Tekamah-Herman’s wrestling team got its last chance to prepare for this weekend’s district tournament with an appearance in last Friday’s ECNC Invitational.
Three Tigers came home from Palmyra with medals, topped by Derek Conety’s gold at 195 lbs. The Tigers had two other finalists, Brandon Schram at 126 lbs. and Blake Moore at 170.
The medalists helped Tekamah-Herman place seventh in the 15-school meet. Weeping Water won the day, opening a 148-120 margin over the runners-up from Conestoga. Auburn emerged from a three-school race to claim third.
Looking for his second state tourney bid, Conety will head to the district meet in Albion this weekend with a 24-15 mark after posting three wins.
Conety earned a spot in the finals with a 5-3 decision over Conestoga’s Hunter Thonen, who improved to 30-10 after claiming the bronze medal later in the day. The Tiger senior netted his first gold of the season with a thrilling 8-7 win over Simon Rother of Johnson County central. In what has become his typical fashion, Conety erased a 4-1 deficit midway through the third period with a takedown and a near fall. Rother tied the match at 6-6 with a reversal, but Conety posted two escapes in the last 20 seconds to win.
After two pins and a major decision in the opening rounds, Schram was paired against a familiar foe, Palmer’s Ruger Reimers, in the championship match at 126. Schram had beaten Reimers the High Plains meet the last two seasons, but it would be different this time. Schram scored three near falls in the second period for a 9-2 lead. Reimers started chipping away in the third period and had closed the gap to 9-8 before recording a fall at time expired.
Now 30-5 on the year, Schram will be gunning for his fourth state tournament appearance and his fourth state medal.
Moore aslo will be looking for a second state appearance, and a second state medal, after taking second at 170 last week.
Moore, now 9-2 on the year, won three straight falls, including two in the first period, while rolling into he championship bout. Waiting for him was Malcolm’s Dylan Zoucha, who, like, Moore, was a state tourney qualifier at 160 lbs. last year. The Clipper junior made a second period escape and a takedown stand up for a 4-2 win while improving to 40-3.
Boone Central High School will host the Class C District 2 tournament Friday and Saturday.
East Husker Conference champion Logan View and 2018 Class C runner-up David City are among the favorites in the district meet. Conference rivals BRLD and Stanton also are in the field.
Matches start at 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday at the high school, located at 605 So. 6th St. in Albion.
Three win East Husker Conference medals
What didn’t happen for Tekamah-Herman’s wrestling team at the East Husker Conference wrestling championships Jan. 26 may have overshadowed what did.
The Tigers came home with three medals from the 14-school tourney in West Point, but not the one that was anticipated. Blake Moore, Derek Conety and Marissa Burt all won medals, but one Tiger was conspicuously absent from the medal round.
Senior 126-pounder Brandon Schram was looking to become just the fifth four-time conference champion in school history. His bid was cut short in the semifinals when he passed out in his bout against Logan View’s Martin Valencia, dropping him out of the tournament.
“It was a scary deal,” Tiger coach Dirk Desmond said. “It was all legal. The Logan View kid had him in a headlock that was so tight, Brandon passed out.”
Desmond said Schram is fine and the senior is expected to be ready to qualify for his fourth state tournament at this weekend’s district meet in Albion.
He will be joined by his three teammates who placed in the conference tourney.
Moore roared into the finals with a pair of pins, but ran into Class C’s top-ranked 170-pounder, Zach Borer from North Bend Central. Borer improved to 37-0 with a pin at 2:20.
Conety was about 30 seconds from elimination in his 195-lb. consolation semifinal match with Clarkson/Leigh’s John Langhorst. Conety used the same body throw twice in the waning seconds to win by fall in 4:48.
The his third-place match against Logan View’s Andrew Cone, Conety’s takedown 20 seconds into the third period broke a scoreless tie and carried the T-H senior to a 3-2 win.
Burt led from start to finish in her consolation semifinal at 113 lbs. against West Point-Beemer’s Diana Cervantes. Her 8-0 major decision earned her a spot in the medal round against Pender’s Chase Hofmeister. The Pendragon lead 5-0 after two periods. Burt scored a takedown early in the third but could do little else while dropping an 8-2 decision.
132-lb. freshman Kody Bitter was the only other Tiger to win a match at the conference tourney, pinning Pender’s Jacob Bruns in 2:43.
Logan View left little doubt as to who has the best wrestling team in the East Husker Conference.
The Raiders went 11-2 in semifinal round matches, locking up the conference title before lunch. Five Raiders emerged as weight class champions and all 13 won medals as the champs rolled up 247.5 points.
Oakland-Craig was a distant second with 160.5.
O-C’s Trenton Arlt was the gold medalist at 106. Jefferson McNeill at 138, Jarron Metzler at 152 and Justyn Hale at 285 also won gold for the Knights.