Blue Springs South had a couple hiccups in the finals Saturday, perhaps costing the host school third place in the Class 4 District 4 wrestling tournament.
But the eight of 11 Jaguars still qualified for this weekend’s state tournament at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, including a pair of district champions and two runners-up. They’ll be joined by six qualifiers from Blue Springs, four from Fort Osage and three each from William Chrisman and Lee’s Summit North.
As anticipated, defending state champion Park Hill (195 points) claimed the team title, followed by Lee’s Summit (160.5), while Rockhurst nipped South for third 146-145. Blue Springs was fifth (125.5) and Chrisman sixth (90.5) in the 14-team field, Lee’s Summit North took eighth (79) Fort Osage ninth (75.5) and Truman 11th (22.5).
South’s Christian Boyles and Cole West closed the meet by winning titles at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively. Boyles (39-2) outmuscled Liberty’s Keyen Braughton, while West (41-3) fended off a third-period challenge from Park Hill’s Anthony Enriquez for a 6-2 win.
“Stayed in position – good position is the key to any match,” Boyles said of his second win this season over Braughton. “We worked our hardest all year. We always thought we could do what we’ve accomplished. We’ve brought everybody up, even when their down.”
Fellow Jaguar Sam Hampton (43-2) fought past Lee’s Summit Alan Olivas in the semifinals – his second win in three meetings this season with Olivas – but had the misfortune of meeting national No. 1 Ke-Shawn Hayes of Park Hill in the 126-pound finals, and Hayes rang up a 19-3 technical fall in 3:03. In the 182-pound finals, Wyatt Parker (40-4) got the first takedown on Chrisman’s Josh Wallace before Wallace (44-3) turned the tables on his way to a 7-5 win.
Christian Findley (106), Sam Jackson (138) and Ben Lancaster (195) secured thirds for the Jaguars – Lancaster doing it with four consolation wins – and Trey Storey (152) was reversed in the finals seconds by Fort Osage’s Tyler Selemaea and dropped a 4-3 decision in their third-place match. John Boynton (170) fell a win short of state in the consolation semifinals.
“For the most part, the kids wrestled at their seeds or better,” South coach Doug Black said. “The last matches, we got brain dead a couple times.
“(Boyles and West) controlled and dictated what happened in the match. That’s what you have to do. Wyatt did early, but then he let the kid back in it.”
Blue Springs’ nationally ranked duo of Daniel Lewis (160) and Michael Pixley (195) had stress-free weekends. Lewis (41-0) recorded three first-period pins before his 18-1 technical fall of Rockhurst’s Charlie Lipford in 2:58 in the final. Pixley (39-1) also had two early pins and nearly got a first-period technical fall against Rockhurst’s Nelson Peterson, needing just a takedown 16 seconds into the second to complete a 16-0 rout in the final.
“I was really working for my cradles, which I always do, and maybe a couple takedowns on my feet,” said Lewis, who now is four wins away from becoming a four-time state champ. “I feel great. Last time when I went (to state), I was a little under the weather, but this year I’ve been taking all my vitamins.”
After beating Finley in the semifinals, Blue Springs’ Gage Harmon (30-12) dropped a 13-4 major decision in the 106 finals. Jeremy King (120) and Joe King (132) each took third to earn a repeat state trip, and Collyn Allen (182) won twice to claim fourth. Zane Heiter (152) and Atlanta McMillan (285) fell in the consolation semifinals.
Wallace took a 4-2 lead into the third against Parker, got penalized for hand clasping but caught Parker with a split-leg cradle for near-fall points to secure the 182 title. Wallace, who already had beaten Parker this season, said Saturday was a tougher bout.
“There at the end I was just trying to stay up, stay alive,” Wallace said. “I’m not going to lie – it was kind of sloppy. I could’ve hit that (move) a little better, but I didn’t want to slip up and lose.”
Louis West (145) and Tomasi Tuione (182) again will join Wallace at state after taking third. West beat Fort Osage’s Jesse Reser 3-0 in their third-place match, while Tuione used a neat leg trip to pin Ruskin’s Jamal Karriem at 1:13.
Chrisman had four others fall a win short in the consolation semifinals: Adam Olsen (106), Larry Danforth (113), Zack Soule (195) and Hunter Soule (220).
Fort Osage’s Jesse Jeffries (43-3) had two pins in less than a minute before getting pinned by Park Hill South’s George Barth in 37 seconds in the 138 finals. Jeffries will be joined at state by Selemaea, Reser and Collen Divers (fourth at 120).
Lee’s Summit North’s Keegan McCormick, already secured of his third trip to state, won the 145-pound title with a dramatic 4-3 win over Park Hill’s Canton Marriott. After the last restart with 12 seconds remaining, McCormick (34-6) reeled in the backing Marriott from the edge of the mat for a takedown as time expired.
North’s Austin Hanson (35-4) dropped an 11-8 decision to Rockhurst’s Colin Valdiviez in the 113 finals, while Evan Weidner took fourth at 170.
Truman’s Jonathan Gosserand (126), Kurt Kaiser (132), Troyvonne Clark (145) lost in the consolation semifinals as the Patriots failed to advance anyone to state.