Columbus East’s Sam Morrill, left, and an official watch as East Central’s Bryer Hall celebrates winning the 170-pound weight class state title during the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. Morrill lost to Hall by pin fall in the first round. Mike Wolanin | The Republic
INDIANAPOLIS — Sam Morrill didn’t have the crowning ending he desired, but he was more than pleased to have gotten the opportunity to wrestle for a state championship.
The Columbus East senior made it all the way to the 170-pound title match Saturday night in the Wrestling State Finals. Morrill was pinned by top-ranked and undefeated Bryer Hall of East Central in 58 seconds to fall one win short of a championship.
“Obviously, nobody wants to finish that way, but I’m happy to have gotten as far as I did,” Morrill said. “It was just exciting to get there.
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Morrill, ranked No. 6 at 170, advanced to the final with a pair of wins earlier in the day. He earned a 7-4 decision over No. 12 Shane Bates of Zionsville in the quarterfinals, then avenged his only loss to that point with a 7-5 decision against No. 9 Ulrik Uraski of Cathedral in the semifinals.
“It was awesome that I could wrestle the way that I did,” Morrill said. “I beat somebody that I had lost to before.”
East coach Chris Cooper was impressed with Morrill’s performance in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
“He had a fantastic day,” Cooper said. “It was really tough competition, and he just was able to stay composed all day long. He won two close matches. It was not the ending we wanted in the finals, but Bryer Hall is a tough kid, an explosive kid, and we just got beat.”
Meanwhile, Olympians junior Kade Law finished third at 160 pounds. The fourth-ranked Law beat No. 5 Orlando Cruz of Crown Point 5-3 in the quarterfinals before falling to top-ranked and undefeated Robert Major of Carmel 3-1 in the semifinals. Law thought he had a takedown on Major in the closing seconds, but the two points were not awarded.
Law then bounced back with a 3-0 decision against No. 3 Andrew Wilson of Cathedral in the third-place match, avenging one of his losses from earlier in the season, to finish 36-4.
“It was a pretty good turnout — not the best, but pretty good,” Law said. “I had a couple close matches. I went to overtime in the quarterfinals and beat the No. 5 kid. That was exciting.”
Cooper also was pleased with the way Law competed.
“He wrestled great,” Cooper said. “He had just a tremendous season. He grinded out some really close matches. The semifinals, we were really close to a takedown there at the end of regulation that would have sent it to overtime, but he came back with a really great match for third place against a kid that he had previously lost to.”
Law and Morrill both had posted wins in Friday’s opening round. A third East state qualifier, sophomore Liam Krueger, lost in the first round at 106 pounds.