- Special Sections
FORT WAYNE — Bellmont's Logan Neher predicted his vengeful victory over East Noble's Jake Weimer for a state spot, then went out and backed it up with a 13-5 major victory as the senior 145-pounder earned one of three Bellmont state slots, while Adams Central earned two tickets for this Friday's 76th IHSAA State Wrestling Finals.
Neher and freshman Jon Becker (113) took third places at Saturday's Snider Semi-State for Bellmont and freshman Bryce Baumgartner, competing in the loaded 160-pound class, earned fourth place. For the Jets, senior Derek Ellinger sailed into the 138-pound championship match but had to default out because of an ankle injury. Junior Kaine Luginbill earned his second trip to state, taking third at 170 pounds.
Yorktown, with four champs, ran away with the tourney with East Noble second. Bellmont took eighth with 31 points and Adams Central was 10th with 26.
South Adams' two-time state placer Sawyer Miller came up just short, losing 10-9 in the ticket round to Connor Knapp of East Noble, the wrestler he tipped for third place last year at Indianapolis. Senior Klayton Hinshaw fell in the ticket round to eventual champ Cory Hinkle of Western as the Stars failed to advance a state streeter.
"I just came out ready today. I've been waiting for this day for a long time," said Neher, who had a disappointing overtime loss at 152 at Fort Wayne a year ago.
"Logan hit three fireman's, and they were great fireman's, two for takedowns and another one a takedown and nearfall," described Bellmont coach Brent Faurote.
"He is just so powerful and so quick with it, there was nothing Weimer could do to stop him, and this was against a kid who had beaten Logan handily earlier in the season."
Neher came out on fire, drilling Huntington's Bailey Shockome 17-2 to advance to his showdown with Weimer, a regional champ. Neher hit an early fireman's carry against Weimer (33-3) and never let up. In the consolation final, Neher hit his carry on Ryan Baxter of Northridge, taking him right to his back and getting the 59-second stick.
In the semi-finals, Neher lost 15-5 to eventual champ Evan Loe of Peru. In the opening round, Baxter caught and felled South Adams junior Boaz Marbach for a 1:30 fall.