SCOTTSBLUFF -- The Scottsbluff wrestling team will head into the postseason with plenty of momentum after earning a second-place finish at the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday at Scottsbluff High School.
Scottsbluff, which held the lead entering the final round, finished up the eight-team tournament with a final score of 199 points. Kearney won the team championship with 212.5 and Norfolk was third with 155.
“There were a lot of things that went well for us today,” Scottsbluff coach James Miller said. “We were pretty excited about the way the guys wrestled and were successful. I’m really proud of the guys. A lot of them really stepped up.”
Seven different Bearcats advanced into the finals, and four captured individual titles. Scottsbluff’s champions included Keegan Hessler at 113 pounds, Joseph Flores-Ybarra at 120, Colton Adams at 132, and Sabian Harsh at 145.
Hessler’s title match proved to be one of the highlights for the Bearcats. The sophomore won an exciting 5-4 decision in overtime against Kearney’s Isaac Stansbury. The loss was Stansbury’s first of the season, while Hessler improved to 42-3.
“That was a great match for Keegan,” Miller said. “To get a win in overtime against a very quality wrestler like Stansbury really showed how well Keegan wrestled.”
Adams, who is now 44-1, kept cruising through his record-setting season. He registered an 11-3 major decision against Kearney’s Austin Marshall in the final at 132. It marked Adams’ third GNAC title of his career.
Both Flores-Ybarra and Harsh won their title matches by decision. Flores-Ybarra beat Kearney’s Scott Bauer by a score of 3-1, while Harsh picked up a 10-4 win over Columbus’ Parker Ridgeway.
Posting runner-up finishes for Scottsbluff were Cruz Delacruz at 106, Tristan Donelson at 152, and Andrew Aratani at 285.
Delacruz was pinned in four minutes by Hastings’ Nolan Laux, who is unbeaten on the season at 36-0.
Donelson was also shouldered by an unbeaten opponent, Kalen Mazankowski of Kearney, in a time of 4 minutes, 43 seconds.
Aratani dropped a tough 3-2 decision in overtime to Norfolk’s Christian Hernandez-DeHorta.
Scottsbluff will now turn its attention to the Class B, District 4 Tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Sidney High School. The Bearcats will be joined in the field by Alliance, Chadron, Gering, Sidney, Broken Bow, Cozad, Gothenburg, Holdrege, Lexington, McCook, and Ogallala. Alliance is the defending B-4 champion.
Miller likes the position his team is in entering the postseason.
“I think we’re wrestling tough,” he said. “We’ll just see how the guys handle it and how the seeds work out. I guess you could say we’re being cautiously optimistic. We just want the guys to be focused and ready.”
1, Kearney, 212.5. 2, Scottsbluff, 199. 3, Norfolk, 155. 4, Lexington, 154. 5, Hastings, 135.5. 6, North Platte, 133. 7, Columbus, 110.5. 8, McCook, 18.
106 — Nolan Laux, Hastings, pinned Cruz Delacruz, Scottsbluff, 4:00.
113 — Keegan Hessler, Scottsbluff, won by decision over Isaac Stansbury, Kearney, 5-4, OT.
120 — Joseph Flores-Ybarra, Scottsbluff, won by decision over Scott Bauer, Kearney, 3-1.
126 — Hunter Bamford, Kearney, pinned Colton Thompson, North Platte, 1:36.
132 — Colton Adams, Scottsbluff, won by major decision over Austin Marshall, Kearney, 11-3.
138 — Paul Kraye, North Platte, won by decision over Huy Truong, Hastings, 5-1.
145 — Sabian Harsh, Scottsbluff, won by decision over Parker Ridgeway, Columbus, 10-4.
152 — Kalen Mazankowski, Kearney, pinned Tristan Donelson, Scottsbluff, 4:43.
160 — Mario Barraza, Lexington, pinned Trevor Phillips, Columbus, 3:16.
170 — Grant Holscher, North Platte, won by decision over Kyle Freudenberg, Norfolk, 10-3.
182 — Ryan Kubr, Columbus, won by decision over Trey Schlender, Kearney, 4-1.
195 — Kyle Temple, Norfolk, pinned Jordan Trujillo, North Platte, 3:01.
220 — Quinton Ross, Kearney, pinned Edwin Perdomo, Lexington, 2:42.
285 — Christina Hernandez-DeHorta, Norfolk, won by decision over Andrew Aratani, Scottsbluff, 3-2.
106 — Chris Bailly, Columbus, won by decision over Pascual Francisco, Lexington, 6-4.
113 — Brandon Kile, Hastings, won by technical fall over Mike Nyugen, Lexington, 17-2.
120 — Alam Alvarez, Lexington, won by decision over Alex Murphy, North Platte, 7-3.
126 — Caleb Licking, Norfolk, pinned Jordan Froehner, Columbus, 2:05.
132 — Dakota Hernandez, Lexington, pinned Nate Morrow, Hastings, 4:21.
138 — Mason Merritt, Kearney, won by decision over Jordan Hovie, Lexington, 6-1.
145 — Kaleb Neugin, Hastings, pinned Seth Shields, Lexington, 3:57.
152 — Zech Thoene, Norfolk, pinned Tommy Wiseman, Columbus, 3:12.
160 — Dylon Mlady, North Platte, won by decision over James Chamberlain, Kearney, 1-0.
170 — Brad Anderson, Hastings, pinned Logan Farrell, Lexington, 3:25.
182 — Cody Merchant, Norfolk, won by major decision over Tyson Chromy, North Platte, 11-1.
195 — Travis Hartwig, Hastings, won by decision over Josue Ayala, Lexington, 6-5.
220 — Shane Kalin, Norfolk, won by decision over Chase Orender, Columbus, 3-1.
285 — Mitch Collicott, McCook, won by decision over Luis Nunez, Lexington, 3-1.