HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — They just don’t get much tougher than this.
A total of 69 wrestling teams took part in the 2018 WSAZ Invitational held Friday and Saturday at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
The Ohio Valley Publishing area had three schools compete in the annual event, with Point Pleasant leading the way after tying with Spring Valley for seventh place with 119.5 points. River Valley (49.5) and Wahama (47) finished 26th and 28th, respectively.
St. Joseph Academy won the team title with four weight class champions and a final tally of 246 points. Independence (240.5) and Huntington (178) rounded out the top-three spots in the field.
The OVP area had zero grapplers compete in a divisional championship, but all three programs came away with at least one top-six effort.
The Big Blacks had six wrestlers finish in the top-eight, with Justin Cornell leading the way with a third place finish at 106 pounds. Cornell went 7-1 overall and had both a pinfall win and a technical fall.
George Smith was fourth at 120 pounds with a 4-2 record, while Christopher Smith ended up fifth at 106 pounds with a 5-2 mark and two pinfall wins. Christopher Smith also handed Cornell his lone setback, a 4-1 decision, in the winner’s bracket quarterfinals.
Wyatt Wilson was sixth at 138 pounds, which included a 4-3 mark and a pinfall win. Mitchell Freeman went 4-2 and finished seventh at 126 pounds, while Juan Marquez was eighth at 195 pounds with a 3-3 record.
The Raiders and White Falcons actaully met one another in the fifth place match of the 120-pound division. WHS also owned a slim half-point lead (47-46.5) headed into that final bout for each program.
Jacob Edwards ended up defeating Ethan VanMatre by an 8-0 count to earn fifth place while also catapulting RVHS ahead in the final standing. Edwards went 4-2 overall with a pinfall win, while VanMatre ended up sixth with a 3-3 mark and two pinfalls.
Ripley and John Hardin followed SJA with two weight class champions apiece. St. Albans, East Fairmont, Independence, Huntington, Petersburg and Spring Valley also came away with a single divisional champion.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2018 WSAZ Invitational held Friday and Saturday at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Greenlees win titles at John Deno INV
THE PLAINS, Ohio — A twin-killing.
Only one small stat separated seniors Caleb and Kyle Greenlee this past Saturday as the identical brothers claimed both divisional championships for Gallia Academy at the 2018 John Deno Invitational held at McAfee Gymnasium on the campus of Athens High School.
Caleb and Kyle both posted 5-0 marks en route to winning their respective weight classes at 106 and 113 pounds, and the twins combined for nine pinfall wins out of those 10 bouts. Kyle also claimed an 11-8 decision in the 113 final.
The Blue Devils finished the tournament with nine top-eight efforts, with just over half of those resulting in top-four finishes. GAHS finished sixth out of 20 teams with 176 points.
Nelsonville-York won the annual tournament with a final tally of 271.5 points, followed by New Lexington (236) and Westfall (229) in the top-three spots. Eastern (72) and Meigs (64) also competed locally and respectively finished 15th and 16th.
Lane Pullins finished as the 182-pound runner-up after going 4-1 with three pinfalls for the Blue Devils. Jason Stroud was third with a 4-1 record and two pinfalls at 113 pounds, while Hunter Terry placed fourth at 285 pounds with two pinfalls and a 3-2 mark.
Kenton Ramsey (113) and Logan Griffith (220) both came away with fifth place honors for the Blue and White after posting identical 3-2 marks. Griffith scored three pinfall victories and Ramsey earned a pair of pinfall wins.
Bronson Carter (145) and Kenny Siders (170) posted matching records of 2-3 — including two pinfalls apiece — as each placed eighth in his respective division.
The Eagles earned a quartet of top-eight efforts, with Gavin Erwin leading the way with a fifth place finish at 182 pounds. Erwin went 4-1 overall and scored a trio of pinfall wins.
Dillon Aeiker was sixth with a 3-2 record and two pinfalls at 138 pounds, while Daniel Harris was seventh at 152 pounds with a 3-2 mark that included two pinfalls and a technical fall.
Nick Little was the final EHS placer after coming in eighth at 220 pounds with a 1-4 mark that included a pinfall win.
The Marauders were led by Griffin Buck with a seventh place finish at 113 pounds. Buck went 2-2 overall with a pair of pinfall victories.
Tucker Smith (132) and Jon Newsome (285) both finished eighth for MHS after posting identical marks of 2-3 in their respective divisions, as well as a pinfall apiece.
Circleville led all programs with three individual weight class champions, with GAHS, Nelsonville-York and Hillsboro all following with two apiece. New Lexington, Morgan, McClain, Westfall and Thurgood Marshall also scored a divisional champion each.
Visit baumspage.com for complete results of the 2018 John Deno Invitational held at Athens High School.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.