HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Still a chance … both ways around.
Mason County had 10 of its 16 qualifiers still competing for state titles after two sessions of the 72nd annual WVSSAC Wrestling Championships being held this weekend at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
Both Point Pleasant and Wahama had grapplers make it unscathed into the winner’s bracket semifinals through Friday morning, and all but three of the area’s Sweet 16 are still alive as the 2019 event headed into Friday night’s third session.
The Big Blacks — the top-ranked team in Class AA — currently sit atop the Class AA-A scoreboard with 99 points, while the White Falcons are tied for 22nd overall in the same standings with 15 points. Wahama is also tied with Ritchie County and Williamstown for fifth place in the Class A standings.
Five-time defending state champion Independence sits in second place with 70 points, while East Fairmont (54.5), Greenbrier West (52) and Braxton County (50) round out the top five Class AA-A spots through two sessions.
Greenbrier West leads the Class A field, with Wirt County (42), South Harrison (24.5), and defending champion Madonna (19.5) all sitting ahead of the White Falcons.
Point Pleasant owned a two-point lead over the field after eight pinfall wins and a 10-4 start to the tournament on Thursday night, amassing 36 points. Independence was second with 34 points.
On Friday morning, the Red and Black stretched their lead out thanks to five pinfalls and a 13-4 overall effort. PPHS had three grapplers get eliminated by the end of the second session, but the Big Blacks also have nine grapplers competing in the winner’s bracket semifinal round headed into Friday night.
Wahama also has one grappler vying for a spot in the state finals through Friday’s second session. The White Falcons are 5-1 overall headed into Friday night, while Point Pleasant owns a collective 23-8 mark.
Isaac Short (106), Christopher Smith (113), Derek Raike (120), Justin Bartee (126), George Smith (132), Mitchell Freeman (138), Wyatt Wilson (145), Logan Southall (160) and Jacob Muncy (285) are all unbeaten in two winner’s bracket matches for PPHS … and a third on Friday night puts each of them in the state final match.
The same is also true for Antonio Serevicz of Wahama after going 2-0 at 220 pounds through two sessions.
Zac Samson (152) and Juan Marquez (182) are still alive for Point Pleasant in their respective consolation brackets, while Nazar Abbas (170), Nick Ball (195) and Wyatt Stanley (220) have all been eliminated from the Class AA-A tournament.
Wahama’s Trevor Hunt is also still in the mix of the 145-pound consolation bracket through two rounds.
Overall, Mason County is a combined 28-9 and has 15 pinfall wins after two sessions of the three-day event.
Parkersburg South leads the Class AAA field through two sessions with 111 points. Wheeling Park is next with 84 points, while Huntington (82.5), Parkersburg (71.5) and John Marshall (63) complete the top five positions.
Due to an early deadline, results from Friday night’s third session of matches were unavailable at press time. An update of Friday night’s third session of matches will be updated online at mydailyregister.com
Session 4 begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday before the championship matches start at 6 p.m.
Complete results of the 2019 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships are available in the web at wvmat.com
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.