The New Palestine wrestling team sent one wrestler to the finals and had six place in the top six at the 16-team Evansville Mater Dei Holiday Classic, placing the Dragons seventh in the tournament.
NP tallied 109 points to finish seventh, a half-point behind Belleville West (Ill.) and six back of fifth-place Franklin. Evansville Mater Dei won with 302 points, followed by Union County (Ky.) with 195, Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier with 161.5 and Floyd Central with 158.
Senior Landan Burton was the Dragons’ top finisher, placing as the runner-up at 220. Burton advanced to the final with two falls on Friday. He won a 6-4 decision over Evansville Memorial’s Alex Lichlyter for his 25th straight victory. Burton met a fellow unbeaten, Michael Boots of Evansville Mater Dei, in the championship match. Boots won a 4-2 decision. Burton is now 25-1 on the year.
Jared Diep finished third at 120. He lost by fall to Mater Dei’s Kane Egli in his first match, then pinned Evansville Memorial’s Eli Wuerth in 1:40 in the wrestleback and won the fifth-place match 5-1 over Floyd Central’s Elijah Combs. Diep moved to 17-7 on the year.
At 106, Christian White finished fourth. His first match Friday was a 12-3 loss to Floyd Central’s Gavvin Alstott in the semis. He beat Louisville St. Xavier’s Matthew Meyer 9-3 in the wrestleback round, then lost by fall to Belleville West’s Josh Koderhandt in the third-place match. White is now 23-4 on the year.
At 195, Brayden Clevenger placed fifth. After going 2-1 on Friday with two wins by fall and a loss by decision, he began the day with a 2:39 fall over Jackson Hussung of Floyd Central, and then a 7-0 loss to Louisville Trinity’s Kadin Kulmer in the wrestlebacks. He won the fifth-place match 6-4 over Tanner Hancock of Sullivan. Clevenger is now 24-4 this season.
Two Dragons placed sixth. Chase Nelson did so at 113. He began his day Friday with a 16-second pin over Sullivan’s Kyle Maxey, then an 8-3 loss to New Albany’s Terence Brown in the wrestleback rounds. He then fell 4-1 to Franklin’s Josh Rigel in the fifth-place match. Nelson is now 19-8. At 125, Matthew Carter also finished sixth. He began Friday with a 1:45 pin of Floyd Central’s Kobe Ames and then a loss by fall to Union County (Ky.)’s Quinton Cox. Carter fell 9-0 to Gibson Southern’s Eric Harpenau in the fifth-place match. Carter is 3-3.
Zack Hoyt (132), Max Jones (138), Chris Hafley (152) and Logan Robinson (170) also advanced to Friday’s second day, but were defeated in their first wrestleback match.
The Dragons are back on the mat Thursday with a dual match at Franklin Central. They return home Jan. 6 with the New Palestine Invitational.