The Eastern Hancock wrestling team placed fourth at the Shenandoah Sectional on Saturday led by individual champion Josh Robinson at heavyweight.
The Royals had seven wrestlers qualify for this weekend’s Richmond Regional with the top-four sectional place winners in each weight division advancing.
Robinson (32-5) repeated as a sectional champion with three consecutive pins. His first fall was recorded in 1 minute, 57 seconds against Centerville’s Lucas Buchanan (18-16) in the quarterfinals. The senior pinned New Castle’s Bryce Pinkard (13-8) in 1:22 during the semifinals.
In the finals, the 2015-16 semistate qualifier won by fall in 5:58 against Knightstown’s Burias Wisner (29-3).
Eastern Hancock junior Jordyn Wills finished runner-up at 145 pounds, bumping up from 132 from a year ago when he was fourth at sectional.
Willis (29-6) won his first match against Kristion Bates (12-15) of Hagerstown by fall in 3:29 followed by a pin against Knightstown’s Michael Weiland (18-20) in the semifinals at 4:45. He lost in the finals by fall in 1:44 against New Castle’s Same Buck (35-1), who is ranked 18th in the state by IndianaMat.
Senior Gabe Blake (25-6) was third at 138, overcoming a semifinal loss by pin to win two straight matches to advance to regional. Blake had a pin in 2:46 during his first wrestleback match and won by decision 13-6 in the third-place consolation round against Richmond’s Jerrell Deloney (25-19).
Jack Smith (18-12) was fourth at 120 along with Brandon Francis (26-11) at 170, Colby Hunt (18-8) at 195, and Alexander Burton (26-11) at 220.
The host Raiders won the team sectional title with 231.02 points. New Castle was second at 196.53 points, and Knightstown was third with 172.04 points. Eastern Hancock had 134.05 points.
Dragons lose heartbreaker to Falcons
The New Palestine Dragons put together a strong first half on Saturday night but couldn’t hold on down the stretch, losing a hard-fought game at Perry Meridian 72-66.
Led by Jalen Qualkinbush’s team-high 19 points, the Dragons built a 15-14 lead after the first quarter and a 34-26 halftime lead in search of their second straight win.
The host Falcons responded in the third quarter, however, scoring 25 points to take a three-point advantage before converting 11 of 13 free throws in the final frame.
Perry Meridian had four players reach double figures with Gabe Patterson scoring 20 points and Nathan Mills posting a game-high 22.
Maximus Gizzi had 14 points for the Dragons. Matthew True chipped in 12 and Austin Keele scored a career-high 11 points.
The Dragons are now 4-12 on the season and will host Franklin Central on Feb. 7 in a game that was rescheduled from Dec. 17.
Cougars shoot down Stars
The Greenfield-Central Cougars snapped their two-game losing streak on Saturday night, defeating Bedford North Lawrence 57-47 on the road.
The win marks the Cougars’ second in four games and first against a Class 4A team this year.
Greenfield-Central improved to 7-9 on the season with the victory and will host Hoosier Heritage Conference foe Delta on Thursday.