MADISON — When you’re competing in the state wrestling meet, every point matters. Belmont/Platteville senior Lucas Stoney could have used one of those points any way he could have gotten it.
Stoney’s first state appearance was a short one as he dropped a hard-fought 1–0 decision to Almond–Bancroft/Pacelli junior Jack Lawlis (30–15) in a Division 2 preliminary match at 220-pounds at the 2014 WIAA Individual State Wrestling Meet held at the Kohl Center in Madison on Thursday.
“All week long we told him the matches up here would be one or two point matches,” said Belmont/Platteville head coach Andrew Campbell. “Unfortunately, he came out on the wrong end of it. I think nerves had a little to do with it.
Stoney (25–13) went into the second period deadlocked at 0–0 with Lawlis, but the junior scored a quick escape to grab a 1–0 lead.
Lawlis maintained that lead throughout the second quarter, and then held onto the Belmont senior the entire third period to eke out the 1–0 decision.
“He gets away, he ties it and I think the chances of him getting a takedown and the win would have been pretty good. He just couldn’t get away,” stated Campbell.
With the way the WIAA tournament is set up, a loss in the prelims knocks a wrestler out of the tournament. There are no second chances.
Lawlis went on to place fourth in the 220-pound weight class. Luxemburg–Casco senior Luke Destiche (44–0) wrapped up a perfect season with a 13–4 major decision over Amery senior Kenny Gates (40–7) in the 220 final on Saturday night.
“Unlike most tournaments, you don’t get a warm-up match to get the butterflies out. It’s all or nothing right away,” Campbell commented. “Anyone who gets beat out in the first round, as time goes by they feel better about getting to state. He’s disappointed now, but soon he’ll realized what he achieved.”
Campbell noted that Stoney spent the rest of the weekend in Madison with senior teammates John Hentrich, who had to miss sectionals and a possible state berth after getting sick following the regional tournament, and Austin Loeffelholz, who missed regionals due to a skin disorder and never got a chance to challenge for a state berth.
“It reminds him how lucky it was just for him to be here because his teammates didn’t get that chance due to things that were out of their control,” noted Campbell.
WIAA Division 2 State Championships
(from Saturday, Feb. 27–March 1 @ Kohl Center, Madison)
Belmont/Platteville state qualifiers
220 — Lucas Stoney (25-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Jack Lawlis (Almond Bancroft/Pacelli) 29-13 won by decision over Lucas Stoney (Belmont/Platteville) 25-13 (Dec 1-0)