounds, was workmanlike in an 11-6 victory over Alex Morris of Papillion-LaVista.

Terry, Class A’s returning heavyweight champion, outscored Omaha Central’s Jamison Kemp 13-1 in a major decision. It was the second Metro title for the sophomore Terry.

Team scores: Millard South 310.5, Papillion-La Vista 196.5, Millard West 166.5, Elkhorn South 134.5, Omaha Westside 132, Papillion-La Vista South 126, Omaha Creighton Prep 119, Omaha Bryan 118.5, Omaha North 117.5, Bellevue West 114, Omaha Central 113, Bellevue East 104.5, Millard South 95, Gretna 48, Omaha Benson 35.5, Omaha Westview 23.5, Omaha Northwest 20, Omaha Buena Vista 14.5, Omaha Burke 12, Omaha South 8.

Championship matches: 106: Kiernan Meink, Millard South, dec Abdi Unle, Omaha Bryan, 4-2. 113: Isaac Ekdahl, Millard South, dec Tyler Durden, Papillion-La Vista, 3-2. 120: Enrique Haynes, Millard West, inj def DJ Bonam Jr, Omaha Central, 0:09. 126: Miles Anderson, Millard South, tech fall Jacob Campbell, Papillion-La Vista, 21-6. 132: Cal Price, Papillion-La Vista, dec Gino Rettele, Millard South, 10-3. 138: Tanner Hosick, Bellevue West, dec Logan Glynn, Millard South, 4-3 SV. 145: Joel Adams, Millard South, tech fall Kevin Boston, Omaha Central, 15-0. 152: Josiah Aburumuh, Millard South, pin Cannon McCarty, Omaha Westside, x:xx. 160: Henry Reilly, Millard South, dec Michael Myers, Omaha Westside, 6-3. 170: Grant Moraski, Bellevue West, dec Aiden Robertson, Millard South, 3-2. 182: Noah Blair, Millard West dec Coleton Haggin, Papillion-La Vista, 7-3. 195: Caeden Olin, Millard South, dec Casey Popish, Papillion-La Vista, 7-2. 220: Tyler Stewart, Omaha North, dec Alex Morris, Papillion-La Vista, 11-6. 285: Tyson Terry, Omaha North, maj dec Jamison Kemp, Omaha Central, 13-1.

***

Make that back-to-back for the cats.

Class A No. 4 Norfolk had a pair of individual winners among seven finalists, enough depth to outpace second-ranked Lincoln East by 50 points for the Heartland Athletic Conference tournament title Saturday at Lincoln Southwest.

The Panthers won the HAC team crown for the second straight season behind bracket championships by Jacob Licking (160 pounds) and Kayden Kettler (195), besting a field that included half of Class A’s top ten teams.

“It’s really exciting for our program and for our kids to keep producing,” Norfolk coach Justin Grey said. “This was probably the toughest tournament we’ve been in with some of these top teams. It’s a good confidence builder for our kids.

“But we’re never satisfied. If we’re going to keep beating these Lincoln and Omaha schools, we’re going to have to keep working.”

Licking — ranked No. 3 in all three polls — pinned sixth-ranked Ethan Kowalek of Kearney in the first period for his title. Kettler, ranked as high as No. 2 by Huskermat, notched a 5-0 win over fourth-ranked Benny Alfaro of Fremont for the other Norfolk gold.

Norfolk did it with depth Saturday, getting scoring from all 14 spots in the lineup, four more than runner-up East. They had four fewer champions than they did in last year’s conference championship.

East had winners in in Gabe Turman at 132, and 138-pounder Cole Toline.

***

It may have been a mini state tournament, but there was nothing small about Blair’s win Saturday at the Schuyler Invitational.

The Class B No. 2 Bears got a pair of gold medals and edged third-ranked Omaha Skutt by 1.5 points for the team title in a tournament that featured each of the top four teams in the state, as well as Class D’s top squad.

Hudson Loges remained unbeaten with his bracket title at 106 pounds. The sophomore moved to 37-0 with his first-period pin of Grady Romshek of David City Aquinas, a meeting of a pair of No. 1 wrestlers.

Teammate Brock Templar added gold at 152 pounds for Blair, which had four finalist.

Three individual winners paced Skutt to a runner-up finish, in front of fourth-ranked Scottsbluff and No. 1 Bennington.

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Nick covers high school soccer, wrestling and other sports for The World-Herald.

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