BLHS wrestlers take second at KVL tournament
A few scratches and an unexpected addition made for an interesting day for Basehor-Linwood at Saturday's Kaw Valley League tournament. The Bobcats fielded a lineup void of several regular starters, but still made plenty of noise in the team and individual standings.
Six top-three finishes powered BLHS to a second-place team finish at the annual tournament, which took place this year at Piper.
Freshman Corbin Nirschl (106 pounds) kept his undefeated record intact, going 3-0 with two pins and a major decision victory. He defeated Mill Valley's Landon Scott in the finals, 15-3, to improve to 24-0 and give the Bobcats their only individual title of the day.
Cory McCleary (160), Stephen Struzzo (170) and Dalton Snyder (195) also reached the finals before falling in the championship round. Struzzo made his first finals appearance of the year, and Snyder wrestled varsity for the first time this season.
Dalton Inlow (138) was thought to be done for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in December, but made an unexpected return. He went 3-1 — his only loss coming Mill Valley's Tyler Dickman, a former Class 5A state champ — and took third. He is now 10-1 on the year.
"I didn't know until Friday night before the tournament," coach Tyler Cordts said of Inlow's return. "I had counted him out for the year. That was huge, considering he hadn't wrestled since the first week of the year. He beat several regional opponents in the process."
Bret Fritz (285) joined Inlow as a third-place finisher, going 1-1 in his class. Meanwhile, Josh Summer (145) and Dominic Foster (220) picked up fourth-place finishes.
As a team, BLHS finished with 146 points. Mill Valley won the team title with a score of 232.
Cordts' squad was without three regular starters at the meet. Snyder filled in for regular starter Zach Holtgrewe, who missed the meet with a skin condition. Fellow regulars John Hopper (152) and Zack Carter (195) were also out Saturday. The Bobcats went open at 152, and Carter was replaced by Alex Yanos.
BLHS will be back on the mat Friday when it opens 4A regional competition at Holton. The two-day tournament, hosted by the reigning state champion Wildcats, will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday and resume at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The tournament field is comprised of the Bobcats, Holton, Atchison, Bonner Springs, De Soto, Eudora, Royal Valley, Bishop Ward, Piper, Sumner Academy, Jeff West, Perry-Lecompton, Bishop Miege, Tonganoxie, Hayden and Wamego.
The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the state tournament, which starts Feb. 28 in Salina. Regional brackets will be released Wednesday night and will be available at basehorinfo.com.
"This weekend and next weekend, they're totally different animals," Cordts said. "You have kids who have been working so hard all year long to get there, and they're going to be fired up. All week, we've been talking about making sure we're going hard and just being mentally tougher than our opponents."
Overall team results
- Mill Valley, 232; 2. Basehor-Linwood, 146; 3. Lansing, 141; 4. Turner, 132; 5. Bonner Springs, 118; 6. Tonganoxie, 100; 7. Piper, 38; 8. Bishop Ward, 26.
BLHS individual results
106 — Corbin Nirschl, 3-0 (First)
113 — Open
120 — Spencer Ogden, 0-2 (N/A)
126 — Rylan Hawthorne, 0-2 (N/A)
132 — Justin Phillips, 0-2 (N/A)
138 — Dalton Inlow, 3-1 (Third)
145 — Josh Summers, 1-2 (Fourth)
152 — Open
160 — Cory McCleary, 2-1 (Second)
170 — Stephen Struzzo, 1-1 (Second)
182 — Dalton Snyder, 1-1 (Second)
195 — Alex Yanos, 0-2 (N/A)
220 — Dominic Foster, 2-2 (Fourth)
285 — Bret Fritz, 1-1 (Third)