PLYMOUTH — With only one win during the Northern Lakes Conference dual schedule, the Rockies had a lot of ground to make up at Saturday’s NLC Championship meet.
Led by IndianaMat.com No. 2-ranked Damon Howe’s championship finish in the heavyweight class, Plymouth placed a total of nine wrestlers in the top six Saturday, but couldn’t make up enough ground to shake up the final NLC standings as they beat out Concord but finished seventh, while Elkhart Memorial claimed the crown as expected at The Rock.
“The kids did wrestle real hard. I was pleased even in the losses,” said Plymouth head wrestling coach Bob Read.
“We just knew going in that we had four kids that wrestled the No. 1 seed in the first round and two kids that wrestled the No. 2 kid in the first round, so our draws because of our records were not real good draws.”
Only recently returned from knee surgery, Howe went 3-0 on the day — improving to 25-0 on the season — pinning Wawasee’s Dimitri Kaplanis in just 1:48 for a convincing championship win and his third straight NLC crown.
“The Wawasee kid he wrestled in the finals really was a good wrestler,” Read said. “Because of Damon’s knee surgery he hadn’t wrestled a lot of conference matches so we hadn’t gotten to wrestle the Wawasee kid in a dual match, and the Wawasee kid was undefeated in the conference and Damon ended up pinning him in the first period.”
At the other end of Plymouth’s lineup, John Mills capitalized on a favorable draw to reach the 103-pound championship, where he ultimately finished in second place, while Jacob Segraves fell to eventually 215-pound champ Chase Spears of Memorial before winning a consolation decision over Wawsee’s Jake Jones for third place in the conference.
“Jacob was in a pretty deep hole in the semifinals against the Memorial kid and actually put him to his back and closed the gap and then was turning him to his back again when the buzzer went off so it was one of those situations where a little more time on the clock and it might have been a different story, and that was the kid who ended up winning it,” Read said. “Jacob’s getting better, so it’s good to see him come on down the stretch.”
Also reaching the podium for Plymouth Saturday, Nathan Benham and Clay Corsbie placed fourth at 171 and 119, respectively, while Kameron Markovich was fifth at 112, and Scott Lee and Jacob Pearson were sixth at 135 and 145, respectively.
“Corsbie beat a kid that beat him earlier in the year,” said Read. “The Lee kid at ‘35 is a freshman and he placed, and the Pearson kid at ‘45 is a freshman, and he placed so we had some of those freshmen that actually placed so it wasn’t a bad day overall.
“As young kids we knew it’s a meat grinder tournament, but the tournament does make a difference for them in the future.”
Plymouth will host the Plymouth Sectional next Saturday at 9 a.m.
• NLC CHAMPIONSHIPS
TEAM SCORES: 1. ELKHART MEMORIAL 234.5, 2. GOSHEN 194; 3. WARSAW 162.5, 4. WAWASEE 159; 5. NORTHRIDGE 119; 6. NORTHWOOD 110, 7. PLYMOUTH 108, 8. CONCORD 81.
103: Greg Newman (Waw) pinned John Mills (P) 3:43. 112: Jarred Brooks (War) tech. fall Jermel Moody-Neukom 19-4. 119: Devin Puckett (Nr) maj. dec. Luis Munoz (War) 15-5. 125: Eric Blodgett (M) dec. Austin Maynard (G) 11-6. 130: Ronnie Bogle (M) dec. Zach Sweeden (NW) 9-3. 135: Kris Roberts (M) pinned Jordan Horney (War) 5:35. 140: Ryan Ntende (G) tech. fall Jake Kenny (Nr) 19-4. 145: Cam Matteson (M) pinned Travis Pickard (G) 1:21. 152: Dantrell Goodman (M) dec. Ryan Lindsey (Waw) 11-7. 160: Troy Pickard (G) dec. Everardo Ahuatl (War) 1-0. 171: Zac Erba (War) dec. Zach Telschow (NW) 8-5. 189: Ross Hoover (War) dec. Brandon Dillenbeck (G) 4-2. 215: Chase Spears (M) dec. Brandon Daniels (G) 13-10. Hwt: Damon Howe (P) pinned Dimitri Kaplanis (Waw) 1:48.
103: Codey Flickinger (M) pinned Scotty Huff (G) 3:42. 112: Anthony Datena (C) maj. dec. Josh Bustos (G) 13-5. 119: Cyle Jaskolka (G) pinned Clay Corsbie (P) 3:15. 125: Ryan Baxter (Nr) dec. Garrett Freel (Waw) 4-0. 130: Richie Sleppy (G) maj. dec. Aaron Lane (C) 11-3. 135: Tim Deters (Nr) dec. Nick Rozow (Waw) 6-2. 140: Zach Wilson (NW) dec. Nick Vaughn (M) 12-6.
145: Raul Rodriguez (Waw) dec. Drake Heims (Nr) 8-3. 152: Drew Lopez (C) pinned John Trenshaw (G) 3:08. 160: Mack White (Nr) dec. Zach Herington (C) 3-1. 171: Brian Clark (Waw) dec. Nathan Benham (P) 2-1. 189: Lance Wright (Waw) dec. Kain Jenkins (M) 5-3. 215: Jacob Segraves (P) dec. Jake Jones (Waw) 6-1. Hwt: Justin Mullins (NW) pinned Will Henderson (M) 1:26.
Plymouth top six finishers
103: John Mills (2nd), 112: Kameron Markovich (5th), 119: Clay Corsbie (4th), 135: Scott Lee (6th), 145: Jacob Pearson (6th), 171: Nathan Benham (4th), 189: Jesse Huerta (5th), 215: Jacob Segraves (3rd), 285: Damon Howe (1st),
Final NLC standings (dual records in parentheses):
1. Memorial 16 points (7-0). 2. Goshen 14 (6-1), 3. Warsaw 11.5 (4-3), 4. Wawasee 10.5 (4-3), 5. Northridge 8 (3-4), 6. NorthWood 6 (2-5), 7. Plymouth 3.5 (1-6), 8. Concord 2.5 (1-6).