Jan. 19—ALBIA — It wasn't easy, but the Albia boys wrestling team brought home their fourth consecutive South Central Conference regular-season championship on Tuesday.
The Blue Demons scored a key fall at 126 pounds as Conner Pickerell pinned Paxton Thompson with 27 seconds left in the second period, helping Albia earn a thrilling 42-39 win over Davis County. Pickerell scored one of Albia's five falls against Clarke, earning a 64-15 win that clinched outright SCC title clinching a memorable Senior Night for the entire wrestling program with the Albia girls winning their first-ever home dual with a 54-15 victory over Clarke.
"This will certainly be a night that we will remember for quite some time," Albia head wrestling coach Dave Wenger said. "First off, the effort that was put forth by everyone involved just to give our kids the opportunity to compete was a huge accomplishment with all the weather concerns this week.
"It was an important evening for our program because our girls competed right alongside the boys for the first time ever and it was Senior Night for a group of kids that have given their hearts to this wrestling program for the last four years, so I was happy that we pulled it off with everything going on."
Albia's opening dual with Davis County started unusually as Aries Derby was awarded a win over Wyatt Beckwith at 165 pounds after Beckwith was disqualified for an illegal slam. Lance Helm countered the opening loss for Albia, pinning Nolan Cremer in 75 seconds of a 175-poun match.
Parker Moore (215), Kinnick Griffiths (113) and Emmitt Newton (120) each scored falls for Davis County, helping build a 15-point lead over the Blue Demons. Paul Ballard remained unbeaten on his senior senior for Albia, pinning Braxton Bragg in 24 seconds of a heavyweight match against the Mustangs.
The Albia girls used a pair of falls by Gabby Smith (135) and Avery Kaster (140), helping to open an 18-6 lead over Clarke. Sophie Hemann (110) and Paige Popson (120) added first-period falls for the Lady Dees to clinch the program's first-ever home win.
The Albia boys (15-3) will look to complete a conference-championship sweep on Thursday, competing at the SCC wrestling tournament at Lakeview Gymnasium in Centerville. The Albia girls (9-2) wrap up the regular season at the Pleasantville Trojan Dual Tournament on Monday.
Fairfield 57, Mount Pleasant 18
FAIRFIELD — Falls by Cason Miller, Calvin McClain and Dain Burkhart snapped a 12-12 tie, igniting a run of six falls in seven matches for the Trojans clinching a Southeast Conference dual win over the Panthers on Senior Night.
Julian Pumphrey scored the first of Fairfield's seven falls, opening the dual pinning Charlie Bohnenkamp 14 seconds into the 132-pound opening match. Aiden Westercamp earned a 6-1 win over Jefferson Ramirez at 138 pounds for the Trojans while Zandrik Allison scored a 9-3 win over Keegan Birdsell at 144 pounds, giving Fairfield a 12-6 lead in the dual.
Weather permitting, Fairfield (9-4, 2-2 Southeast) is scheduled to compete at the Williamsburg Raider Invitational on Saturday.
Mount Pleasant 12, Fairfield 0
FAIRFIELD — Falls by Paris Phosy (120) and Katana Phangchanthong (125) lifted the Panthers to a Southeast Conference dual win over the Trojans.
Fairfield (2-2, 1-1 Southeast) will compete on Saturday, weather permitting, at the Louisa-Muscatine Tournament to close out the regular season. The Trojans will join several area teams at the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Region 3 state-qualifying tournament in Des Moines on Jan. 26.
Van Buren County 37, West Burlington 34
WEST BURLINGTON — Ivy Davidson led the Warriors to a Southeast Iowa Superconference south division road win on Tuesday, producing a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds to help erase an 11-point halftime deficit.
Sophia Jirak added 12 points for VBC in the win. The Warriors allowed just seven points in the second half to the Falcons.
Van Buren County (4-8, 2-6 SEI south) heads to Danville on Tuesday.
Clarke 53, Albia 21
OSCEOLA — Alissa Henry led the Indians with 21 points and seven rebounds in a South Central Conference win over the Lady Dees.
Ava Hagen added 15 points for Clarke while Victoria Henry scored 13. Janelle Clark led Albia with seven points in the loss.
Albia (3-8, 2-6 SCC) is scheduled to make up a conference contest at sixth-ranked (2A) Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Saturday, weather permitting.
West Burlington 90, Van Buren County 40
WEST BURLINGTON — Quincy Collins led a balanced attack for the unbeaten Falcons, scoring a game-high 23 points in a Southeast Iowa Superconference south division win over the Warriors.
Mason Watkins added 17 points for West Burlington while Ayden Figuereo poured in 16 points. Lucas Fett led Van Buren County with nine points while Izaak Loeffler scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds.
Van Buren County (2-10, 1-9 SEI south) heads to Danville on Tuesday.
Clarke 61, Albia 51
OSCEOLA — Jack Cooley's 25-point, 14-rebound double-double helped the Indians hold off the Blue Demons in a South Central Conference battle on Tuesday.
Cooper Bradley led Albia with 19 points, including 14 points in the fourth quarter. The Blue Demons never recovered after being outscored by Clarke, 13-5, in the opening quarter as the Indians moved within half-a-game of Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Knoxville in the SCC standings.
Albia (5-4, 5-3 SCC) faces SCC co-leader EBF on Saturday, weather permitting, in a make-up contest.