NEW CASTLE – The stage was set and everyone was ready to see it.
Eleven finals were already in the books, but a large portion of the crowd stuck around the New Castle Fieldhouse for the final match at 195 pounds in Saturday’s semistate. Warren Central’s Tristen Tonte faced an old foe in Cathedral’s Ben Stewart in a rematch of last year’s semistate final. That match ended with a win for Tonte. History repeated itself Saturday.
“I knew that I was going to wrestle different guys today, but when it came to the finals, I knew I was going to be against Ben,” Tonte said.
Both seniors were named to the IndyStar football Super Team this fall, but never had the opportunity to play each other on the gridiron. It’s a completely different story on the wrestling mats as the two have been facing off since they were in elementary school.
“They’ve known each other and wrestled each other since they were little kids and Ben’s always been a phenomenal athlete,” said Jim Tonte, Tristen’s father and Warren Central’s coach. “As a kid, his wrestling ability and success far exceeded Tristen’s. We’ve had to play catch up over the years, and Tristen’s done a hell of a job making up ground.”
Both strolled through the opening rounds. Tonte won all three of his matches with pinfalls. Stewart won his first match by pinfall, but only managed to squeeze by North Montgomery’s Cole Slavens 8-4. He rebounded to beat Westfield’s Liam Jagow 21-7 in the semifinal.
“I haven’t had a lot of matches that have pushed me all six minutes so it was good to get a few of those out of today,” Stewart said. “That confidence carried over to the finals. We have a lot of history and I thought tonight I wrestled him as confident as I ever have.”
In the final, Stewart that set the tone early. He pushed Tonte around the mat, but couldn’t find a way to get him down. Late in the second round, Tonte took Stewart to the ground for a 2-1 lead and never looked back.
“That’s the best I’ve ever wrestled against him,” Tonte said. “I feel good going into the state tournament knowing that I can dominate against one of the other top guys.”
While the 195-pound match didn’t go their way, the Fighting Irish controlled the day. They had winners in three matches (126, 132, 138) and finished second in three other matches (145, 195, 220). It proved more than enough as their 140.5 was 50 points better than second place Perry Meridian.
“It was a total team effort today,” Cathedral coach Sean McGinley said. “Our big guns came through but then we had a couple guys that really stepped up and really gave us that lift throughout the day.”
• Evansville semistate: Hendricks County powers Brownsburg and Avon finished 1-2 at Evansville’s Ford Center and sent a combined 12 wrestlers to the state finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday. Drake Campbell (106), Brayton Lee (145) and Nathan Walton (182) took home semistate titles for the Bulldogs, while Asa Garcia (113) and Gunnar Larson (220) were winners for Avon.
Other local winners included Center Grove’s Gleason Mappes (160) and Monrovia’s Eli Stock (170). In all 26 wrestlers from the Indianapolis area advanced from the Evansville site to the state finals.
