News From Terre Haute, Indiana

High School

January 26, 2013

Solid day for Wabash Valley wrestlers on sectional mat

BRAZIL — As expected, No. 4-ranked Bloomington South handily won the team title in the Northview Sectional for high school wrestling, which started Saturday morning and ended in the evening.

From a Vigo County/Northview perspective, highlights included three weight-class championships for Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North senior Eric Elia knocking off previously undefeated Cory Orndorff of Sullivan in the 126-pound final match and Northview senior Justin Sampson winning the crown at 285.

At 113, Terre Haute South sophomore Darin Pemberton (28-8) edged Northview’s Shane Ryan 12-10 in the final match. Earlier in the day, Pemberton scored a pin in nine seconds, but defeating Ryan proved much more difficult.

With 59.6 seconds left in the third period and Pemberton leading 12-10, an injury timeout was called when Pemberton started favoring his arm and shoulder. When action resumed with Pemberton in the top position, Ryan never could escape Pemberton’s hold.

“It hurt pretty bad,” Pemberton said of his inury. “I dislocated my bicep tendon earlier in the year. It popped out again [Saturday], but it came right back in. … It was just one of those things.”

“When Darin wrestles, he goes out there and puts it on the line,” South coach Gabe Cook told the Tribune-Star.

“He came out [in the first period] and got himself in a little bit of a hole. He was down 4-0, but he kept his composure and got Ryan down to his back. … That match was back and forth the whole time.”

Although the pain did not lessen during the final 59.6 seconds, Pemberton insisted that he never considered forfeiting the match.

The top four places in each weight class will move on to the Bloomington South Regional next Saturday, so that will include Pemberton and Ryan. Cook said he didn’t think Saturday’s re-injury would prevent Pemberton from competing in the regional.

Later, championship victories for the Braves’ Phoenix Adams at 138 (8-4 over Bloomington South’s Brennan Barlow) and Cody Helms at 152 (9-4 over Bloomington South’s Jeremy Williams) looked more dominant.

“The kid wrestled really tough,” menitioned Adams, who finished second in the sectional last season. “I just stayed in good position. … I just rode him out as long as I could and kept the points on my side.”

“I knew [Williams] was long, so I wouldn’t be able to pin him,” Helms said of his match. “But I wanted to control most of the match and I knew my strength would be a huge advantage.”

“Phoenix beat a really good kid in the finals,” Cook chimed in. “Going into the match, we wanted to make it a takedown match. He got caught in a cradle early. Luckily, he didn’t give up any back points. … He kept his composure when he was in a really bad spot.”

“Cody’s been on a roll here lately. He started off at 160 early in the year and got three losses there, so he cut down to 152 and he’s only lost one match. … Today, he jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period and I feel like he could have extended his lead a little bit. But he wrestled a very smart match.”

Adams, a junior, improved his season mark to 32-7. Helms, a senior, is now 36-4.

South’s biggest heartbreak came between those matches at 145. Approaching the end of the first period, the Braves’ Ian Newton owned a 3-2 lead and a positional advantage on Owen Valley’s William Newforth when Newforth rolled Newton back for a shocking pin right before the buzzer.

Cook complained to officials that the count on the pin was quick, but at least Newton will still advance to the regional.

“Ian gets in there and scraps,” Cook said. “A lot of times when you take as many risks as he does and wrestles as hard as he does, sometimes guys will catch you. He got caught a little bit. … His shoulders were on the mat, but there was very little time left on the clock.”

The final results list the time of Newforth’s pin as 1:59. Wrestling periods last two minutes.

The win for Elia (28-9) came after he led 4-3 at the end of the first period and the score was tied 4-4 at the end of the second period. A fast and furious third period full of escapes and reversals ended with Elia ahead 10-6. Orndorff, a junior, is now 22-1 for the season.

“I just kept moving and kept my hips up,” Elia explained. “I tried my best to stay in good position.”

In the final match of the evening, the 6-foot-5 Sampson fought off the stocky, much shorter Gus Dajani of Bloomington South to score an 8-1 decision and boost his record to 37-0.

“I was very, very nervous [about Sampson] going into today,” Northview coach Dan Mikesell admitted. “There’s a lot of pressure on you when you’re undefeated. But we approached it that he was 0-0 and everyone else was 0-0. He wrestled real well.”

The Knights will have six wrestlers, including Sampson, who go to the regional. Terre Haute South will have seven, Terre Haute North five, Sullivan four and West Vigo two.

Also worth mentioning is the sectional triumph at 170 by former Northview student-athlete Larry Shaffer, who’s now a senior at Owen Valley.

As noted previously, there is no longer team advancement beyond the sectional in the IHSAA wrestling state tournament.

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