Prep Wrestling

Second Thoughts: Haley falls in rubber match to Hild for state title

February 17, 2018 - Champaign, IL - Still feeling the weight of his loss, Quincy Notre Dame's Zach Haley heads to the staging area after his title match against PORTA's Trey Hild in their Class 1A 145-pound division on Saturday at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Final. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Clark Brooks
Posted: Feb. 17, 2018 10:25 pm Updated: Feb. 17, 2018 11:45 pm

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Zach Haley figured if he had about 10 more seconds in the third period, he could have gotten two crucial points.

"I thought I had takedown," Haley said. "It was a really close call that didn't go my way."

It forced the Quincy Notre Dame senior wrestler to settle for second place in Saturday's Class 1A 145-pound state championship match, falling 5-3 to Petersburg PORTA's Trey Hild at State Farm Center.

A takedown would have forced overtime, and Haley (44-2) figured he would have had an advantage in overtime. Instead, Haley finishes runner-up for the second straight season after taking second at 138 pounds last year.

"It just came down to (Hild) had more points than me," Haley said.

Haley didn't score any takedowns on Hild (50-1) in their third matchup in as many weekends. Any time Haley grabbed one of Hild's legs, the PORTA senior either scrambled out of bounds or escaped Haley's grasp.

"That's the way he wrestles," Haley said. "I should have noticed that sooner. I needed to make him stay in the middle, and I didn't really get on my offense as much as I should have."

Haley said wrestling Hild for the third straight week played a factor. Haley beat Hild for the Class 1A Central Regional championship, winning 11-9. Hild got revenge in last week's Stanford Olympia Sectional with a 4-3 decision.

Hild won his first state title after finishing runner-up in each of the last three years.

"I didn't think the loss last week was such a bad thing, because it was going to be hard to beat him three weeks in a row," Haley said. "I was really confident coming into the match. I just didn't really get off the bottom like I wanted to."

Hild scored a takedown in the first period after fighting off Haley's shot with about 30 seconds remaining. Haley escaped with 10 seconds remaining to trail 2-1.

In the second period, Hild escaped from the bottom just 13 seconds into the period, and about 20 seconds later, he took down Haley for a 5-1 lead.

Haley escaped from the bottom position with 1:20 remaining in the third period. They remained neutral throughout, and Haley was awarded a point with about 15 seconds remaining when Hild stalled.

Haley couldn't find a way to get a match-tying takedown in time.

The loss stings, but Haley is still proud of his season.

"I'm still really glad I got second," he said. "I know my family is really proud of me, too."

In other action, West Hancock's Chase Hartweg finished sixth in the Class 1A 160-pound bracket. He was pinned by Stillman Valley's Sam Durfey in 1:11. Hartweg gives the Titans seven straight years with a medal at the state tournament.

Hartweg won a 15-9 decision over Monticello's Henry Dawson in the quarterfinals, but lost a 14-1 major decision to Erie's Garrett Passamore in the wrestleback semifinals. He finished the year with a 26-7 record.

Central's Chayse Houston fell one match short of earning a state medal when he suffered a 5-3 overtime loss to Belleville Althoff's Anthony Frederico in the quarterfinals of wrestlebacks. Houston finishes his season with a 36-10 record.

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