At New Castle
106: Brayden Lowery (Perry Meridian) def. Seth Johnson (North Montomgery)
Also advancing to state: Andrew Black (Shenandoah), Brendan Mattingly (Carmel)
113: Alec Viduya (Roncalli) def. Skylour Turner (Warren Central)
Also advancing to state: Gavin Rose (Greenfield-Central), Caleb Oliver (Cathedral)
120: Tyce Freije (Roncalli) def. Carter Noehre (Greenfield-Central)
Also advancing to state: Sunny Nier (Perry Meridian), Trevor Ragle (New Castle)
126: Jordan Slivka (Cathedral) def. Alec White (New Palestine)
Also advancing to state: Adam Jerde (Carmel), Dallas Pugsley (Shenandoah)
132: Breyden Bailey (Cathedral) def. Cainan Schaefer (South Dearborn)
Also advancing to state: Ethan Smiley (Beech Grove), Jack Servies (Perry Meridian)
138: Zach Melloh (Cathedral) def. Jesus Mancera (Lawrence Central)
Also advancing to state: Ryan Surguy (Shenandoah), Jacob Redd (Connersville)
145: Boone Welliever (Southmont) def. Elliot Rodgers (Cathedral)
Also advancing to state: Kain Rust (Perry Meridian), Darian Padgett (North Central)
152: Noah Warren (Perry Meridian) def. Andrew Negangard (East Central)
Also advancing to state: Cody Klettheimer (Frankton), David Kitko (Noblesville)
160: Alston Bane (Richmond) def. Josh Gee (Shenandoah)
Also advancing to state: Matthew Wertz (Zionsville), Justin Miller (Westfield)
170: Tanner Webster (North Montgomery) def. Jake Ruberg (Lawrenceburg)
Also advancing to state: Joe Mazero (Hamilton SE), Brad Lowe (Greenfield-Central)
182: Alec Jessop (Hamilton SE) def. Evan Stambaugh (Lebanon)
Also advancing to state: Jonah Rolfes (Lawrenceburg), Cameron Simmons (Lawrence Central)
195: Tristen Tonte (Warren Central) def. Ben Stewart (Cathedral)
Also advancing to state: Liam Jagow (Westfield), David Delph (Frankton)
220: Mason Parris (Lawrenceburg) def. Andy Guhl (Cathedral)
Also advancing to state: Jacob McClaine (Lebanon), Kyle Cornwell (Elwood)
285: Elijah Bailey (North Central) def. Robert Samuels (Lawrence North)
Also advancing to state: Tyler Selm (Franklin County), Clark Minges (East Central)
At Evansville Reitz
106: Drake Campbell (Brownsburg) def. Ray Rioux (Avon)
Also advancing to state: Logan Boe (Danville), Logan Stephenson (Terre Haute South)
113: Asa Garcia (Avon) def. Seth Horty (Evansville Memorial)
Also advancing to state: Alex Petro (Center Grove), Kane Egil (Evansville Mater Dei)
120: Cayden Rooks (Columbus East) def. Alex Mosconi (Indian Creek)
Also advancing to state: Ty Mills (Brownsburg), Zane Sulivan (Edgewood)
126: Graham Rooks (Columbus East) def. Noah Hunt (Bloomington South)
Also advancing to state: Blake Mulkey (Brownsburg), Matt Lee (Evansville Mater Dei)
132: Dawson Combest (Columbus East) def. Donald Campbell (Ben Davis)
Also advancing to state: Kyle Luigs (Evansville Mater Dei), Noah Franklin (New Washington)
138: Tristan Sellmer (Floyd Central) def. Jake Schoenegge (Columbus East)
Also advancing to state: Nathan Conley (Avon), Levi Miller (North Posey)
145: Brayton Lee (Brownsburg) def. Logan Coyle (Center Grove)
Also advancing to state: Corban Pollitt (Columbus East), Brooks Wathen (Jennings County)
152: Joe Lee (Evansville Mater Dei) def. Austin Bethel (Mt. Vernon – Posey)
Also advancing to state: Jacob Clark (Avon), Tucker Schank (Southridge)
160: Gleason Mappes (Center Grove) def. Ethan Stock (Monrovia)
Also advancing to state: Chase Wilson (Princeton), Jaylen Adkins (Decatur Central)
170: Eli Stock (Monrovia) def. Buck Vanhorn (Franklin)
Also advancing to state: Anthony Cicciarelli (Brownsburg), Jonah Hays (Center Grove)
182: Nathan Walton (Brownsburg) def. Jake Moore (Franklin)
Also advancing to state: Thomas Dull (Terre Haute North), Jacob Hendrich (Northview)
195: Kyle Shaffer (South Putnam) def. Jack Michel (Southridge)
Also advancing to state: Kurtis Wilderman (Evansville Mater Dei), Bradley Philpot (Floyd Central)
220: Gunnar Larson (Avon) def. Garrison Lee (Monrovia)
Also advancing to state: Isaac McCormick (Brownsburg), Clayton Scroggs (Martinsville)
285: Wade Ripple (Mt. Vernon – Posey) def. Rickie Clark (Brownsburg)
Also advancing to state: Dylan Cain (Greensburg), Brendan Sutton (Jennings County)