AURORA — Hastings got seven wrestlers into the Class B-3 district final match.
That dominance in the early rounds propelled the Tigers past Wahoo 214½-193 for the B-3 district crown. Waverly took third place with 117 points and Aurora finished in fourth with 109½.
“I don’t know if we could have wrestled a better district tournament than we did today,” Hastings interim head coach Brian Laux said.
“The great efforts that we had. Our finals matches were some big-time matches where you can see those being state semifinal or state final matches.”
The highlight win for the Tigers came from junior Damen Pape, who entered the 170-pound championship match at 42-0.
He beat Evan Canoyer of Waverly (49-1), by a 7-1 score in the championship to claim the district crown.
“He’s wrestled those big matches throughout the year,” Laux said. “He’s accustomed to wrestling big matches and he was very smart today. He didn’t put himself in any bad positions."
Hastings also got titles from Landon Zeckser at 113 pounds, Bryce Brown (126), Izaak Hunsley (132) and Mason Brumbaugh (138).
Wahoo was led by three familiar faces.
Zane Bennett, Sam Kolterman and Jack Sutton, the Warriors’ three seniors, all claimed district titles.
Bennett knocked off the other Canoyer from Waverly, Evan’s brother Kaleb, who was 47-1 coming into the match. Bennett pinned Kaleb Canoyer in the second period.
Kolterman and Sutton also won the district via pinfall.
Sutton pinned Waverly’s Trevor Brown, who was 45-1 before the loss.
“Next week will be bittersweet for sure,” Wahoo coach Darold Foster said. “We can’t replace those guys. We’ll miss them because of not only the points they score but the attitude and work ethic they bring.”
Kolterman and Sutton will look to defend their state titles from last season.
Kolterman stayed at 195 pounds, where he wrestled last year, while Sutton bumped up to 285 pounds in order to prepare for wrestling heavyweight next year at Nebraska-Kearney.
Wahoo will send three first-time qualifiers — Malachi Bordovsky, Sebastian Lausterer and Peyten Walling — to the state tournament next Thursday through Saturday at the CHI Health Center in Omaha.
Foster said the message to first-time qualifiers and fourth-time qualifiers is the same.
“It’s just another match,” he said. “If we go out there and wrestle like we have all year and we wrestled today, we’ve got as good of a shot as anybody.”
The Class B section of the state tournament kicks off Thursday at 4 p.m. in Omaha with first-round action.