INDIANAPOLIS — With a chance at a state title in the balance, Avon’s Guy Henson and Cascade’s Zach Batts returned to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the state finals on Saturday after opening round wins on Friday.
Unfortunately, both seniors ran into tough competition in the quarterfinals and were unable to advance to the semi-finals. Henson went on to finish fifth and Batts took sixth, becoming the first Cascade wrestler to place at state.
Batts (145 pounds) drew 2013 state champion Tommy Forte to start the day and was held scoreless in an 8-0 decision. Forte went on to finish as the state runner-up.
“He’s pretty tough and good,” Batts said. “He’s methodical and just grinds you down.”
Henson battled with undefeated Cathedral heavyweight Wesley Bernard, but was pinned in the second period. Bernard went on to win the heavyweight championship.
“Bernard is extremely tough and it’s one of those things you wish you could go back and try a few things differently,” Henson said.
Both battled back and won their wrestle-back matches and earned a spot to take the highest position possible after losing their matches.
Batts won a 5-2 decision over Fisher’s Jordan Lile, setting up the final match of his prep career with Merrillville’s Isaac Rentas. He fell by major decision, 15-4, to Rentas.
“(Rentas) was really funky and I hadn’t really experienced anything like that before,” Batts said. “To his credit, he’s really tough, wrestled well and scrapped. It’s rewarding to be here and a weight off my chest. It’s nice to see all those years of wrestling pay off.”
Henson won an overtime decision over Jeffersonville’s Gavin Jolley-Little to reach the fifth/sixth-place match with Greenfield Central’s Tyler Beeson. Henson caught the Greenfield Central grappler in a side headlock and pinned him in the second period, celebrating with a gymnastic round-off in the center of the mat.