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Peru's Rader, Sturgill advance to State Finals

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Two Peru wrestlers punched their tickets to the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals this Friday after strong days at the New Haven Semi-State held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

Jordan Rader had one of the most dominant days of all wrestlers in Fort Wayne, scoring three pins in the opening period and a major decision in the final to win the semi-state at 170 pounds.

Teammate Trey Sturgill avenged a loss earlier this season to qualify for the state finals at 106 pounds though his road next week will be tougher after finishing fourth in the semi-state.

Two other Miami County wrestlers advanced to the ticket round in North Miami’s Kasey Deardorff and Maconaquah’s Collin Silvers but ultimately fell short of qualifying for the finals while five other wrestlers departed after the opening round.

Rader’s day began with a trio of first period falls, opening up with a 42-second win over Fort Wayne Northrop’s Parker Hills and following up with a fall over Belmont’s Caden Friedt just before the first period ended to advance to the state finals.

Another first period fall, this time over Homestead’s Brady Wyro, sent Rader in to the semi-state final where he won a 13-3 major decision over Northwood’s Jake Lone to earn a No. 1 seed in Indianapolis.

Sturgill also started with a fall over Norwell’s Tonner Johnson, setting up a rematch from earlier in the year with Angola’s Jett Boots, who won the first meeting 2-0.

Trailing 2-1 late in the match, Sturgill managed to hit a reversal to take a 3-2 lead and held on for the final seconds to advance to the state finals.

Sturgill would finish fourth after suffering a first period fall to South Adams’ Sawyer Miller and a 5-2 decision loss to Yorktown’s Zack Todd in the third-place match.

Deardorff’s day started off much different than it was expected to after Western’s Tyler Lechner was unable to compete.

Deardorff was moved up into a different quartile at 126 pounds and opened the day against Adams Central’s Cayden Shaffer.

Shaffer had the measure of Deardorff and looked as though he was about to send the North Miami out in the first round for a fourth time.

Trailing 7-4 in the final seconds, however, Deardorff landed a headlock and scored a pin with one second remaining to advance to the ticket round.

Deardorff season ended in the next match as he was unable to solve the top control of Central Noble’s Tanner Schoeff and was eliminated following a 15-8 loss.

Silvers gritted out a late 8-6 win over Garrett’s Cameron Smith in the opening round at 220 pounds but was also undone by a Central Noble wrestler, this time Levi Lefflers, who pinned the Braves junior in the second period.

Four other Maconaquah wrestlers wrestled at the semi-state but were unable to make it to the ticket round.

Zack Bullock was the first out, falling to Central Noble’s Austin Moore in the second period at 138 pounds while Aaron McKinley couldn’t find a late takedown and was edged out by Northridge’s Owen Eveler 6-4 at 145 pounds.

Aaron Sedwick suffered a tough loss to Garrett’s Beck Davis at 195 pounds, going scoreless through three periods of wrestling and two overtime periods before giving up a penalty point for locked hands and an escape.

The 285 pound division was unkind to Adam Bowman, who fell to Lakeland’s Brian Bergman in the opening period, as did Peru’s Avery Jones, who fell to Fairfield’s Vince Yoder.