By ERIC VICCARO
COLUMBIA — Ste. Genevieve wrestler Isabel Basler is currently undergoing preparations for the biggest moment of her life.
Basler is a senior, and this will be her last time gracing the wrestling mats at the Missouri State High School Activities Association state meet.
The 125-pounder is ready to make an impact — and follow-up last year’s success when she finished fourth overall in her weight class.
“She practiced well yesterday (Sunday),” said Ste. Genevieve head coach Jared Bonnell.
Basler might be battling through nagging bumps and bruises — after all, this is February, and the season has taken its toll — but Bonnell is confidence Isabel can handle such adversity.
Basler also has a tough draw, with Jacey Brewer from Excelsior Springs as a first-round opponent Thursday beginning at 2 p.m.
Basler and Brewer share nearly the identical record heading into the event. Basler stands at 29-6 while Brewer is 32-6.
The winner of that match will square off against either talented Nixa wrestler Brenya Crahan or Neveah Smith of Francis Howell Central.
This weight class also includes Jefferson City freshman Alexis Dunwiddie, who sports the field’s best record at 40-1. Madison Leverknight, a junior from Winnetonka will feature as well, at 43-2.
Bonnell said for Basler to have success at the state meet, she will need to mount offense early — with effective shots.
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