GRANITE CITY — Sidelined for more than a month with a broken hand, Edwardsville junior Tanner Ambry made up for lost time Saturday at the Class 3A Granite City Regional.
Looking fresh and energized from the opening whistle, Ambry dominated Belleville West sophomore Cooper Secker 12-6 in the 106-pound title match to help lead Edwardsville to the team championship at Granite City High School.
The regional crown is the third straight for Edwardsville, which used a solid overall team effort to finish with 168 points, far ahead of second-place Quincy (121 points) and third-place West (120).
Senior Matt Kent won the 220-pound crown for Edwardsville, which will advance eight wrestlers to the Normal West Sectional, which begins Friday.
And, as usual, the Southwestern Conference champion Tigers used their depth to get the job done.
"We got out fast this morning and had two good rounds,'' Edwardsville coach Jon Wagner said. "I was very pleased with Tanner (Ambry), who had his first contact in six-weeks yesterday.
"If you've watched us you know that we've got pretty good depth. That depth was a key for us today."
West will be represented at the sectional by six wrestlers, including regional champions Nick Foster (145) and Nate Higgins (152).
Higgins, who finished third at 152 at the 2013 state finals, looked solid in pinning Chris Prosser of Edwardsville in 29 seconds of their championship bout.
"He's pretty locked in right now,'' West coach Al Sears said of Higgins. "We brought eight kids here today and to be able to advance six, we're happy with that."
Also advancing for West were Secker (106), Titas Taylor (126), J.D. Bass (132) and Nate Smalling (138).
Belleville East got championships from Matt Striegel (170) and Jeff Brown (220). The Lancers also will advance LaTrell Hardison (132) and Austin Thurman (160).
Granite City had a pair of champions in Justin Nelson and Dylan Grey (195).
Collinsville and O'Fallon both had one champion.
The Panthers got a winning effort from Jon Villagran (120). Collinsville's title came from Dylan Johnson (160).