After winning the last three out of four Sagamore Conference wrestling titles, including last season, Danville’s run of dominance seemingly came to an end Saturday at Crawfordsville.
The Warriors finished fourth with 141.5 points behind winner North Montgomery (243.5), Lebanon (214) and South Montgomery (208.5). Tri-West placed eighth with 64 points.
“To be honest, it was disappointing,” Danville coach Steve Pugliese said. “I was pleased with the way the kids wrestled, but we had two kids not show up today and they were No. 1 seeds. We went with what we had and if we had a full lineup, I thought we could’ve competed.”
Danville had two champions and two runners-up on the day, but overall depth hurt the Warriors, although everyone that wrestled placed in the top six.
Brock Hudkins (120) pinned his way to a championship, winning all three matches by fall. Elliot Molloy (126) won his championship in overtime after taking his first two matches by tech fall and decision, respectively.
“Brock was solid the entire day,” Pugliese said. “Elliot came back and beat Moore, who was trying to win a fourth conference title. It was good to see him wrestle well.”
Kody Caudle (160) and Kyle Smith (132) were each bested in the finals, taking second.
“Kody was really overmatched and (his opponent) was on a different level, constantly attacking and in good position,” Pugliese said. “That’s how we want to teach our kids to wrestle. That’s the difference between a guy who was a regional qualifier and a state place winner last year.
“Kyle wrestled well up until the finals and lost to that guy 5-4, but today he didn’t really wrestle the way he’s capable.”
After Brock Martin (195) took fourth, no other Danville wrestler finished in the top four.
A young Tri-West team placed only one grappler in the top-four of the conference, making for a disappointing finish.
“Overall, I’ve seen a lot of growth and improvement in the Sagamore Conference,” Tri-West coach Nick Sullivan said. “While we had some guys finish eighth, we had some guys take steps toward becoming better wrestlers today.”
Bruins senior Rick Perry (145) took third after losing a 6-4 decision in the semi-finals.
“Rick truly is our leader and does more than that,” Sullivan said. “I know third was disappointing for him as he expected to compete for a championship. He’s a great example of a wrestler showing how to go and perform to compete for a championship.”
Nic White (182) and Tony Kahl (170), Tri-West’s next two highest finishers, both placed fifth.
“Nic was a nice surprise and has gone from earning a varsity spot to winning a few matches today,” Sullivan said. “Tony is building on a very successful year as a freshman.”
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.