Archive for Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bobcats’ senior claims league crown

Zach Davis dominates on his way to the 130-pound Kaw Valley League title

February 16, 2006

Coach Scott Neil finally got the performance he'd been looking for from his wrestling team last weekend. And it could hardly have come at a better time.

In their final warm-up before the playoffs, six of the eight Basehor-Linwood High School wrestlers placed at the Kaw Valley League tournament. The tournament, held at Perry-Lecompton High School, saw BLHS take one first place, one third place and four fourth places.

"I was pretty happy with the way we wrestled," Neil said. "We just hadn't wrestled like that all year long. I thought the kids were finally wrestling at their potential and it's a good way to go into regionals."

The solid performances propelled BLHS to fifth as a team in the tournament. The Bobcats finished behind Santa Fe Trail, Lansing, Mill Valley and Perry-Lecompton, in that order.

State tournament veteran Zach Davis appeared ready to get his latest playoff run started. After beginning the season red-hot he had struggled a bit lately, but those difficulties were nowhere to be seen on Saturday. Davis was his usual dominant self, taking first place.

"I thought Zach wrestled outstandingly," Neil said.

Davis led the way, but plenty of his teammates followed. Seniors Dustin Sullivan, Will Peterson and Dustin Weimer all placed fourth, just barely missing out on medals.

More exciting for the program's future, though, was the fact that a couple of the young guns started loading up.

Stephen Millison, a sophomore who split time on junior varsity early in the year, snagged fourth place in the 125-pound weight class.

Swede Johnson, a freshman heavyweight who was previously buried behind Ethan Douglas, had his best performance of the season. Johnson finished in the medals at third place, losing just one match in the tourney. Even the two youngsters who didn't place received praise from Neil.

He said sophomore Travis Inlow probably should have placed, but had trouble getting warmed up for one of his matches, and that freshman Josh Bowen fared well against a tough field at 215 pounds.

"I thought Josh did a good job, he went out there and didn't back down from anybody," Neil said. "He wrestled well, but I think he was just a little bit outclassed in this tournament."

All the success at league has Neil optimistic about this weekend's regional tournament at Eudora. The top four finishers in each weight class there will go on to state the following weekend. Davis and Sullivan remain Basehor-Linwood's best chance for state berths, but Neil said he could realistically see a total of four Bobcats going.

The regional tournament at Eudora High School will start at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and continue Saturday at 10 a.m

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