Cardani, Luffman repeat

CHAMPAIGN — On fresh footing, perhaps the maneuver would've worked. Maybe Centennial wrestler Justin Cardani could've landed a celebratory backflip without a hitch.

"A little off," Cardani said with a laugh. "I felt like I wanted to do it just because, but my legs were so tired, it was hard to get up there."

2018 State Wrestling Finals

The 2018 State Wrestling finals at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Saturday, Feb. 17. 2018.

Top of the Morning, Feb. 17, 2018

One of the stars from Opening Day at the state wrestling meet has never even tried on a singlet.

Urbana High trumpeter PAYTON BORICH wowed the State Farm Center crowd with a rousing rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to kick off Thursday's three-day event. He sounded — and dressed like — a pro.

IHSA State Wrestling Semi-Finals

IHSA State Wrestling Semi-Finals, Friday, February 16, 2018 at the State Farm Center. 

Notes: 'I don't think he can outfight me'

CHAMPAIGN — Fresh bruising on his forehead and a little cut under his right eyebrow couldn’t stop David Griffet from soaking in the moment.

The Mahomet-Seymour senior recorded a last-minute takedown to clinch a 3-1 decision in the Class 2A 285-pound semifinals Friday at the state wrestling tournament in State Farm Center.

Three's company: Cardani, Fox and Luffman all reach finals

CHAMPAIGN — It's a short jaunt to State Farm Center from both Centennial and Urbana high schools. So for Charger wrestler Justin Cardani and Urbana grapplers Luke Luffman and A.J. Fox, why not stop by for the state championships?

14 local grapplers qualify for 2018 state semifinals

Tonight's state wrestling semifinals will involve a rematch of Class 2A Mahomet-Seymour Regional finalists at 220 pounds when Urbana's Luke Luffman and M-S' Ben Stahl square off at State Farm Center.

Turner's breaking the mold

CHAMPAIGN — Four local wrestlers walked into State Farm Center on Thursday with a top seed in the state tournament. Three either won or finished runner-up in their respective weight classes during the 2017 finals.

Notes: 'I feel confident wherever I am'

CHAMPAIGN — Ezra Elliott is back at state. By his own admission, the return trip carries "a lot more drive, (and) a lot more to prove."

The Hoopeston Area junior eased past Oakwood/Salt Fork senior Garrett Lashuay by a 13-2 major decision in a Class 1A 126-pound preliminary matchup.

HS Wrestling State: Day 1

Wrestling prelims from  Class 1A & 2A at the State tournament at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018.