Warren Central breaks Perry Meridian’s grip on Marion County wrestling title

Warren Central breaks Perry Meridian’s grip on Marion County wrestling title


Warren Central breaks Perry Meridian’s grip on Marion County wrestling title


Warren Central and Perry Meridian battled it out for Marion County supremacy on the mat Saturday.

Warren Central and Perry Meridian battled it out for Marion County supremacy on the mat Saturday.

Jim Tonte won a record 10 straight Marion County wrestling titles as coach at Perry Meridian. The Falcons’ streak was snapped Saturday afternoon at Lawrence Central – at the hand of Tonte’s new team, Warren Central.

The top-ranked Warriors won its first county crown since 1990, finishing with 270 points, ending the decade-long run of the No. 4 Falcons (217.5).

“Everybody keeps saying, ‘You guys are pretty good,’ ” Tonte said. “I see us go out there … and we win matches that sometimes I don’t know if we’re going to win or not. And then we start doing some good things. I’m starting to believe we might be pretty good. Technically, we’ve got so many things to get better on. But our kids had a lot of heart today. We got on a roll. Good teams get on a roll.”

Warren Central put 10 wrestlers in the finals and won eight individual titles. The Warriors faced Perry Meridian five times in the finals, winning four of those matchups.

“I’m extremely proud of a bunch of (the Falcons),” Tonte said. “There will be a special place in my heart always for those guys.”

Warren Central’s Keyuan Murphy, ranked fourth in the state, avenged his only loss this season by taking down No. 1 Sammy Fair of Perry Meridian 15-9 in the 106-pound final. Murphy (13-1) dominated the first two periods, building a 10-3 lead on five takedowns. Fair (13-2) was able to reverse Murphy and pick up a near-fall with 26 seconds left in the match to close to 13-8, but Murphy quickly reversed to get out of trouble.

“Last time, I figured he had me beat on top and could ride me out the whole time, so this time I figured I’d stay on my feet,” Murphy said. “After that first takedown, your momentum in your head is just to go out there and get another one.”

Warren Central’s Skylour Turner (113 pounds) improved to 15-0 with a 6-4 win against Perry Meridian’s Sunny Nier, while teammate Dylan Culp (14-0) also stayed undefeated by edging Beech Grove’s Ethan Smiley 3-2 at 120.

In another top-five matchup, Warren Central’s No. 4 Matt McKinney (15-0) controlled matters throughout in a 7-1 win against Roncalli’s fifth-ranked Nick Ellis at 138. It was the fourth county title for McKinney – only the second wrestler to accomplish that feat. Former Beech Grove standout and current Roncalli assistant coach Steven Bradley won four titles from 1994-1997.

“Steven Bradley was a really good wrestler,” McKinney said of the three-time state champ. “I had this one circled on my calendar … because I knew it had only been done one time.”

The Warriors’ seventh-ranked Trent Pruitt got a takedown with 53 seconds left to nip Perry Meridian’s No. 6 Brett Johnson 6-5 in the 152-pound final, avenging an earlier loss. Joel McGhee (126), Tristen Tonte (195) and Jasion Brogan (285) also won titles for Warren Central.

Perry Meridian did win two individual titles: No. 8 D.J. Brookbank captured the 132-pound title and No. 5 Noah Warren moved to 15-1 by winning at 160 pounds.

Lawrence North’s 11th-ranked Ricky Samuels beat two top-10 wrestlers – including a second-period pin of Perry Meridian’s Christian Warren in the final – to take the 170-pound title. Fellow Wildcat Cameron Jones, ranked second, pinned three of four opponents in winning the 182-pound crown.

Franklin Central’s third-ranked Jordan Vaughn won the 145-pound title, while North Central’s unranked Walter Haire improved to 10-1 by winning at 220 pounds.

Marion County Tournament

At Lawrence Central

Team scores: Warren Central 270, Perry Meridian 217.5, Lawrence North 156.5, Lawrence Central 106, Franklin Central 77.5, Roncalli 76, Pike 53, North Central 51, Southport 50, Beech Grove 38, Ben Davis 26, Decatur Central 17, Speedway 13, Brebeuf Jesuit 0.

Championship matches

106 – Keyuan Murphy (WC) def. Sammy Fair (PM), 15-9; 113 – Skylour Turner (WC) def. Sunny Nier (PM), 6-4; 120 – Dylan Culp (WC) def. Ethan Smiley (BG), 3-2; 126 – Joel McGhee (WC) def. Jack Servies (PM), 6-2; 132 – D.J. Brookbank (PM) def. Nick Smith (LN), 5-1; 138 – Matthew McKinney (WC) def. Nick Ellis (R), 7-1; 145 – Jordan Vaughn (FC) def. Kain Rust (PM), 11-6; 152 – Trent Pruitt (WC) def. Brett Johnson (PM), 6-5; 160 – Noah Warren (PM) def. Dominic Herrick (WC), 9-2; 170 – Ricky Samuels (LN) pin Christian Warren (PM), 3:42; 182 – Cameron Jones (LN) def. Cameron Simmons (LC), 15-5; 195 – Tristen Tonte (PM) pin Robert Clark (S), 2:22; 220 – Walter Haire (NC) def. Cornelius Knox-Abbot (WC), 7-5; 285 – Jasion Brogan (WC) def. Ethan Bunce (LC), 5-2.


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