Post and Mail photo / Mark Parker
Whitko's Cody Bays has advanced to the IHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament; he will grapple Friday in Indianapolis.
FORT WAYNE â€” Three Whitley County wrestlers traveled to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Saturday for the IHSAA Semi-State competition, hoping to qualify for a trip to Bankerâ€™s Life Fieldhouse and the IHSAA Individual State Finals Wrestling Tournament.
For one of those three, Whitkoâ€™s Cody Bays, the season continues as he will take his place in Indianapolis as one of the top 16 wrestlers in the state via his fourth-place finish in the 145-pound weight class. Bays began the dayâ€™s competition with a match against Levi McKee, a junior from North Miami with a 36-1 record. Bays scored on three first period takedowns to take a 6-3 lead going into the second period.
Neither wrestler put up points in the second period, but the Whitko senior added two more takedowns in the third to take a 10-5 decision to advance into the second round.
In the â€śticket roundâ€ť named so because those that win get a ticket to the State Finals, Bays squared off against Dekalbâ€™s Connor Brummett, a 31-9 junior. Bays jumped out to a big first period lead scoring three takedowns and a two-point nearfall to take an 8-2 lead at the end of the first period. Leading 8-3 to start the third, Bays put up six more points on two escapes and two takedowns to take a 14-6 win and qualify for the trip to Indianapolis.
In the semifinals, Bays ran into 41-1 Bellmont senior and eventual weight class champion Brooks Faurote. Faurote scored on a takedown and then scored the pinfall win over Bays at the 1:27 mark of the first period, sending Bays into the third place match. In the third place match, Bays took on 43-4 Rhett Hiestand from Yorktown High School.
Bays had trouble finding an offense against Heistand falling behind 5-0 at the end of the first period. Bays gave up a second period reversal before falling by pinfall at the 2:21 mark of the match.
In the Friday night round of the State Finals Bays will meet undefeated Jason Tsirtsis of Crown Point. If Bays wins he will advance to Saturdayâ€™s placing rounds.
Also competing at the semi-state were Churbusco freshman Chase Downing and Columbia City junior Russell Hazelet, who did not advance.
For a more in depth look at this story, see the Feb. 13 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.
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