While a new champion was crowned Saturday at the 50th Newton Invitational Tournament of Champions, the title went out of state for the third straight year and the fourth time in tournament history. However, after going south to Oklahoma the three previous times, this time the title went north to Nebraska. The Grand Island Islanders topped the 27-team field, scoring 243 points. Arkansas City was second with 178 points, followed by Newton at 152.5, Garden City at 152 and Colby at 128.5. Rounding out the top 10 of the 27-team field were Andover Central, Manhattan, Derby, Emporia and Wichita Northwest. “I think the kids had a great time,” Grand Island coach Mike Schadwinkel said. “It was a great tournament. The people here were very cordial, very friendly. That’s what really made the tournament for us. “It’s always hard to compare states from here and there. We travel around quite a bit. We were in Iowa a couple weeks ago. We’ll be in Colorado pretty soon. We just try to find great competition. We knew this would be good competition for us. The quality of kids here is outstanding.” Grand Island won three weight classes, followed by Newton and Andover Central with two each. “I would have like to have won more,” Schadwinkle said. “I’m greedy. But in a tournament like this, it doesn’t come easy.” Schadwinkel said his team faced St. James Academy and Manhattan, both state-ranked teams, earlier in the season, so Kansas wrestling was no surprise for him. “This is a little over halfway for us,” Schadwinkel said. “We have a tournament in Colorado, and another tough tournament after that. Then we come home for our state tournament series. This is a good gauge for us. We’ll go back home and work on some things, but overall, we wrestled pretty well.” At 120 pounds, defending Class 5A state champion Zac Gentzler of Andover Central met defending Nebraska Class A champion Dante Rodriguez of Grand Island. The match was scoreless until Rodriguez scored an escape early in the third period, but was then taken down. Gentzler rode Rodriguez out for more than 90 seconds for the 2-1 win. “That’s the first time I’ve ever been ridden out in my high school career I think,” Gentzler said. “I just had to come back stronger in the third period. I have to give him a lot of credit. I’ve never wrestled him before. He’s been in the same bracket I have at nationals, but I’ve never had to wrestle him before. He’s strong on his feet. I’m sure I’ll see him again in college wrestling. Nebraska has some very strong wrestlers. My brother is wrestling in college up there, so he’s seen some strong wrestlers. They are 60 points ahead on the scoreboard. That says a lot.” Gentzler remains unbeaten for the season with the win. Gentzler was named outstanding wrestler of the tournament. Top-ranked (Class 6A) and unbeaten Dustin Williams of Gardner-Edgerton took control of his match at 160 pounds against top-ranked (Class 5A) Noel Torres of Emporia, claiming a 12-5 decision. The first seeding upset of the meet came at 152 pounds when Grand Island’s Billy Thompson, ranked fourth (Nebraska, Class A) scored a penalty point late in the match against previously unbeaten and top-ranked (Class 6A) Ben Bekcer of Derby for a 3-2 win. Down 1-0 in the third, Thompson scored a reversal. The penalty point came after Becker scored an escape to tie the match. In a battle of one versus two at 106 pounds, Garden City’s Michael Prieto and Arkansas City’s Logan Terrill (second, Class 5A) were scoreless through regulation. Prieto, ranked first in Class 6A, got the takedown with eight seconds left in overtime for a 2-0 win. In a clash of Class 6A’s top two wrestlers ar 113 pounds, unbeaten Sean Deshazer of Wichita Heights took a 3-0 lead in the second period against once-beaten Michael Lindlar of Wichita Northwest. Deshazer managed to scoot off the ring at the buzzer to avoid a takedown and claim a 3-2 win. At 126 pounds, top-ranked (Class 4A) Dustin Reed of Colby scored an early takedown against second-ranked (Class 6A) Brett Moon of Maize. Reed held on for the 3-2 decision to remain unbeaten. At 138 pounds, top-ranked (Class 3-2-1A) and unbeaten Brogan Humphries of Fredonia scored a takedown with 30 seconds left in the match against second-ranked (Class 6A) A.J. Hurtado of Garden City for a 3-2 win. At 145 pounds, Arkansas City’s top-ranked (Class 5A) Cody Eastman scored the first takedown against third-ranked (Class 6A) Davis Matthews of Manhattan. Matthews got the escape and rode Eastman out in the second period. Eastman rode Matthews out in the third period for a 2-1 decision. At 132 pounds, top-ranked (Class A, Nebraska) Trey Trujillo of Grand Island jumped out 5-0 in the first period against fourth-ranked (Class 5A) Sawyer Like of tourney newcomer Blue Valley Southwest. Sawyer rode Trujillo out in the second period and scored an escape early in the third, but Trujillo held on for a 5-1 decision. At heavyweight, Nathan Butler took an early lead en route to a 9-0 major decision over Matt McGrew of Arkansas City, the sole unranked wrestler to reach the finals. At 220 pounds, Grand Island’s Edgar Silva took a 4-1 lead through two periods against Arkansas City’s Dylan Cox. Silva added a takedown in the third period for a 6-1 win.
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