Highland High School junior wrestlers Devin Wills and Colton Brown both had strong days after placing in the top five in their respective weight classes at the 57th annual Murdale Wrestling Tournament, held Friday and Saturday in Carbondale.
Overall as a team, Highland finished 15th out of 24 competing squads, but Wills and Brown were the highlights after Wills went 4-1 and pounded out a third-place finish at 160 pounds and Brown went 3-1 and earned fifth place at 120 pounds.
At 160 pounds, Wills, who is 19-2 on the season, started the tournament by pinning Mt. Zion’s Harrison Clark in 1:06. Wills worked even quicker in his next match, as he needed just 58 seconds to smother Benton’s Jaron Picklesimer.
Next, in the quarterfinals, Wills scored a 19-6 major decision over Carbondale’s Nolan Beck. Then, after being pinned by Marion’s River Flute in the second period, Wills bounced back to dominate Carterville’s Bailey Hicks with an 11-2 major decision in the third-place match.
At 120 pounds, Brown, who is 19-7 on the year, received a bye in the first round before pinning Eli Wilhite of East St. Louis in 3:48 in his first match on the mat.
Brown suffered a narrow 4-3 defeat to Colton Davis of Lincoln in the quarterfinals.
But Brown would rebound to win his consolation second-round match in commanding fashion. He scored a 15-0 technical fall Althoff’s Darion Heavens. Finally, in the fifth-place match, Brown scored a fall over over Harrisburg’s Landon Hicks in 1:47.
Also placing for the Highland Bulldogs were Alex Reed, who went 3-2 and placed sixth at 182 pounds; Tanner Burke, who went 4-1 and placed ninth at 132 pounds; Tanner Schranz, who went 3-2 and placed 17th at 106 pounds; Bryce Kirsch, who went 3-2 and placed 13 at 138 pounds; Colby Davis, who went 2-3 and placed 14th at 145 pounds; Tyler Langendorf, who went 2-2 and placed 17th at 220 pounds; and Tyler Frank, who went 1-3 and placed 18th at 285 pounds.
HHS splits a triangular match
The Bulldogs defeated East St. Louis 48-36 and fell in defeat to Althoff 59-15 on Thursday.
Brown was the lone Highland grappler to win both of his matches. At 120 pounds, Brown pinned Eli Wilhite of East St. Louis in 2:36 before going on to smother Althoff’s Isaiah Bernal in 3:40.
Scoring falls for the Bulldogs against East St. Louis were: Schranz, who pinned Rae Kwon Johnson in 1:12 at 106 pounds; Colby Davis, who pinned Dallas Dewalt in 2:12 at 145 pounds; and Wills, who pinned James Young in 3:42 at 160 pounds.
Receiving forfeits for Highland versus East St. Louis were Kirsch at 138 pounds, Adam Rieke at 1521 pounds and Burke at 132 pounds.
Highland’s two other individual victories against Althoff were a 5-4 minor decision for Christian Zuccarelli over Cody Harris at 170 pounds and Cody Carroll receiving a forfeit at 195 pounds.