Southside senior Isaiah Bradley moved one step closer to repeating as the 152-pound wrestling state champion.
Bradley won his opening-round match in Friday’s state finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to advance to the 152 quarterfinals. The defending state champion beat Ashton Forzley of Evansville Mater Dei by technical fall 23-8.
“I feel pretty good,” said Bradley, who improved to 34-0 on the season. “I could’ve done better, but I just wanted to make sure I wrestled on top of my game, not give him any hope.”
Bradley is one of nine East Central Indiana wrestlers to advance to the quaterfinals, which begin at 9:30 a.m. today. The championship round is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Bradley is three wins away from becoming the first ECI wrestler to repeat as state champion since Delta graduate John Ginther won back-to-back in 1983-84.
“It’s up for grabs,” Bradley said. “Anybody at this level can be beat. I hope to get another (state title).”
Southside advanced both its wrestlers Friday in Bradley and Jacob Reed (170). Reed pinned Westfield senior and semistate champion Logan Floor in 1:11.
Seven Yorktown wrestlers took to the Bankers Life mat and five walked away with victories. Cael McCormick (106), Schuyler Phillips (120), Chandler Carroll (138), Eli Walker (145) and Rhett Hiestand (160) each won their opening-round matches by decision for the Tigers.
Carroll and Walker each improved their records to 41-1 on the season. Phillips now owns a 46-2 mark and Hiestand nearly matches at 45-2.
Yorktown senior Dalton Baysinger lost to Evansville Memorial senior Logan Wedding by a 4-2 decision at 132 pounds. Baysinger finished his season with a 44-4 record.
“Dalton’s just had a superb season,” Yorktown coach Trent McCormick said.
“He’s our strongest team leader, even after that loss getting back to the hotel he was helping the other guys get ready.”
Fellow Tiger Myron Howard lost by pin to Perry Meridian junior Jake Massengale in the 182-pound weight class. Howard ended his sophomore campaign with a 27-13 record.
Both Jay County wrestlers won their opening-round matches by pin. Kyle Garringer pinned Ryan Patterson of Lowell in 4:43 to win his 195-pound match. Garringer now owns a 46-1 record on the season. Heavyweight Eric Hemmelgarn (45-1) took 3:17 to pin Ryley Harlow of Chesterton.