By DEREK WILEY Leavenworth Times
OVERLAND PARK — Basehor-Linwood wrestlers Evan Vielhauer and Brody Ballard had unfinished business at the Class 5A East Regional.
After both finishing runners-up a year ago, Vielhauer and Ballard placed first at £120 and £126 respectively on Saturday at Blue Valley Southwest.
“Last year really motivated me,” said Vielhauer, who defeated Blue Valley Southwest sophomore Kaden Markley in the finals in a big decision 12-2.
“Going into this final game, I just needed to dominate and score as many points as I wanted and I did.”
Vielhauer is 32-6 this season and entering the 2023 state tournament, scheduled Friday and Saturday at Hartman Arena in Park City, ranked No.
“This year I want to do everything possible to finish at least in the top three,” said Vilehauer. “I have big plans for the state. I’m really looking forward to it.
“This year I don’t care who it is. I don’t care who I’m fighting against. I’ll go out there and fight them and they’ll know my name.
Down 5-0, Ballard fought back to tie St. James Academy sophomore Will Burchard 6-6 before winning 8-6 on a near drop in the closing seconds.
“Finishing second last year made me want to keep pushing to be better,” said Ballard. “It’s great, especially since last year after finishing second.”
Ballard is 27-12 this season after placing fourth at 106 pounds at the 2002 state tournament.
Basehor-Linwood had seven state qualifiers. Caden Puderbaugh placed fourth at 150 lbs. Tucker Hutchison (157) and Tyler Elven (175) both finished sixth. Ethan Kelley (138) and Shaydon Wright (190) placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
Lansing had two regional champions: Justin Shields at 144 and Tyler Henson at 175.
Shields defeated Spring Hill sophomore Avery Bartek 10-6 in the final, avenging an early season loss.
“I feel like I’ve cleaned up a lot of things throughout the year, a lot of improvements,” said Shields, who finished sixth at regionals a year ago.
Henson, who entered the tournament in fourth place at 175 pounds, pinned St. Thomas Aquinas’ No. 2 Luke Hancock in the final.
“It really tested me, but I just had to push through and that’s what made me win,” said Henson. “Going into the game thinking you can win really makes the difference.
I knew that if I could only survive him, I could beat him.
Lansing had 10 state qualifiers. Jacob Garner finished second at 113 lbs.
Elijah Townsend (190) and Caden Baragary (215) both placed fourth. Damian Alcaraz (165) and Elijah Mathis (285) finished fifth. Judge Rockhold (157) finished seventh. Aidan Lessard (138) and Xavier Harmon (150) both finished eighth.
Leavenworth had six state qualifiers. Shy`Ron McMurray placed fifth at 150 lbs.
Xavier Davis (144) finished sixth and Jacob Garner (113) finished seventh. Mitchell Horrigan (106), William French (120) and Archer Swienton (285) all finished eighth.
Tonganoxie placed first at the Class 4A Regional in Baldwin City. The Chieftains had four regional champions and 10 state qualifiers.
Junior Braeden Moore (32-1) was voted fighter of the year after winning his first two fights in 31 and 32 seconds. Moore, ranked no. 1 at 132 pounds, then pinned Holton’s Kyler Jackson in the Finals in just 12 seconds.
Junior Noah Bailey (34-5), runner-up a year ago and currently in third place at 150 pounds, defeated #5 Joel Brown of Ottawa 9-6 in the regional finals.
Junior Gannon Sonntag defeated Louisburg’s Jay McCaskill 6-0 in the 157lbs finals.
Freshman Brady Martin, ranked No. 5 at 144 lbs, defeated Baldwin’s Jesse Hopper by default with injury in the Finals.
No. 4 ranked Junior Colton Brusven at 165 also reached the final, but lost 6-2 to No. 1 ranked Holton’s Jayden Fletcher.
Brodie Starcher (106), Dax Duffett (126), Hunter Benedict (215) and Gavin Rhoads (285) were all runners-up. Emmett Crookham (138) finished third.
The defending 4A state champions are ranked fifth in the state tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina.
Pleasant Ridge had two state qualifiers as Andrew Stewart (113) and John McEvoy (165) both finished fourth at the Class 3-1A Regional in Sabetha.
The Rams will fight in the state tournament on Friday and Saturday at Fort Hays State.