QUINCY -- The Hannibal and Palmyra wrestling teams charted unfamiliar territory on Saturday.
The two Missouri schools crossed the Mississippi River to compete in the 29th annual Quincy Notre Dame wrestling tournament, and both headed back to the Show-Me State with some hardware.
Hannibal finished fourth as a team with a score of 148 and the Pirates had four individual finalists, with Trevor Wilson taking first at 160 pounds. Palmyra didn't have its full roster wrestling, but the Panthers still had two individual finalists with Weston King taking home a first-place medal in the heavyweight division.
"It's nice to get here and wrestle some good competition that you don't see every day," King said. "We get some of these Illinois schools that we don't see all the time and new competition. It gets kind of repetitive sometimes seeing the same guys to wrestle over and over."
Both Missouri schools had to contend with one of the best wrestling teams from the Land of Lincoln, with Lemont in the lineup. The Indians are ranked No. 2 in Class 2A and squared off against the Panthers in a pair of title matches.
Palmyra's Kaden Crane fell to Tyler Bentley by a first-period pin at 106 and King defeated Mo Jared by a 5-4 decision in the heavyweight final. Bentley is ranked No. 6 at 106 in Class 2A and Jared is No. 10 at heavyweight, but the Panthers weren't concerned with the rankings.
"I don't think our kids really think too much about how good a team is. They just go out and wrestle," Palmyra coach Josh Buatte said. "We have always kind of pushed the thought of, ‘It doesn't matter who you are wrestling, just go out and wrestle,' and I honestly don't think they still know how good their team is or how good they've been."
King and Jared fought to a standstill in the first period, but King took advantage early in the second with a near-fall that put him ahead 3-0. He withstood the final push from Jared to close down the tournament victorious.
"It was time to show up and put on a show for the people who stayed here all day for our team," King said.
Hannibal faced Lemont in three out of four of its finals matches, with Wilson the lone victor. Wilson scored a takedown in the first period against Kyle Zator -- currently No. 5 at 160 -- but a reversal in the second period evened the match at 2-2. Wilson scored an escape to take a 3-2 lead into the third period, and he picked up a quick escape and a takedown to eventually pull off a 6-3 victory.
After Zator got the reversal to even the match, Wilson made a deliberate effort to slow down and pick his spots, a strategy that worked out.
"My main thing is to try and stay calm during the matches because freaking out doesn't get you anywhere," Wilson said. "I just wanted to stay calm and make him work, make him get into bad positions and capitalize on it."
Wilson suffered his first loss of the season in a dual against Fort Zumwalt North on Thursday, so Hannibal coach Jacob Borgmeyer said it was good to see him bounce back.
"We had a few situations like that where we were looking for guys to come in and rebound off of a tough week or a tough loss," Borgmeyer said. "Trevor was a prime example of that, he learned from some mistakes that he made. That loss kind of highlighted some weaknesses that we had that we get to focus on and make us better going into districts and hopefully its his only loss of the season."
Gavin Morawitz took second at 152 for the Pirates after falling to Lemont's Grant LaDuke -- currently No. 2 in Class 2A -- by a 6-2 decision, while Jameson White was second at 195 with a loss to Chatham Glendwood's Alex Hamrick by a 9-4 decision in the finals. At 220, Brady Zimmerman was pinned by the Indians' Appolo Gothard -- ranked No. 1 in Class 2A -- in 2 minutes, 30 seconds to finish second.
Even in the losses, Borgmeyer was pleased with how his team competed against quality opponents.
"We didn't really know what to expect. I don't really know anything about Illinois schools," Borgmeyer said. "To come here and wrestle against a good team like Lemont, and in the semifinals to win four out of five and bring four to the finals, that's a good day for us."