INDIANAPOLIS — Penn stayed in the team chase and four of nine advancing wrestlers from The Elkhart Truth area won in dominating fashion Friday, Feb. 21, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Kingsmen are tied with Evansville Mater Dei and Indianapolis Cathedral for second place with five points each — one point behind co-leaders Merrillville and Yorktown.
"We're just going to keep focusing on the five (advancers) and stay positive," said Penn head coach Brad Harper, who will see seniors Zack Davis (120) and Jeff Wiseman (182), junior Chase Osborn (170) and sophomores Drew Hildebrandt (106) and Kobe Woods (195) compete again for top-eight places on Saturday, Feb. 22. The quarterfinals/semifinals sessions is slated for 9:30 a.m. with consolations at 5 p.m. and finals at 7:30.
Osborn (38-1) stayed unbeaten against Indiana opponents with a 15-0 technical fall.
The Kingsman's only 2013-14 loss came in a dual against Baylor (Tenn.).
Osborn, who also considers the best part of his repertoire to be on his feet, shrugged off his dominant performance.
"I've just (been) wrestling like every other match," said Osborn. "I'm just going out there and scoring points."
Davis, a state runner-up in 2013, won Friday by pin in 1:05.
Elkhart Memorial senior Tieshawn Johnson (195) won by pin in 3:40 and Elkhart Central senior Eliseo Guerra (220) pinned his opponent in 3:32.
Concord senior DeLawrence Gayfield (2-0 decision at 120) and Fairfield senior Forrest Glogouski (10-8 decision at 120) were also survivors in win-or-go-home first-round matches,
Gayfield, who earned a second-period escape point on the way to his victory, gets a chance to improve on his sixth-place finish of 2013.
"My coach (Justin Rockenbaugh) told me, 'don't tie up' because he likes to use a drag-by," said Gayfield of Friday's win. "I tried to stay away from that."
Gayfield knows what he does best.
"With my speed, strength and quickness, no one can stop me on my feet," said Gayfield.
Area wrestlers bowing out Friday were Goshen's Jaron Katzer (106) and Evan Smith (182), Penn's Austin Slates (113), Alex Rinehart (152), Joey Mammolenti (160) and Clayton Stohler (220) and Memorial's Tony Vaughn (126).
Because of what Northridge head coach Eric Highley called "disciplinary reasons," Raider 145-pounder Ryan Baxter was pulled from the tournament.
IHSAA State Finals
(Friday's First Round)
Top teams: Merrillville 6, Yorktown 6, Penn 5, Evansville Mater Dei 5, Indianapolis Cathedral 5, Franklin 4, Bloomington South 3, East Noble 3, Mishawaka 3, New Palestine 3, Perry Meridian 3.
106: Drew Hildebrandt (Penn) dec. Nate Weimer (East Noble) 5-1; Jeremiah Reitz (Griffith) pinned Jaron Katzer (Goshen) 1:25.
113: Tyler Ferguson (Evansville Reitz) maj. dec. Austin Slates (Penn) 15-4.
120: Forrest Glogouski (Fairfield) dec. Jacob Cottey (Perry Meridian) 10-8; DeLawrence Gayfield (Concord) dec. Matthew McKinney (Warren Central) 2-0.
126: Zack Davis (Penn) pinned Quinton Harris (Avon) 1:05; A.J. Belden (Westfield) dec. Tony Vaughn (Elkhart Memorial) 6-1.
145: Ryan Baxter (Northridge) was pulled out of tournament.
152: Brendon Kelley (Evansville Central) pinned Alex Rinehart (Penn) 5:18.
160: Maximilan Dole (East Central) pinned Joey Mammolenti (Penn) 1:55.
170: Chase Osborn (Penn) tech. fall Keair Ross (Kokomo) 15-0.
182: Jeff Wiseman (Penn) dec. Evan Elmore (Avon) 6-0; Blake Rypel (Indianapolis Cathedral) pinned Evan Smith (Goshen) 1:24.
195: Tieshawn Johnson (Elkhart Memorial) pinned Noah Schrader (Indianapolis Chatard) 3:40; Kobe Woods (Penn) dec. Dakota Thacker (Bloomington South) 7-4.
220: Eliseo Guerra (Elkhart Central) pinned Gunnar Larson (Avon) 3:32; Seth Vaughn (Franklin Central) dec. Clayton Stohler (Penn) 5-2.