SERGEANT BLUFF - The Ballard wrestling team served notice that it deserves its No. 2 ranking in Class 2A Saturday by winning the Sergeant Bluff-Luton Invitational at Sergeant Bluff.
The Bombers scored 187.5 points to edge Millard South of Nebraska by two points for the team title in the strong 15-team field. Bishop Heelan Catholic came in third with 154 points, Woodbury Central took fourth with 153 and Papillion-La Vista (Neb.) and Spencer tied for fifth with 141 points.
Ballard produced three individual champions. The Bombers also had two wrestlers take second and one come in third.
Jarrett Miller, ranked second at 138 pounds according to The Predicament, took first at 138 Saturday. Miller went 4-0 on the day with two pins and two wins by decision.
Miller stuck Akron-Westfield’s Cameron Bergman in 59 seconds and Sioux Center’s Avery Sandbulte in 40 seconds to reach the semifinals. In the semis, Miller knocked off Bishop Heelan’s Brennan Todd by a 10-4 decision to advance to the finals, where he edged Creighton Baughman of Papillion-La Vista by an 8-6 decision.
Tate Battani, rated No. 5 at 160, went up to 170 Saturday and finished 4-0 with two pins a technical fall and a win by decision.
Battani pinned Spencer’s Liam McCreary in 1:41 and Bishop Heelan’s Colby Wilmesherr in 3:55 to reach the semifinals, where he earned a 19-4 technical fall over Papillion-La Vista’s Nathan Kohler. In the finals, Battani edged Estherville-Lincoln Central’s Lincoln Coakley — rated No. 6 in 2A — by an 11-9 decision.
Ben Lee entered the tournament rated No. 3 at 182 and he dominated at Sergeant-Bluff with three pins and one victory by major decision.
Lee pinned Bishop Heelan’s Colin Hubbell in 25 seconds, Kingsley-Pierson’s Bo Harvey in 23 seconds and Bishop Heelan’s Caleb Engel in 45 seconds to reach the finals at 182. In the championship match, Lee downed Akron-Westfield’s Christian Wolthuizen by a 16-4 major decision.
Skyler Noftsger and Colin Anderson each placed second at the tournament for Ballard.
Noftsger entered the meet rated No. 1 at 145; he went up to 152 and finished 3-1 with two wins by fall and one by decision. Noftsger pinned Sioux Center’s Ernesto Cardenas in 35 seconds and West Sioux’s Jeshua Cerventes in 50 seconds and picked up a 5-2 win over Woodbury Central’s Garrett Arment — rated No. 9 at 152 in 1A..
In the championship round Noftsger suffered a 6-3 loss to Austin Eilers — the No. 4 152-pounder in 1A.
Anderson is ranked No. 7 at 285 in 2A and he was 3-1 at Sergeant-Bluff with two pins and one victory by decision. Anderson pinned Eddie Topete of West Sioux and Nick Weiesler of Sergeant Bluff-Luton and delivered a 7-3 victory over Storm Lake’s Kail Shannon.
In the finals, Anderson suffered a 3-1 loss to Storm Lake’s Jorge Sandoval.
Josh DeTar took third at 195 for the Bombers.
DeTar ended up 4-1 with falls over Sioux Center’s Isaac Hooyer, Woodbury Central’s Nathan Lister, Millard South’s Chris Wortman and West Sioux’s Kyler Bak. DeTar’s lone loss came to Spencer’s Drew Thompson by fall.
Gerald Gute and Joe Hofbauer went 2-2 at 160 and 220 respectively to each place fifth. Both grapplers scored two pins.
Jim Chism came in seventh at 132 by going 3-1 with two pins and one victory by ultimate tiebreaker — 5-4 — over Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Ethan Kempema. Wyatt Borg finished eighth at 145 by going 2-2 with one pin and one victory by decision.
Alex Bangs (120) and Gage Long (126) each earned one win for the Bombers.
Final team scores: 1. Ballard 187.5, 2. Millard South (Neb.) 185.5, 3. Bishop Heelan Catholic 154, 4. Woodbury Central 153, 5. (tie) Papillion-La Vista (Neb.) and Spencer 141, 7. West Sioux 131, 8. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 139, 9. Storm Lake 116, 10. Underwood 100, 11. Sioux Center 77, 12. Estherville-Lincoln Central 42, 13. Lawton-Bronson 37, 14. Akron-Westfield 32, 15. Kingsley-Pierson 20.
Individual places - Ballard
106 pounds - Elijah Colliflower (0-3). 113 - Jordan Thomas (0-3). 120 - Alex Bangs (1-2). 126 - Gage Long (1-2). 132 - 7. Jim Chism (3-1). 138 - 1. Jarrett Miller (4-0). 145 - 8. Wyatt Borg (2-2). 152 - 2. Skyler Noftsger (3-1). 160 - 5. Gerald Gute (2-2). 170 - 1. Tate Battani (4-0). 182 - 1. Ben Lee (4-0). 195 - 3. Josh DeTar (4-1). 220 - 5. Joe Hofbauer (2-2). 285 - 2. Colin Anderson (3-1).