Corydon sophomore Bailey LaHue will chase a state championship when he competes in the Indiana High School Athletic Association wrestling finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
LaHue (38-2 after winning the semistate title at Evansville) will face Westfield freshman Evan Eldred (45-4) in the first round at 120 pounds on tonight.
Action will begin at 6 p.m. All competitors must win their first-round matches to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Semifinals and consolation matches will follow, with the state championship match in each weight class set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
If he advances, LaHue will meet either South Adams senior L.J. Mosier (28-1) or Warsaw senior Luis Munoz (26-4) in the quarterfinal.
LaHue, a two-time semistate champion, finished fifth in the state at 113 last year.
Other first-round pairings for area wrestlers in the finals include:
* Floyd Central senior Terrence Kennedy (39-1) will face Penn freshman Drew Hildebrand (39-10) in the first round at 106. Kennedy, ranked fourth in the state, suffered his first loss of the season in the semistate and finished third.
* Jeffersonville senior Jasi Coureur (42-9) will meet Hanover Central junior Steven Micic (44-0) in the opener at 113.
* Jeffersonville junior Gavan Jolley-Little (46-6) will meet Cathedral junior Wesley Bernard (45-1) in the first round at 285.
* Madison junior Jordan Partee (48-3) will face DeKalb senior Connor Brummett (33-3) in the first round at 152.
No. 8 Jeffersonville will feature six top seeds as it defends its title in the IHSAA sectional on Saturday afternoon at Highlands Middle School.
Jeffersonville’s Tim Martin is favored in the 50-yard freestyle (21.72) and the 500 free (4:41.15). He ranks in the top six in the state in both races. The Red Devils also own the top seeds in the 100 free (Karol Schmuck in 48.24) and all three relays.
Floyd Central’s Oscar Anderson is favored in the 200 individual medley (1:59.60) and 100 backstroke (53.37). FC’s Kyle Carter is the top seed in the 200 free (1:49.78). New Albany’s Luke Lete is the favorite in the 100 butterfly (53.89).
The finals in all events are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The winner in each race will qualify for the state finals at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis next weekend.
Bret Szabo, who turned Bedford North Lawrence football into a yearly contender in the Hoosier Hills Conference, has been named the new head coach at Evansville North.
Szabo coached the Stars for 10 seasons and posted a 62-44 record. He guided the Stars to the only sectional championship in school history in 2011 and a share of the HHC title in 2006. BNL had seven winning seasons during his tenure. The Stars finished 5-6 in 2012.
Szabo will take over at North for Mike Wilson, who was 55-61 in 11 seasons with the Huskies.
The IHSAA will conduct the draw for the state tournaments on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Sectionals featuring local teams will be hosted by Seymour (Class 4-A), Charlestown (3-A), Greensburg (3-A), Crawford County (2-A), South Ripley (2-A), Southridge (2-A), Borden (Class A), and West Washington (Class A).
Sectionals are scheduled for Feb. 26 and March 1-2.
Providence’s Leah Mattingly has signed to play at Ball State. Mattingly was a four-year starter as the Pioneers won the 2011 Class A state championship and finished as the 2012 state runner-up.