The Showdown At Simmons

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The Hillsboro/Litchfield regular season dual is always a showcase of the best wrestlers in Montgomery County, but the atmosphere in Litchfield this year was electric before either team even entered the building.

The Litchfield Middle School wrestling program also had a meet scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 14, and rather than take up two gyms, the decision was made to have both meets at the high school. The extra fans and teams made for a raucous atmosphere in a sport that doesn’t always get the fan support that other sports do.

The dueling duals weren’t the only things going on, though. It was also senior night for the Panthers, who honored wrestler Brady Davidson and three senior stat girls, Ashley Hickerson, Carly Guinn, and Charleigh Dossett.

Davidson entered this year with a record of 58-34, having earned a trip to the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Boys Open State Championships last year as a junior. The youngest of Thad and Tonya Davidson’s three sons, who also wrestled at Litchfield, started the season 2-0, but a knee injury has put the rest of the season in doubt for the latest member of the Davidson family wrestling dynasty.

Even without his senior year, Davidson’s accomplishments speak for themselves as he was a sectional alternate as a freshman, a sectional qualifier as a sophomore and a state qualifier last year, going 1-and-2 in Springfield.

As for Tuesday’s matches, the dual usually features Mt. Olive as the third team, but the Wildcats are co-op partners with Litchfield this season, meaning a new team filled out the triangle. That new team was the Cyclones of Sacred Heart-Griffin, who were handed a pair of losses against the Toppers and Panthers.

Hillsboro got first crack at the private school from Springfield and scored a 51-18 victory over the Cyclones, with 12 of Sacred Heart-Griffin’s 18 points coming from Hillsboro forfeits.

Griffen Hughes picked up a pin in the third period at 126 pounds, while Ben Huber added six more points with a pin in the second period of his 132-pound match. Reese Morford also picked up a win, earning a decision victory over Jack Ludolph at 195 pounds.

The rest of Hillsboro’s points came from forfeits as Keegan Murray, Matt Page, Zander Wells, Jaben Compton, Magnus Wells and Ian Malloy all picked up a free six points. Compton also wrestled an extra match, beating John Albrecht in the first period by pin.

The Litchfield/SHG match was nearly as one-sided as the Purple Panthers picked up a 54-27 victory in the second match of the night.

Litchfield picked up wins by fall in the 132-pound match, where Easton Grammer pinned Chris Pollard at the 58 second mark in the first period, and in the 195-pound match, where Devin Hansel pinned Jake Ludolph 50 seconds into the second period.

The Panthers’ other wins came via nine forfeits, with Alex Powell (113), Isaiah Johnson (120), Ashtin Carver (145), Kaleb Crabtree (152), Brandon Malloy (160), Paul Cowgill (170) and Ryan Vollintine (285) getting the six points.

The finale was a showdown between the two county teams who are both guided by young alumni (Garrett Young at Hillsboro and Chance Davidson at Litchfield) hoping to keep their alma mater’s wrestling traditions alive and successful.

On Tuesday, the bragging rights belonged to the visiting Hiltoppers, who won six of the nine contested matches to take a 42-33 decision over the Panthers.

Starting out at 132 pounds, Hillsboro got 12 quick points after Griffen Hughes pinned Easton Grammer in 38 seconds, followed by a forfeit win by Shay Westhoff, the Toppers’ only free six points of the match.

Litchfield got on the board at 145 pounds, with Ashtin Carver gutting out an 8-2 decision over Hillsboro’s Matt Page in one of the closest matches of the night. Zander Wells upped the Topper lead to 18-3 with a pin of Litchfield’s Kaleb Crabtree 34 seconds into the second period of the 152-pound match, but Litchfield got those six back with a forfeit win by Brandon Malloy, the first of three forfeits by the Toppers.

Returning from injury, Hillsboro 170-pounder Jaben Compton got the Toppers’ third pin of the match by defeating Paul Cowgill in 47 seconds, but Litchfield cut the lead to 24-21 with Hunter Hancock’s pin of Reese Morford at the 3:52 mark of the 182-pound match and Devin Hansel’s forfeit win at 195 pounds.

But Hillsboro would win three of the final six matches, with a double forfeit at 106 pounds resulting in no lost points as well.

