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Kieser champion as Tell City 4th in PAC

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By Larry Goffinet

LINCOLN CITY—J.R. Kieser won the 120-pound title to lead Tell City to fourth place in the nine-team PAC junior high wrestling tourney Saturday.

Gibson Southern won the team title with 299 points. Tell City scored 255.

Paul Heldring of Pike Central scored a takedown against Kieser in the finals. But Kieser turned a second-period roll into a reversal and pinned Heldring in 1:48.

Kieser pinned Tony Rickard of North Posey in 2:55 in the first round and beat Tony Allen of Gibson Southern 4-2 in the semifinals to finish the season 14-9.

Tell City’s Mason Waninger (80-pound weight class), Justin Alvarez (105) Spenser Beard (125) and James Payne (heavyweight) also advanced to championship matches but lost in the finals.

Waninger won by forfeit in the first round and pinned Brandon Hanloh of Heritage Hills in the semifinals.

Jake Halisky of Southridge decisioned Waninger 6-3 in the finals.

Waninger finished the season 19-4.

Alvarez pinned Travis Robinson of Heritage Hills in 0:31 and beat Jake Burden of South Spencer 7-1 before getting pinned by No. 1 seed Brooks Martin of Gibson Southern.

Alvarez finished 18-5.

Beard’s championship match ended with a controversial unnecessary roughness call against him.

He was dominating No. 1 seed Cain Martin of Gibson Southern when the official made the call as Martin was injured.

“Basically the boys were in a scramble on their feet and there was no unnecessary roughness that I saw—just a clean, decisive return to the mat,” said Tell City Coach Mark Thomas. “The kid’s foot made all the noise when it smacked the mat.

“I think the ref regretted making that split-second call, but . . . a ref can’t change his call without losing face.”

Because of the call, Beard was disqualified and Martin won. If not for the call, Beard would have won by injury default.

Beard pinned Chase Zimmerman of Heritage Hills in 6.7 seconds, Tell City’s fastest pin of the season, and beat Mason Taylor of Tecumseh 15-7 in his earlier matches. He finished the season 15-4.

Payne pinned Funkhouser of Tecumseh in 2:34 and pinned No. 1 seed Jared Boehm of Heritage Hills in 0:27 to reach the heavyweight finals.

Austin Little of North Posey then pinned Payne in 0:51. Payne finished the season 19-3.

Grant Bolin (95), Dakota Hedinger (100), Brandon McCoy (130) and C.J. Rowe (145) placed third for Tell City.

Bolin pinned Tyler Watts of Heritage Hills in 0:52, lost to eventual champion Daniel Hipp of Gibson Southern 4-0, pinned Curtis Keaton of Southridge in 0:21, and beat Winston Glenn of Forest Park 12-6.

After winning by forfeit, Hedinger got pinned by Jordan Houchins of Southridge in 1:44.

Hedinger came back to pin Nick Goffinet of Heritage Hills in 2:44 and beat Chase Maurer of Gibson Southern 6-4.

McCoy won by forfeit, lost to Dylan Vincent of Heritage Hills 8-5, and then pinned his last two opponents, nailing Dexter Waltz of Pike Central in 0:35 and Blake Powell of Gibson Southern in 0:45.

Rowe pinned Cody Slater of Pike Central in 0:53 and got pinned by eventual champion Gabe Konerding of Heritage Hills in 1:14.

Rowe then pinned Austin Appman of South Spencer in 2:25 and beat Dylan Meyer of Gibson Southern 13-6.

Five other Archers wrestled up a weight class to fill some of the team’s forfeits and placed fifth, sixth or seventh.

Team scores: Gibson Southern 299, Southridge 298, Heritage Hills 261, Tell City 255, Pike Central 212, South Spencer 187, North Posey 180, Tecumseh 117, Forest Park 109