CARTERVILLE — Monticello sent seven wrestlers to the "blood round." Four emerged headed to state.
Competing at the Class 1A Carterville Sectional on Saturday, the Sages' Ethan O'Linc (132 pounds), Jack Spence (160), Seth Menacher (182) and Matt Kerr (195) all finished in the top four in their weight class to advance to the IHSA State Wrestling Meet in Champaign, which begins Thursday.
O'Linc and Kerr finished second; Spence and Menacher were fourth.
"We had seven guys still wrestling in the blood round — the round to qualify for state — and we had four qualify and two alternates, so that's a pretty successful day," Monticello coach Andy Moore said. "We had guys wrestling hard and pulling out wins.
"Now we have to keep refining skills and try to keep building confidence and making sure their minds are right. We’ll see what our draws are and try to gauge everything based on that."
Vandalia had three state qualifiers — a good amount for most teams, but not a Vandals squad used to five or more every year.
"We had three guys come up one match short — that’s a little disappointing when that happens, but they’ll turn around and re-focus on the team," Vandalia coach Jason Clay said.
Anthony Enlow won a sectional championship at heavyweight, pinning Lawrenceville's Nolan Tewell in 1:23. Also for the Vandals, Jake Wherle (third at 106) and Gavin Mouser (third at 195).
"We’re going to work on fine-tuning some things, staying in shape and checking out our opponents," Clay said. "I think the guys who advanced have a great shot to place high. They have placed high expectations on themselves, and we’re excited to get there next week."
Cumberland's Rayce Zike took first at 126 pounds, pinning Shelbyville's Luke Brown in the title match at the 1:07 mark. Also for Cumberland, Iysten Syfert took fourth at 152 pounds and Michael Carpenter placed third at 160 pounds.
Robinson's Grayson Wolfe advanced to state with a sectional title at 195 pounds, beating Kerr 9-5 in the title match.
Three from Clinton advance
PETERSBURG — Sectionals were just the next step in the journey for the three Clinton wrestlers who advanced to state at the Class 1A Petersburg Sectional.
Christian Reynolds won a sectional title at 145 pounds with a 12-1 decision against Auburn's Charlie Patterson, and Micah Downs was first at 182 pounds, pinning El Paso-Gridley's Neal Downen at the 3:29 mark in the championship match. Kolby Winter took second at 160 pounds to advance.
“I thought overall we did pretty well," Clinton coach Matt Cooper said. "We’re just building on to what we’ve been doing. Next week is the ultimate goal, so we’re just working to get better. We’ll be focusing on what each guy does best and perfecting what they do.”
Warrensburg-Latham's Adam Maxwell took fourth at 285 pounds to advance for the Cardinals.
MacArthur 66, Springfield Lanphier 63
DECATUR — The Generals are meeting their potential at just the right time.
KJ Taliferro had 22 points and Keon Jones added 14 points and 11 rebounds — seven of them offensive. With the win, MacArthur improved to 13-12, 8-6 in the Central State 8.
"Taliferro carried us and Jones was a beat on the boards," MacArthur coach Ron Ingram said. "Our boys are starting to play hard for four quarters. We usually have a hard time closing out games, but tonight we did the right things to keep the lead.
"(Lanphier) fought back like good teams do, but we did what other good teams do and held on to the lead. Our defense went to another level — we played great defense for four quarters tonight, and that’s what got us the win."
Eisenhower 60, Mount Zion 56
MOUNT ZION — The Panthers took an early double-digit lead, but had to hold off a second-half surge from the Braves.
"The boys had just enough in the tank from last night to close the deal," Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said. "We had our moments to blow the game open, but Mount Zion played hard, stuck to the script and made it a dog fight. Both teams are young, and it could have gone either way.”
Brylan Phillips had 15 points to lead Eisenhower. Braden Highly had 15 for the Braves.
Monticello 51, St. Teresa 32
DECATUR — Benton Singleton had 10 points and notched his fifth double-double of the season and sixth of his career to lead the Sages to the win.
Monticell held St. Teresa without a field goal in the first half to take a 21-4 halftime lead.