Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Kelley Lands State Title ; IHSAA STATE WRESTLING FINALS Senior Finishes Career 50-0 by Pinning Opponent

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Kelley Lands State Title ; IHSAA STATE WRESTLING FINALS Senior Finishes Career 50-0 by Pinning Opponent

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Central senior Brendon Kelley finally got to live the dream. The admitted late bloomer did it by finishing his distinguished wrestling career with the Bears with the 152-pound state title Saturday night at the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals.

Kelley did it by starting fast with pins in his first two matches, then won a tight semifinal over previously undefeated Mishawaka senior Tristan Macri, the wrestler who'd beaten him for third place last year. Then he took the title with a spectacular pin in the final.

"I can't describe this," said Kelley (50-0). "I've been watching this since the fourth grade and wanting this, but this year I finally did what it took.

"It was utterly exciting to walk off the mat with the win and be able to point up to my section and embrace the moment. In the end, I just had fun out there."

Kelley owned Crown Point junior Darden Schurg in the first period of the final, ending it with a five-point move for a 9-2 lead. Then he spladled Schurg off the whistle in the second period and finished the pin in 24 seconds.

"I was surprised (the spladle) was there," said Kelley. "Once I got it in I was able to adjust and get the fall. My heart was racing because I knew I was going to win."

The end wasn't as sweet for the area's other finalist, Mount Vernon freshman Paul Konrath at 106 pounds.

Konrath wrestled soundly to make the final, but then lost a 4-2 heartbreaker in overtime in the final to Jeremaih Reitz, a Griffith freshman.

The final takedown came following a wild scramble after Konrath almost squeezed off a headlock for the win, but Reitz slipped it and scored the winning takedown.

The morning had started as a reality check for the 10 wrestlers who remained from the area as only four won their first match to reach the semifinals and then half those advanced to the finals with Konrath at 106 and Kelley at 152.

Mater Dei freshman Nick Lee, who entered the day undefeated at 126, was one of the morning winners, but then ran afoul of two- time defending state champion Stevan Micic, who dominated their semifinal. …

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