Three-peat in sight for Colby's Reed
By LARRY MORITZ
Special to The Hays Daily News
SALINA -- His routine may have changed, but his destination has not.
Colby senior Dustin Reed will attempt to reach a Class 4A state wrestling title match for the fourth consecutive year when he competes in the 126-pound semifinals this morning at the Bicentennial Center.
Reed, a two-time champion after a runner-up finish his freshman year, has never had to wrestle a Saturday morning match at the state tournament. Most years, those semifinals would have been held Friday night. With a six-hour weather delay this year, those semifinals were shifted from Friday night to 10 a.m. today.
"That's a big thing, and some guys might struggle with that," Reed said of the early start. "We'll do what we have to do with what's been dealt to us."
Now 45-0 after his opening round and quarterfinal wins Friday, Reed will face Chanute sophomore Adam Cole (31-3) in today's semifinals. While Reed is top-ranked in his weight class, Cole comes in ranked No. 4.
"This will be like the Beloit tournament where the semifinals are the second day of the tournament," Reed said. "And I've had some great matches in the semifinals there.
"It's one of those things where 10 o'clock might be early, but you better be ready if you want to win state."
Reed started his final tournament as a member of the Colby wrestling team with a second-period pin of Labette County's Lane Rosenberg. His quarterfinal went to the third period before he pinned Winfield's Payton Smith.
"Today was two tough matches against good kids," Reed said. "They both came out hard and kept going."
Reed was one of four Colby wrestlers to advance to today's semifinals. He was joined by Quade Woofter, Andrew Taylor and Zell Bieberle. All nine Colby qualifiers won at least one match Friday and will wrestle again today.
The Eagles' 44 team points put them in second place after the opening day, a half point behind two-time defending state champion Andale. Chanute was third with 42 points.
Woofter (29-5) advanced at 160 pounds with a 7-4 decision over Coffeyville's Trey Thompson, while Taylor (37-5) upset Mulvane's Kolby Fennewald in their 170-pound quarterfinal. Fennewald was ranked No. 2 and held a 3-2 lead late, before Taylor's takedown with inside 15 seconds remaining delivered a 4-3 decision.
Bieberle (37-5) reached the semifinals with a second-period pin of Perry Lecompton's Brendan Neal.
Abilene teammates Zane Baugh and Junior Morgan advanced to the semifinals of their weight classes.
Baugh edged Andale's Hunter Furnish 4-2 in their 113-pound quarterfinal Friday night, and minutes later it was Morgan picking up a second-period pin of El Dorado's Daniel Thomas at 120 pounds.
Baugh was up 3-0 with less than 40 seconds remaining in the final period, but after a Furnish takedown, the Abilene sophomore got an escape point with 10 seconds on the clock and denied Furnish an opportunity to force overtime.
"When I was up 3-0 I just wanted to keep him at a distance and not let him take me down and make it closer," Baugh said.
Baugh (32-7) will meet El Dorado freshman Reno Hughey (28-7) for the right to compete in tonight's title match.
Morgan and Thomas were swapping points in their quarterfinal and Morgan narrowly avoided a takedown before putting Thomas on his back near the midway point of the second period.
"He was pretty tough, and he got pretty close to putting me on my back," Morgan said. "But I was able to roll through it, then came back and stuck him."
Morgan, 35-2 and ranked No. 2, faces Mulvane junior Blake Cusick (31-8) in his semifinal this morning.