Hughes the boss
State’s top-ranked defeats No. 3 Schurg but CP wins 13th straight title
CROWN POINT — Lowell’s Drew Hughes was looking forward to this matchup, after a regular season where he rarely faced a ranked opponent.
But IndianaMat’s No. 1 wrestler at 160 pounds knew he was likely to face the thirdranked wrestler in that class at Saturday’s sectional meet: Crown Point’s Darden Schurg.
“I knew he was more upper-body, so I had to get some shots in and not tie up with him as much,” Hughes said.
His plan worked perfectly, as Hughes scored an 11-0 major decision in a match that drew everyone’s attention at the Crown Point sectional meet. He scored six of his points by near fall while on top of Schurg’s back — another part of Hughes’ strategy.
“That’s where I’m more comfortable. The longer I can be on top, the better,” Hughes said. But with potential rematches looming for the rest of the postseason, he wasn’t expressing any overconfidence. “I’ll have to wrestle him again next week, most likely, and it’ll be a whole new match.”
Lowell won the match but it was Crown Point that ran away with the team title, scoring 272 points to win their 13th straight sectional crown. Valparaiso followed in second with 237 points, with Lowell’s score of 198.5 good for third place.
“The kids wrestled hard and wrestled well; we were pleased with their performance,” Crown Point coach Scott Vlink said. “Overall, there’s not much to be disappointed about and we have a lot to look forward to next week.”
The Bulldogs will send 13 wrestlers on to the regional round, with five of them earning sectional titles: Austin Torres (120 pounds), Zach Donaldson (132), Riley Akers (138), Daylan Schurg (145) and Morgan Kral (220).
Kral kept his regular season trend going in the postseason: in every match he’s won that was not a forfeit, Kral pinned his opponent. After a first-round bye and a secondround forfeit, Kral scored pins in the semifinal and final rounds to run his season record to 30-1.
“I’m just making my opponent wrestle my match. That’s the most important thing,” he said. “And I’m doing the moves that I’ve known my whole life.”
Valparaiso had two individual champions in the first four matches thanks to Austin Line at 113 and Tristan Dembowski at 126.
“The strategy for any match in this time of the season is to keep my hands low and focus on staying in good position; that’s it,” Line said after his 4-3 decision in the final. Dembowski’s win was an 8-4 decision. “I was just getting to my ties and working offense as best as I could,” he said. “And I got some takedowns.”
Also winning sectional championships on Saturday were: Lowell’s Colton Cummings (106), Isaac James (170), and John Bigbie (195), Andrean’s Mike Krzyston (152), Hanover Central’s Ashton Mutuwa (182) and Valparaiso’s Ian Suttles (285).
Lowell’s Drew Hughes (right) grabs the leg of Crown Point’s Darden Schurg in the 160-pound match on Saturday in Crown Point.