Ball crowned state champion
Mercer County Golden Eagle Quinton Ball was crowned the Class 1A state champion at the 285 pound weight class at the 2015 IHSA State Wrestling Championship in Bloomington on Saturday.
Ball (31-3) pinned Tommy Brown (40-9) of Plano at 4:12 in the finals to claim the state title. It was the pinnacle of a fine Golden Eagle performance which also saw Golden Eagles Stone Engle (120 pounds) and Curtis Van Winkle (152 pounds) place fourth in the tournament.
Ball placed second in last week's sectional and was 27-3 coming into the tournament. John Barnes of Peru St. Bede of who won championship at the Oregon Sectional, placed third overall.
Ball beat Kyle Hull (37-15) of Wilmington in the first round of the tournament, 7-0. He followed that with a 2-1 win over Gevin Ashikyan (39-4)of Oakwood and a 1-0 victory over Eli Burdick (40-4)of Durand in the semi finals.
Two area wrestlers competed at the 120 pound weight class in Hunter Spengler of Sherrard and Stone Engle of Mercer County. The pair ended up meeting in the third place match of the tournament where Spengler came out on top with a 9-6 decision.
Spengler, the sectional champion beat Sam Meyers (30-17) of Manteno in his opening match by fall at 1:09. Spengler pinned Cooper Secker (17-7) of Freeburg in 1:43 to reach the semi-finals. Cody Minnick (52-1) of Coal City, the eventual state champion, beat Spengler 8-4 in the semi finals. In the consolation bracket Spengler beat Dillon Swift (38-14) of Dakota, 5-0 to move to the third place match with Engle.
Engle's path started with a tech fall victory over Drew Sonnefeldt (25-13) of Lisle at (18-2) 4:57. Engle beat Chaston Womack (40-13) of Vandalia 3-1. In the semi-finals Engle fell to Trey Hild (48-10) of Petersburg Porta by major decision, 9-0.
At 152 pounds Curtis Van Winkle (45-12) of Mercer County beat Brock Barnhill (28-7) of Auburn 3-1 in his opening bout. VanWinkle beat Paul Garcia of Fairbury (Prairie Central) 4-3 to reach the semi finals. Kenny Abitua (17-5) of Stillman Valley won a major decision over VanWinkle, 9-0 in the semi-finals. In the consolation rounds VanWinkle beat Zach Tomac (48-10) of Plano 6-4 to reach the third place match. Wyatt Fox (51-5) of Shelbyville beat VanWinkle 2-1 in the third place match.
Also wrestling at state but not advancing where Sam Ryner of Sherrard, Matthew Weeks of Mercer County and Chase Nelson of Mercer County.
At 160 pounds Ryner lost his opening match to Georgie Sosa of Chicago (Bowen), 6-4. Sosa placed fourth at state.
At 182 pounds Matthew Weeks (40-7) lost his opening match to Lucas Duckett (43-9)of Shelbyville, 5-4.
At 220 pounds Chase Nelson (35-10) lost his opening match to Jake Frost of Coal City (45-12).