WHEELING, W.Va. — That’s one strong seventh.
The Point Pleasant wrestling team took seventh overall in the 2018 Wheeling Park Duals held on Friday and Saturday at WesBanco Arena in Ohio County, with the Big Blacks going 7-1 in head-to-head duals.
Point Pleasant — which had six grapplers finish the event with unbeaten records — suffered its only setback in its opening dual, falling to eventual champion Steubenville by a 32-27 count. The five-point margin was the closest any team came to the Big Red, who topped Carrollton by a 41-30 tally in the finals.
Next, the Class AA top-ranked Big Blacks claimed a 44-20 victory over No. 4 ranked Oak Glen, and followed it up with a 46-25 win over Alliance. PPHS closed out Friday in fine style, defeating Clermont and Massillon Washington by respective counts of 76-3 and 81-0.
The second day of competition began with a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the Class AA rankings, and Point Pleasant defeating East Fairmont by a 57-12 clip. The Big Blacks closed competition by defeating Waynedale 46-21 and Massillon Jackson 48-18.
Leading PPHS individually, Derek Raike and Justin Bartee were both 8-0, Isaac Short was 6-0, Parker Henderson and Mackandle Freeman were both 4-0, while Brayden Connolly went 3-0.
A trio of Big Blacks finished with 7-1 records, in Christopher Smith, Mitchell Freeman and Jake Muncy. George Smith and Wyatt Stanley both claimed 6-2 records, while Zac Samson and Wyatt Wilson were 5-2 and 4-2 respectively.
Logan Southall and Zander Watson were both 4-3, rounding out the Big Blacks with winning records.
Nick Ball, Juan Marquez and Nazar Abbas each picked up three wins for PPHS, while Kaden Pierce earned one victory.
Point Pleasant will compete for the first time in 2019 on Friday and Saturday at the Bob Kearns Invitational.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.