The Highland High School wrestling team had juniors Colton Brown and Devin Willis place among the top three grapplers in their respective weight class Saturday at the IHSA Mascoutah Regional and qualify for the IHSA Lincoln Sectional, which will be held this weekend.
Brown finished second at 120 pounds and Wills took third at 160 pounds and both will have an opportunity at the sectional to punch their ticket to the IHSA Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament to be held Feb. 15-17 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s State Farm Center.
At 120 pounds, Brown, who holds a strong 31-9 on the season, opened the regional tournament by pinning Triad’s Brian Byrd in 3:47. Next in the semifinals, Brown followed that up by earning a hard-fought 3-0 minor decision over Mascoutah’s Nick Norwood to advance to the championship match.
In the title bout, Cahokia’s Marquis Wilson edged out Brown with a 6-1 minor decision.
At 160 pounds, Wills (30-6) opened the regional tourney by hammering out a dominant 13-2 victory over Cahokia’s Darius Frazier. Next in the semifinal, Wills fell in defeat to Jerseyville’s Zeke Waltz by the final score of 10-5.
Wills rebounded to pound out a 15-3 major decision over James Young of East St. Louis to advance to the third-place match.
Wills earned his spot in the sectional at Lincoln by pinning Civic Memorial’s Brady Christeson at the 5:23 mark of the third-place match.
Finishing in fourth place and missing out on qualifying for the sectional by one placement were Tanner Burke, who finished the season 15-8 at 132 pounds; Christian Zuccarelli, who went 17-14 at 170 pounds; and Tyler Langendorf, who went 9-21 at 220 pounds.
Triad had six wrestlers make it through the Mascoutah Regional to advance to the Lincoln Sectional, led by Garrett Bakarich (38-8), who captured the title at 138 pounds.
After receiving a bye in the quartefinals, Bakarich scored an 11-1 major decision over Malik Ball of Cahokia.
Then in the championship match, Bakarich blanked Mascoutah’s Jacob Averett 7-0.
Triad also received second-place finishes from Tanner Durell (21-24) at 132 pounds and Kaleb Woolverten (29-14) at 195 pounds, and third-place efforts from Aric Crehan (21-5) at 170 pounds and Kaleb Port (32-13) at 182 pounds