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The Carthage Press
  • Seven from Carthage qualify for wrestling state

  • Seven Carthage wrestlers made their way to the semifinals after Friday’s opening rounds of the Class 3, District 3 tournament at Branson High School, and when the competition wrapped up on Saturday afternoon, all seven had qualified for next weekend’s state championship in Columbia.
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  • Seven Carthage wrestlers made their way to the semifinals after Friday’s opening rounds of the Class 3, District 3 tournament at Branson High School, and when the competition wrapped up on Saturday afternoon, all seven had qualified for next weekend’s state championship in Columbia.
    The Tigers won six of seven semifinal matches on Saturday, with Seth Logan finishing first at 132 pounds. Dakota Jones (113 pounds), River Maggard (126), Tyler Harden (138), Skyler Bloomer (182) and Blaine Perry (285) each earned second-place finishes, and Edxel Morales took fourth at 145 pounds. The top four in each weight class advance to state.
    “I’m ecstatic,” Carthage head coach Kenny Brown said Saturday night. “We thought we’d get seven there and we did. The nice thing was getting six to the finals, which means we were either champs or the runner-up so we’ll catch a third or fourth-place kid in the first round at state. That gives us a great chance to move on to the quarterfinals.”
    Carthage placed third in the team standings, with 152 points, trailing first-place Neosho (302.5) and Willard (156.5). Webb City was sixth and Carl Junction finished 13th.
    Logan, 30-2 on the year, scored 24.50 team points, though his crusade for a district title almost ended in the semifinals. After winning by fall and by technical fall on Friday, he was nearly pinned by Neosho’s Isaac Townsend in the semifinals Saturday, though he recovered and picked up a 13-5 major decision. He then beat Willard’s Kaleb Crook (38-4) by 5-4 decision for first place. It was Logan’s first action in three weeks after suffering an injury, and the team wasn’t even sure he’d be competing this weekend before the doctor released him to wrestle on Wednesday.
    “We honestly got lucky just having him in there,” Brown said. “A lot of it was shaking the rust off and getting his wind back. He had a tough weight pull trying to get his weight back down. I’m pleased with how he wrestled. He definitely made me lose a little bit of hair in his semifinal match but he got the job done.”
    Jones, after a first-round bye, won by major decision in the quarterfinals, then beat Lebanon’s Logan Beushausen 7-2 in the semifinals. Now 31-12, he lost by major decision to Neosho’s Johnathan Williams in the first-place match.
    At 126 pounds, Maggard scored 20 and is 32-11. He pinned both of his opponents on Friday, then won 8-4 against Parkview’s Ryan Carroll in the semifinals. He dropped a 7-1 decision in the first-place match to Neosho’s Kyler Rea, who is 47-4.
    Harden stands at 26-17 and won three of four matches at 138 pounds. He received a bye in the first round, then won by technical fall. Both of his matches on Saturday were decided by decision, as he won 2-0 against Willard’s Kyle Caldwell, but lost 1-0 to Neosho’s Jason Box (42-9) for first.
    Page 2 of 3 - Skyler Bloomer, 32-10, pinned both opponents on Friday, in 55 seconds and in 4:28. He edged Neosho’s Jacob Brock (41-4) 3-1 in the semifinals, but dropped a major decision to Willard’s Hunter Yeargan for first. Yeargan is 47-1.
    Perry won his first three matches by fall, and the most impressive victory came in the semifinal round, when he pinned Glendale’s Max Oeser (35-7) in just 43 seconds. He needed just 49 seconds and 3:15 to win two matches on Friday. Perry, 29-14, faced off with Neosho’s Aaron Clardy for first place, but Clardy (47-6) escaped with the win by fall in 2:45. The semifinal win wasn’t just the most impressive, though, it was also the most significant, at least as far as the record books are concerned. The win by fall was his 100th victory during his Carthage career.
    Morales won by decision and by sudden victory on Friday before falling to Willard’s Connar Loderhose (43-3) in the semifinal round. Needing to win one more match to solidify a trip to state, Morales beat Camdenton’s Daniel Meier 6-4 in the consolation semifinals, but settled for fourth after losing to Neosho’s Cody Rains in the third-place match.
    “I’m very pleased with Edxel Morales,” Brown said. “He’s wrestled the Neosho kid four times this year; they’ve won two and we’ve won two. He did a great job. I don’t want to single any of them out too much because they all did what they needed to. Tyler Harden beat a kid who’d beaten us twice. Dakota Jones wrestled a very good kid from Lebanon and Skyler Bloomer beat Neosho’s Jacob Brock who had beaten us earlier this year. We were a four seed and they were the number-one and we knocked him off by wrestling a very smart match. Blaine Perry wrestled very well in his semifinals to get his 100th-career victory.”
    Carthage had spent Friday and much of the day Saturday in second place in the team standings before Willard pulled ahead with a win at 182 pounds. The Tigers finished 3.5 points behind Willard, which summed up the team’s “valiant” effort, according to Brown.
    “Hats off to the team for really closing the gap on Willard,” he said. “They’ve beaten us at every tournament we’ve been to this year, but usually it’s by 40 or 50 points. They beat us by three-and-a-half today so I’m very proud of the boys.”
    The state championship tournament gets underway Thursday with Class 3 first-round matches at 5 p.m. The quarterfinals are set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, with the semifinals at 6 p.m. Matches for third and fifth places will begin at noon Saturday, with championship bouts at 4:30 p.m.
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