Hughes the boss

State’s top-ranked de­feats No. 3 Schurg but CP wins 13th straight ti­tle

Post-Tribune - - Post-Tribune Sports - BY DAVE MEL­TON

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).

| CHARLES MITCHELL

Low­ell’s Drew Hughes (right) grabs the leg of Crown Point’s Dar­den Schurg in the 160-pound match on Satur­day in Crown Point.

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