The Dominion Post  

8 Hawks, 2 Knights advance at state mat tourney

Created on:   Thu, Feb 22, 2018   11:10 PM

Last modified:   Thu, Feb 22, 2018   11:10 PM

For The Dominion Post

HUNTINGTON — Success in lower weights helped University High get off to a good start Feb. 22 in the 71st West Virginia state high school wrestling tournament, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The Hawks ran up a 5-1 record in weights from 106 to 138.

University’s Ben Gribble then put a wrap on a solid day one with a gutty overtime win over Hurricane’s Payton Lunsford at 220 pounds. The junior, in his first season, broke a 7-7 tie with four straight points for an 11-7 triumph.

The Hawks had 10 state qualifiers overall and sit in fourth place, with 24.50 points. Parkersburg South, seeking a fourth straight Class AAA team title, took step one with 43.50 points. Huntington High is second, with 34.50.

“Imagine if he started as a freshman,” Hawks coach Ken Maisel said of Gribble, a fullback/defensive end in football. “He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s learning how to wrestle. This has to help his confidence. That kid (Lunsford) is a good wrestler.

“It’s huge for him and the team. He showed a lot of will and heart. A great way to end the day.”

Reigning Class AA champion Independence led its class, and Wirt County, which won the first Class A crown last year, held No. 1 going into today’s action.

Sessions are at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Action continues Saturday with placement matches at 10:45 a.m. and the championship round at 6 p.m.

For University, Jace Stockett opened at 106 with a fall in 48 seconds over Nate Cox, of Ripley. It was his 40th win of the season.

Jake Staud got his 41st win with a pin of Sierra Powell, of Hampshire, at 120. The end came at 3:12.

At 126, Jacob Simpson won by major decision over Treven Taylor, of Hurricane. In those three matches, UHS wrestlers came in as Region 1 champs and met the No. 4 seeds in their class.

Down the line, University got wins from two No. 3 seeds. Brise Bennett got the decision over Izak Petry, of Riverside, at 132, and Braeden Pauley scored a pin over Buddy Stine, of Washington, at 0:45.

At 152 pounds, Region 1 winner Owen Zeiders for the Hawks prevailed by technical fall over Zach Weaver, of Woodrow Wilson.

At 195, Josh Sanders, wearing a facemask, posted a 14-8 win over Conor Wogon, of Washington. Gribble’s win capped off an 8-2 day.

Owen Keel, of Jefferson, scored a surprise pin over Josh Rudmann, of UHS, at 160. Brandon Holt, a Region 4 champion, won by pin over UHS’s Calvin Matthews, at 113.

“We get an upset and give up an upset,” Maisel said. “Our lower weights were good. The kids meant business. Get it done and go to bed. Before the start, it was obvious we’re fighting for second. We’ve got to get bonus points when we can. At lot of matches we’ll be underdog tomorrow. We’ve got to get those key wins again.”

Preston had a 2-5 night and is tied for 17th, with 8 points.

Bryson Wilkins won by pin at 113. At 182, Blake Miller scored a win by pin to improve to 54-1.

Morgantown went 0-4 and shared 25th with Martinsburg, Capital and Princeton with 0 points.

How locals fared:

106: Jace Stockett, University, p. Nate Cox, Ripley, :48. Garrett Donahue, Parkersburg, p. Zach Riffle, Preston, 1:48.

113: Bryson Wilkins, Preston, p. Cobie Johnson, Riverside, 1:16. Brandon Holt, St. Albans, p. Calvin Matthews, University.

120: Jake Staud, University, p. Sierra Powell, Hampshire, 3:12. Ethan Hardy, Washington, p. Bailey Radabaugh, Preston, 2:38.

126: Jacob Simpson, University, major dec. Treven Taylor, Hurricane, 12-3.

132: 3rd: Brise Bennett, University dec. Izak Petry, Riverside.

138: Braeden Pauley, University, p. Buddy Stine, Washington, :45.

152: Owen Zeiders, University, tech fall, Zach Weaver, Woodrow Wilson, 16-0. Levi Hobbs, Greenbrier East, p. Tucker Knisell, Preston, 1:04.

160: Owen Keel, Jefferson, p. Josh Rudmann, University, 1:55. Roy Brannon, Spring Mills, p. Michael White, Morgantown, 0:33.

170: Jacob Starkey, Ripley, p. Alex Shriver, Morgantown, 2:47.

182: Blake Miller, Preston, p. Devan Gauldin, Woodrow Wilson, 0:48.

195: Josh Sanders, University, dec. Conor Wogan, Washington, 14-8. Jacob Northcraft, Musselman, p. Jat Maria, Preston, 4:45.

220: Ben Gribble, University, dec. Payton Lunsford, Hurricane, 11-7 OT. Braxton Amos, Parkersburg South, p. Josh Hite, Morgantown. 0:27.

285: Matthew Kincaid, George Washington, p. Neil McKnight, Morgantown.