Rader puts on takedown clinic, sets up showdown in Round of 8

DES MOINES – JD Rader had his hand raised under the bright lights inside Wells Fargo Arena for the 10th time in his illustrious career last night, but there was no celebration of the achievement.

There wasn’t even a smile.

Rader has bigger goals than just one win in a loaded Class 1A 132-pound bracket. He wants the whole enchilada.

The South Hamilton senior put on a takedown clinic in his opening-round bout at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament, as he coasted through Pleasantville sophomore Griffen McBride, 8-4.

The score indicates a close match. It really wasn’t.

“It was closer than I wanted, but I never felt in any danger of him scoring other than escapes,” Rader, who improved to 151-15 in his career, said. “It was just kind of his style to keep it close and not get in too much action.”

Two takedowns in the first period and another in the second pushed Rader’s lead to 6-3. It was 6-4 late when McBride (30-12) went for a throw and ended up on his back as time expired.

Rader (37-1), ranked No. 3, now faces perhaps the biggest obstacle in his pursuit of a state title. He’ll shake hands and go to battle with top-ranked and two-time state champion Hunter Washburn (41-4) of Alburnett in this afternoon’s quarterfinals, which will get underway at 2:30 p.m.

“Yeah, it should be fun,” Rader said. “I’ve never wrestled him, but I know he’s a solid wrestler who likes to score points. I like to score points, too.”

Washburn won titles in 2012 and 2013. His run was halted by Lisbon’s Carter Happel in the 132 quarterfinals a year ago. Rader lost to Happel one round later.

Rader will go alone for the Hawks after sophomore 152-pounder Luke Peters dropped a pair of matches and was eliminated.

Third-ranked and unbeaten Zach Axmear (50-0) of English Valleys built an 8-0 lead before putting Peters’ shoulders to the mat for the fall in 3:05 in the first round. It was career victory No. 99 for Axmear, who is just a sophomore.

Peters (35-11) led Akron-Westfield’s Dylan Blinde (34-17) as the clock ticked under 10 seconds remaining in the consolation first round. But Blinde got an escape with six ticks left and then came out on top of a scramble for the go-ahead points right before the clock his all zeroes to earn an 8-6 win.

“It was exciting to see (Peters) down here competing and this will hopefully drive him to reach the podium next year,” South Hamilton head coach Dan Brodie said. “He maybe put too much weight on these two matches and did some things he normally doesn’t do.”