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Written By Ink Free News / Sports on Friday, February 19, 2021

Wawasee’s Jace Alexander earned a win Friday in the IHSAA Wrestling State quarterfinals, advancing to Saturday’s final round. Warsaw’s Brandon Estepp also won, moving to Saturday. InkFreeNews file photo by Mike Deak

By Mike Deak

INDIANAPOLIS – Jace Alexander and Brandon Estepp are on to the finals.

Alexander, a Wawasee senior, is making his second trip to the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals podium round, winning Friday to advance to the top eight. Alexander scored a third period takedown with 58 seconds left to gain cushion in beating Floyd Central’s Gavinn Alstott, 7-4, in the 138-pound bracket at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Alexander (25-1), a four-time IHSAA State qualifier, finished sixth as a sophomore. His shot at a final four appearance will come Saturday morning, when he will take on Oak Hill’s Brody Arthur (39-1), Arthur scoring a pin on Pendleton Heights’ Jared Brown.

Wawasee’s second wrestler at Banker’s Life was 126-pounder Brendan Dilley, who was making his first trip to Indy as a competitor. Dilley’s day lasted 5:48 as he was beaten by tech fall to Bluffton’s Landon Bertsch (23-0), 16-1. Bertsch scored three takedowns and four near falls, the final nail coming at 5:48 when Bertsch secured three points on the final near fall to end the match.

Dilley, a senior, finishes his season 16-12 overall.

Estepp is making his first podium after a solid 8-1 win over Jacob Saylor of New Haven. The Warsaw senior scored a pair of takedown in the first period, countered by a Saylor escape. After a scoreless second period, Estepp opened the third period with a takedown to take a 6-1 lead, and worked Saylor into a near fall to close out the scoring and the advancement to Saturday.

Estepp (20-7) will meet Southmont’s Riley Woodall (25-2) in the 182 quarterfinals, Woodall a 10-5 decision winner in his match against Tri-West Hendricks’ Dominic Pugilese.

Tippecanoe Valley’s lone entrant, Bazle Owens, saw his sophomore season come to a close in the 195-pound bracket to the top seed, Hayden Filipovich. The mauler from Indianapolis Lutheran, who is 41-0 on the season, worked a pair of takedowns and a near fall in the first period, and after a reversal and takedown, finished off Owens with a pin at 5:43.

Owens ends his season 28-11 overall.

Filipovich will carry on to meet Adams Central’s Blake Heyerly (42-1) in the quarters. Elsewhere in the 195 bracket are Culver Academy’s Eli Pack and Northridge’s Ibrahim Khaoucha, both winners on Friday.

Posted In: Boy's Sports > Wrestling