LINDEN - Western Boone senior Mason Adams is no stranger to battling through adversity.
So while he wasn't in a good position during his championship match at 150 pounds at the North Montgomery Regional, he wasn't going to panic or give up.
And that perseverance paid off for Adams, who overcame a big deficit to pin fourth-ranked Noah Weaver of Rossville and claim the regional title.
"It means a lot," Adams said of winning the regional title. "Especially because last year I was on track to win and I tore my LCL and wasn't able to move around and got stuck in the semifinal. It comes really good to come back and win it."
As he alluded to, Saturday was a full circle moment for Adams.
He was a sectional champion a year ago and won his opening match of the regional to advance to semi-state. But during the placement matches, he injured his knee and saw his season come to an end early.
There were some tough moments early in the year for Adams as he returned to the mat, but he continued to get stronger as the year went on an has put himself in a good position for the future rounds of the tournament.
"It was definitely tough at the beginning and I started off slower than I wanted to, but I just kept with it and kept practicing and doing all kinds of things to get my knee back into shape," Adams said. "It's paying off and it feels good."
Adams got the first takedown of the match, but got reversed midway through the period and was tied at 2.
Starting in neutral in the second period, Weaver got a takedown and on three different occasions had Adams on his back and was close to pinning the WeBo senior.
"In my head I was just thinking, 'I can't let this guy get me,'" Adams said. "I knew I had to keep fighting, win that mental battle and just wait for my moment."
Down 13-2 heading to the third period, that moment came for Adams.
He started the third period on top and controlled the first half of the period, before turning Weaver onto his back and was able to finish off the pin.
"I definitely feel confident on top, but I have to keep that confidence all the way through," Adams said. "I knew it was the third period, so time is a little bit of an issue there, but I was just trying to stay positive and tried to keep him on his back as long as I could and it paid off."
Adams became Western Boone's first regional champion since 2015, when Jon Morales won.
Adams will head into the New Castle Semi-State next week, needing to win two matches to advance to the State Finals.
"I feel good with where I am at and I had it in my head that I was going to win," Adams said. "This is the best I have felt in a long time, so I want to carry that into next week. I definitely want to work on bottom (in practice) so I don't have another period like that second period today, but other than that I feel pretty good."
The season came to an end for three other Western Boone wrestlers, as Cale Scagnoli, Isaac Moore and Kameron Mikesell all lost their first matches of the day.
Lebanon will be advancing three to the semi-state, with Braxton Aragon, Zach Tranum and Thomas Thompson making it out.
"We came in and had a pretty good first round and felt like we would get a couple more out but lost some close matches," Lebanon head coach Jacob King said. "In the placement rounds, we had some let-ups, but it was good to see Braxton come back and get third."
Aragon topped Scagnoli 5-0 in the opening round, but lost Carmel's Carlo Federici in the semifinal.
He came back to beat Crawfordsville's Taiga Koyanogi in the third-place match.
"He's a kid that can come in next week and upset a couple guys if he has the right mindset. So getting third was big cause it helps."
Tranum placed fourth at 144 pounds and Thompson placed fourth at 175 pounds.
Heading into next week, King said there as some things he wants his three advancing wrestlers to work on.
"It's more of the mental preparation," King said. "The guys were a little too nervous today and we saw it on the mat. So it's more of a mental preparation of, 'we belong here, now go out there and wrestle like it.' We can't put too much pressure on ourselves.
Seth Wilson, Vincent Laney and Garren Stokes all saw their seasons come to an end.
The semi-state will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.