INDIANAPOLIS – In what will likely be his last wrestling match, Carroll senior Reeve Muncie went out in style.
Muncie finished 34-1, slipping past Mariere Omonode of West Lafayette 3-2 in the 285-pound championship in the IHSAA state wrestling finals Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“It feels unreal,” said Muncie, who will play football at Saint Francis. “All glory to God, the coaches, the friends and family who supported me. It just feels amazing.”
In the quarterfinals, Muncie secured his 100th career pin, stopping Westfield's Mihailis Platomov. Muncie, who was fifth at 285 in state last year, then edged Brownsburg's Leighton Jones 3-1 in overtime.
“I just try to keep pushing my pace and stay aggressive and smart like I know how to do and it ended up paying off. I'm definitely going to miss (wrestling), but it's definitely the way to go out.”
Carroll coach Dan Briggs said Muncie remained composed the entire time.
“He maintained the goal no matter what was going to happen to win that championship match,” Briggs said. “He stayed focus.”
Perry Meridian senior Alex Cottey proved just too much for Bellmont junior Isaac Ruble. Cottey repeated as 113-pound champion with a 17-9 major decision over Ruble. Ruble said Cottey was the most accomplished wrestler he faced with two state championships and two state runner-up finishers.
Ruble, who was runner-up at 106 pounds last year, had edged Whiteland's Joey Buttler 17-13 in the quarterfinals and won by fall over Tell City's Coy Hammack in the semifinals.
“He had a great tournament, except for a little hiccup in the quarterfinals, he dominated all his matches at this point in the time,” Bellmont coach Paul Gunsett said. “He didn't wrestle all that bad (in the championship). He gave up 10 points right away. He was a little too aggressive. He was fighting and doing everything to get back in the match. The thing I'm most proud about he's had never gave up. He's got one more year yet to climb that mountain. He's one of the great workers and guys you'll ever have. He'll be there again next year. He's going to chip away and get better from this.”
Ruble, who finished 28-1, was most pleased with how he wrestled this season.
“I went out in all my matches giving 100% in all my matches and never giving up,” Ruble said.
After winning his quarterfinals match, Leo senior Ian Heath (33-1) suffered his first loss of the year in the 132-pound semifinals before losing Brownsburg's Kysen Montgomery 10-7. However, Heath rebounded to win his third-place match, edging Warren Central's David Pierson 6-4.
“Every little kid's dream is to win a state title,” Heath said. “I wanted it pretty bad. I've been working real hard since as long as I can remember to get under the lights and get a win. Guess that wasn't meant to be.”
Wawasee junior Jace Alexander (26-3) suffered a lower back injury before his 16-14 quarterfinal victory over Oak Hill's Brody Arthura at 138 pounds. The back got worse during that match and he was pinned by Bloomington South's Delaney Ruhlman in 28 seconds. He was unable to go in the third-place match.
“Heartbreaking to have any kid not be able to continue it to have your senior chasing a state championship is purely devastating,” Wawasee coach Frank Bumgardner said.
Warsaw senior Brandon Estepp (21-9) also finished fourth. He had defeated Southmont's Riley Woodall 7-5 in the 182-pound quarterfinal.
He lost to Center Grove's Drake Buchanan in the semis.
“We wanted to do better then fourth, but I'm tremendously proud of him,” Warsaw coach Kris Hueber said. “We knew we had to wrestle well in the last two matches but he ran into the a couple of hammers.”