Magnus Wells and Ian Malloy won by fall in just under 90 seconds each at 220 and 285 pounds, with Wells pinning Clayton Logsdon and Malloy pinning Ryan Vollintine.

Litchfield made it 36-27 with forfeit win at 113 pounds, but Hillsboro clinched the win when Keegan Murray pinned Isaiah Johnson in 19 seconds at 120 pounds. Ian Mitchell picked up a win by fall over Hillsboro’s Ben Huber in the 126-pound match to end things on a high note for Litchfield, but the Toppers still came away with a 42-33 decision.

Both teams will be at Abe’s Rumble in Springfield on Dec. 29-30, with Litchfield in Pool D with Beardstown, Reed-Custer, Riverdale and West Frankfort and Hillsboro in Pool I with Camp Point Central, Cumberland, Hillsboro, Sterling Newman Central Catholic and Prairie Central.

In addition to Abe’s Rumble, Litchfield will also travel to the Cumberland Tournament this Saturday, Dec. 18, before a break for the Christmas holiday.

Dec. 14 at Litchfield

Hillsboro 51, Sacred Heart-Griffin 18

106: Hunter Wheat (S) won by forfeit

113: Double forfeit

120: Keegan Murray (H) won by forfeit

126: Griffen Hughes (H) def. Michael Ference (S) by fall at 5:32

132: Ben Huber (H) def. Chris Pollard (S) by fall at 3:10

138: Reilly Kelty (S) def. Shay Westhoff (H) by fall at 3:26

145: Matt Page (H) won by forfeit

152: Zander Wells (H) won by forfeit

160: Double forfeit

170: Jaben Compton (H) won by forfeit

182: Cory West (S) won by forfeit

195: Reese Morford (H) def. Jack Ludolph (S) by dec.

220: Magnus Wells (H) won by forfeit

285: Ian Malloy (H) won by forfeit

Ex: Jaben Compton (H) def. John Albrecht (S) by fall at 0:46

Litchfield 54, Sacred Heart-Griffin 27

106: Hunter Wheat (S) won by forfeit

113: Alex Powell (L) won by forfeit

120: Isaiah Johnson (L) won by forfeit

126: Michael Ference (S) def. Ian Mitchell (L) by fall at 1:57

132: Easton Grammer (L) def. Chris Pollard (S) by fall at 0:58

138: Reilly Kelty (S) def. Nick Hawley (L) by dec. 5-0

145: Ashtin Carver (L) won by forfeit

152: Kaleb Crabtree (L) won by forfeit

160: Brandon Malloy (L) won by forfeit

170: Paul Cowgill (L) won by forfeit

182: Cory West (S) def. Hunter Hancock (L) by fall at 0:34

195: Devin Hansel (L) def. Jack Ludolph (S) by fall at 2:50

220: John Albrecht (S) def. Clayton Logsdon (L) by fall at 3:45

285: Ryan Vollintine (L) won by forfeit

Hillsboro 42, Litchfield 33

106: Double forfeit

113: Alex Powell (L) won by forfeit

120: Keegan Murray (H) def. Isaiah Johnson (L) by fall at 0:19

126: Ian Mitchell (L) def. Ben Huber (H) by fall at 3:53

132: Griffen Hughes (H) def. Easton Grammer (L) by fall at 0:38

138: Shay Westhoff (H) won by forfeit

145: Ashtin Carver (L) def. Matt Page (H) by dec. 8-2

152: Zander Wells (H) def. Kaleb Crabtree (L) by fall at 2:34

160: Brandon Malloy (L) won by forfeit

170: Jaben Compton (H) def. Paul Cowgill (L) by fall at 0:47

182: Hunter Hancock (L) def. Reese Morford (H) by fall at 3:52

195: Devin Hansel (L) won by forfeit

220: Magnus Wells (H) def. Clayton Logsdon (L) by fall at 1:27

285: Ian Malloy (H) def. Ryan Vollintine (L) by fall at 1:26

Ex: Gaven Vollintine (H) def. Korbyn Williams (L) by fall at 1:23

Ex: Keaton Morgan (L) def. Melissa Bell (H) by fall at 0:21

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