INDIANAPOLIS — Logan Wagner’s quest to become the first state wrestling champion from Zionsville fell two wins short on Saturday at the IHSAA State Finals.
Wagner lost in the semifinals to No. 1 Blake Boarman of Evansville Mater Dei 7-4 to end his run short.
Wagner fell behind 6-1 in the first period, and wasn’t able to come back.
“It’s not always going to go our way,” Zionsville head coach Doug Welch said. “We do a good job of responding well and when things don’t go our way we bounce back. We were doing everything we could. Boarman is a good wrestler, but it is something we have to learn from and move on.”
Wagner got an escape in the second period and Boarman got one to start the third.
Wagner spent most of the last two periods as the aggressor, trying to secure a takedown to get back in the match, but Boarman was able to keep his distance and avoid a takedown.
Boarman was hit for stalling three times in the final 80 seconds, giving Wagner two points, but the strategy paid off.
“It’s tough, I think we walked him eight times and they could have called stalling earlier,” Welch said. “But we can’t make excuses, we have to go out there and take control of the match. No excuses, we just have to do a better job.”
Wagner rebounded to easily win the third-place match topping New Haven’s Elijah Chacon by tech fall 19-3 midway through the third period.
Wagner led 4-0 after a period, getting a take down plus two nearfall to go up 4-0.
Starting the second period on bottom, Wagner escaped to then took Chacon down three times in the second period, the last time with two nearfall to go up 13-2.
He finished it off a short-time later.
After the semifinal match, Welch talked about Wagner having the right mentality to finish off the tournament the right way.
“It’s always the next match,” Welch said. “As bad as it stinks to lose in the semis, you have to get ready for the next one. In life, things aren’t always going to go your way. You can sit there and sulk and feel sorry for yourself, or you can go get the next best thing. That’s what Logan is going to do. He has a good head on his shoulders. We wanted this for him, but he has another year to get it. Usually, you see the biggest jumps after things don’t go your way and I think that’s what you will see.”
In the quarterfinals earlier in the day, Wagner topped Jay Conway of Floyd Central 10-8 to advance to the semifinals.
Down 2-0, Wagner got a reversal and nearfall to go up 5-2 after a period. He added an escape and a takedown in the second period to go up 8-2.
Conway got two takedowns after that, but Wagner held him off.
Wagner finished his season 33-3.
“He is a competitor,” Welch said. “We have a a lot of youth wrestlers in the crowd watching the way he competes and watching his composure. I couldn’t ask for a better role model. He is going to work hard, he is going to the right things outside of the room to get back her next year. I am super proud of him, and I am glad our youth wrestlers can watch him and see the way we want Zionsville wrestlers to compete.”
Friday night recap
Indianapolis – Logan Wagner got off to the start he was looking for at the IHSAA State Finals on Friday night.
Wagner won his first round match against Crown Point’s Nick Tattini by second period fall to move onto the quarterfinals for the third-straight year.
“He’s been here before and he is one of those guys that loves competing in places like this,” Zionsville head coach Doug Welch said. “The tougher the environment gets, the better Logan gets, which is awesome and what you want in a competitor.”
Wagner improved to 31-2 on the season.
Welch said his experience at state – where he placed eighth as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore – helps him when it comes to game planning for the match.
“We just told him to go do what he does,” Welch said. “We wanted to hit our moves, push the pace and bring him to deep water. We wanted to wear him out both mentally and physically.”
Wagner dominated the match from the start.
He led 8-3 after a period after securing four takedowns.
He then was able to secure the pin midway through the second period.
“It’s important to end matches when you can,” Welch said. “Logan is a smart wrestler. He has good mat awareness, he feels things and go for it.”
Things didn’t go as well for teammate Shane Bates, who lost a 3-2 decision to Hobart’s Tyler Turley.
“I love Shane,” Welch said. “He is everything you can ask for in an athlete. He works his butt off, he does extra and is in the weight room. I have no doubt he will be back with vengeance next year.”
Down 2-1 after a period, Bates started the second period in the down position, but was ridden out and he couldn’t tie the score.
“We were confident going down, just because of how quick Shane is,” Welch said. “Bottom is a mindset. You have to whole-heartedly believe you are going to get out and no one can ride you. That’s our belief, it just didn’t work out tonight.”
Turley got an escape to start the third period 59 go up 3-1, but Bates got a point on an eye poke with 94 seconds to go.
In the final 15 seconds, Bates got ahold of an ankle, but couldn’t secure the takedown for the win.
He finishes his junior year 38-3.
“This year is going to help him a ton,” Welch said. “Winning and learning and continue to learn from each opportunity. His confidence this year sky rocketed. No one likes failure, but sometimes you see the biggest jumps after something like this. I see him bouncing back and getting after it.”