EAST CHICAGO, IN. – LaVille’s Alex Cartwright is a Indiana High School Athletic Association Semi-State Wrestling Champion!
Cartwright became the third wrestler in school history to earn a semi-state title.
The LaVille senior started the day off with a pin over Cory Hill of Portage in 1-minute, 6-seconds.
In the quarterfinal, Cartwright was taken until the final seconds of the first period before gaining a pin at the 1:57 mark.
“His first match was short and to the point,” said LaVille wrestling coach Sean Webb. “He wanted it to be as short as possible.
“He came into his second match with energy and aggression,” continued Webb. “He did not want to end this season like he did the previous two seasons. He was able to pin Duncan from McCutcheon in the last 10 seconds of the first period. You could tell he was extremely relieved to win his second match, which guaranteed him a spot in Indianapolis. He let off some emotion that you don’t normally see from him pointing to the crowd.”
Once Cartwright was able to get past the second match and punch his ticket to the state finals, it was time to go to work in the semifinal, and with a victory in the semifinal, possibly a shot at the semi-state title.
“He came into his last two matches with a specific strategy to attack the legs when he found an opening,” explained Webb of the semifinal match. “Wrestling Devault (from Penn) the previous week helped Alex find exactly when to shoot on him. He won both matches by beating his opponents on his feet with his speed and strength to finish off his shots.
“Once he got comfortably ahead, he wrestled smart,” continued Webb. “He was able to keep top control of Atria from Merrillville in his third match. In his fourth and final match, he was able to defend Devault’s throws.”
Technique and how Cartwright used his energy were also important as the day wore on and Cartwright moved to his fourth match of the day.
“Most important, Alex constantly kept good technique by conserving his energy and controlling his breathing,” concluded Webb. “This is a key aspect of wrestling. If you do not control your breathing, you could easily be winded and tired half way through a match.
Webb was impressed at how Cartwright followed the game plan for the day.
“Alex’s performance at semi-state was incredible,” said Webb. “He did exactly what he needed to do to put himself in the best position possible for State this Friday and Saturday. He wrestled mistake-free and went into every match with a specific strategy.
“At the end of his final match, we were all thrilled to celebrate the victory,” continued the happy LaVille coach. “This does not happen very often for a small school like LaVille. There is definitely a buzz around the school and some energy in the wrestling room.”
Cartwright will take a 29-0 record to the IHSAA state finals on Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16. Carwright will wrestle Samuel Littlejohn of Perry Meridian on Friday night. The first round of the IHSAA State Wrestling will begin February 15 at 6 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Stay tuned to www.lavilleathletics.com for a state finals preview in the next day or two.
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THE ROAD TO THE EAST CHICAGO SEMI-STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
1st Round: Alex Cartwright (LaVille) pinned Cory Hill (Portage), 1:06
Quarterfinal Round: Alex Cartwright (LaVIlle) pinned Nathaniel Duncan (McCutcheon), 1:53
Semifinal Round: Alex Cartwright (LaVille) defeated Anthony Atria (Merrillville), 9-4
Semi-State Championship: Alex Cartwright (LaVille) defeated Yehezquel Devault (Penn), 11-6