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SkyHawks make statement, cruise past district rivals

SkyHawks make statement, cruise past district rivals

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FIRTH, Neb. — Consider the message sent.

Class B No. 2 Omaha Skutt showed it’s still the team to beat at next weekend’s state tournament with a win at the District B-1 tournament at Norris High School against a field that featured five of the top eight teams in the state.

The SkyHawks, winners of 17 of the last 18 Class B titles, had six individual winners and qualified 12 for state, two more than both top-ranked Plattsmouth and No. 3 Gretna, who finished second and third in the team standings.

“I think we wrestled well all weekend,” Skutt coach Chas DeVetter said. “Had a great, great weekend. I think we wrestled with some confidence. I think we were starting to hit our stride today.”

Of Skutt’s six wins in the finals, four came with bonus points.

Top-ranked Korbin Meink earned an 18-4 major decision over Nebraska City’s fourth-ranked Jordan Moyer at 120. Billy Higgins also won by major decision at 152, a 13-0 blanking of Platteview’s Conner Willey.

Skutt’s top-ranked 126-pounder, Jeff Heinz, and teammate Bailey Vanderpool, No. 2 at 138, each registered first-period pins.

“That’s exciting, entertaining wrestling,” DeVetter said. “That’s what we like to see.”

Skutt also earned six points at 160, where unranked Alex VanDyke was injured after landing on his head in the final against Andrew Null of Plattsmouth. Null was disqualified when it was ruled an illegal move.

Null is ranked No. 1 at the weight. Saturday’s loss was his second of the season and first to an in-state opponent.

DeVetter said he didn’t yet know the extent of VanDyke’s injury and whether it could affect his availability for state.

The sixth Skutt champion was second-ranked Brendon Wheeler at 195, who edged No. 5 Josh Gasper of Gretna.

Plattsmouth crowned three champions in Andrew Nielsen, Zach Prall and Gage Orton.

Nielsen, ranked No. 1 at 113, beat second-ranked Van Schmidt of Skutt 5-2. Second-ranked Prall won by 3-1 decision over No. 4 Cody Lambert of Ashland-Greenwood at 145. Orton showed why he is No. 1 at 170, beating second-ranked Curt Randall of Skutt in the semifinals before pinning Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs’ Sam Kolterman.

Gretna had a pair of winners in Trevor Fauver (106) and Logan Radik (220). Each is ranked No. 1 and beat a finals opponent ranked third.

Unbeaten Ashland-Greenwood teammates Trevor Nichelson and Ben Stille each won titles. Nichelson, ranked No. 1 at 182, beat third-ranked Grant Bruner of Gretna 5-4. Stille, a Nebraska football recruit, topped Justin Hennessy of Waverly 7-2 in a 1-vs.-2 matchup at heavyweight.

Nebraska City’s Tony Heng won at 132, helping the Class B No. 5 Pioneers finish fourth in the team race.

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