Southsider Voice correspondent
Eleven wrestlers from the Southside will compete in the state finals, with first-round action beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Perry Meridian qualified four wrestlers from the New Castle Semistate, with Roncalli and Beech Grove qualifying two each and one from Franklin Central and Southport. One Center Grove grappler qualified from the Evansville Reitz Semistate.
State qualifiers with their finishes in regionals:
Perry Meridian – Brandon James, 138-pound champion; Cornelious Elliot II, second, 120; Ngun Uk, second, 126; Tristen Tonte, second, 195.
Roncalli – second, Nick Ellis, 132; Conner James, third, 182.
Beech Grove – Evan Smiley, third; 145; Ethan Smiley, fourth, 113.
Center Grove – Gleason Mappes, third, 152.
Franklin Central – Jordan Vaughn, 132-pound champion.
Southport – Dameion Rutledge, fourth, 126.
Perry Meridian was fourth in points at New Castle with 67, trailing champion Cathedral, 103.5, runner-up Warren Central, 102, and Hamilton Southeastern, 78.
Vaughn (40-5) edged Ellis (37-8) 3-2 in the 132-pound championship match.
James (43-0) remains undefeated after shutting down North Central’s Tommy Cash (41-2) 5-0. James reached the final match after pinning his first two opponents.
Elliot and Cathedral’s Breydon Bailey squared off for the third time this season, and Bailey prevailed again in overtime for the 120-pound title. Elliot’s only three losses this season have been against Bailey.
Uk (39-3) was pinned by Chad Red of New Palestine after 4 minutes, 27 seconds in the 126-pound finale. Tonte (4-2) pinned two foes to reach the final against Cathedral’s undefeated Blake Rypel, who won the tital with a technical fall.
Mappes was third in the 152-pound class after pinning Indian Creek’s Elijah Dunn in 25 seconds. The Trojans’ Zac Siddiqui, 106; Logan Coyle, 145; and Jonah Hays, 160; did not reach the semifinal rounds at Evansville.
Quarterfinal matches begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the third-place bouts at 5 p.m.; finals begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $8 per session or $20 for both days.