West Virginia state wrestling tournament
Five Golden Bears, two Red Riders and one Bruin advance after first day
HUNTINGTON — Nine Ohio Valley Athletic Conference wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinals of the 73rd-annual West Virginia Class A-AA state tournament Thursday night inside Big Sandy Super Store Arena.
Oak Glen led the local contingent with five winners on opening night. Weir High had two advance, while Cameron and Magnolia had one each.
Leading the Golden Bears, as usual, was senior Peyton Hall, who needed just 66 seconds in dispatching his foe. The West Virginia University recruit now is 13-0 all-time in the Cabell County facility. He is looking to become the Hancock County school’s first four-time state champion.
“Peyton is wrestling at an incredible level,” Oak Glen head coach Patrick McGillian said of the program’s all-time winningest wrestler. “It’s been a pleasure watching him for four years.”
Also collecting victories were Camden Barr (106), Clayton Lamb (120), Jonathan Creese (145) and Kyler O’Connor (182). Barr won by pin, while Creese posted a 14-3 major decision and O’Connor earned a 10-4 decision. Lamb had to work a little to get his win, as his takedown early in overtime provided him with an 8-6 nod.
“Everybody that was expected to win did. I was hoping to get (Kaden) Lundy through, but that didn’t happen,” McGillian said. “Clayton had a tough match, but getting that takedown in overtime sets him up nice.”
The Red Riders advanced Wyatt Conley (132) and Jordan Brueck (285) to today’s quarterfinals. Conley won by pin, and Brueck, a state placer two years ago, earned a 5-1 decision.
“We’re pleased with the way we wrestled tonight,” Weir head coach Tom Taylor said. “Even in the loss we wrestled well. We just made a mistake that cost us. I’m really pleased to have two kids in the quarters.”
Cameron’s Ian Bush (170) only was on the mat for 35 seconds, as he won by a pin. An OVAC tournament champion, many think Bush is the odds-on-favorite to win the title.
Magnolia’s James Stillwagoner (195) posted a 9-1 major decision.
Action resumes today at 11:30 a.m. with championship quarterfinal action, and first- and second-round consolation bouts. Tonight’s third session will feature championship semifinals and third-round consolations.
Parkersburg South and Wheeling Park enjoyed very successful opening nights.
The Wood County Patriots have a half-point lead on the Ohio Countians, 41-40.5. Cabell Midland is third with 29.5.
Wheeling Park had 11 of its 12 qualifiers advance to today’s quarterfinals, which get underway at 11:30 a.m.
Seven Wheeling Park wrestlers won by pins, including sophomore Cody Taggart (113) and seniors Andrew Shelek (138) and Canon Welker (160) all needing less than a minute. Taggart won in 16 seconds, which was seven less than Shelek needed. Welker won in 50 seconds. Other pins were recorded by Quinton Velas (106), Stevie Mitchell (145), Erick Brothers Jr. (182) and Charlie Tamburin (220). Defending state champion Nate Shelek (120), Billy Gooch (152) and Adam Angel (170) all won by techincal falls. Bradyn Lucas (126) earned a decision.
“We got the momentum going and we’ll try to carry it over to tomorrow,” Wheeling Park head coach Brian Leggett said. “There will be some tougher matchups tomorrow. There weren’t really any surprises today. Erick Brothers had a tough match, so for him to come back and get a pin was real big.
“We’re going to try and get as many bonus points as we can because I think that will be the difference.”
John Marshall had four winners in Ethan Cook (106), Carl Cochran (113), Gabe Carman (132) and Dakoyta Thatcher (138). Cochran and Carman picked up pins, while Cook and Thatcher recorded major decisions.
“It went about as expected. I’m pretty pleased,” John Marshall head coach Ryan Asbury said. “In all of our wins we were able to pick up bonus points. (Dakoyta) Thatcher did a great job in getting a takedown right before the buzzer to get a major decision,” Asbury continued. “I’m pleased to see the guys getting the extra points for us.”
The Monarchs sit in a 12th-place tie with 14 points.
Brooke had a winner in Max Camilletti (170). The senior pinned his opponent in 2:23.