Steubenville Takes Third in Park Duals
WHEELING — The demanding two-day Wheeling Park Duals at WesBanco Arena came to a close on Thursday as Harrison claimed first place by edging out Carrollton in the final by a narrow 29-27 count, with Steubenville placing third, John Marshall finishing sixth, Madonna earning eighth, Oak Glen taking ninth, Wheeling Park collecting 11th place honors and Magnolia turning in an 18th-place finish.
Harrison, Carrollton, Steubenville and Waynedale were all unbeaten in their pools with 7-0 records and Big Red’s only defeat came to the eventual champion, Harrison by a 48-18 score.
Steubenville went on to upend Waynedale in the third place match by a 51-27 result.
“We knew Harrison was a really tough team from last year,” Big Red coach Michael Blackburn said. “Sometimes it is good to take a loss to get humbled a little bit but I thought we wrestled really well this week.”
The Monarchs completed a solid tournament with a 6-1 record in their pool, followed by a nail-biting 39-30 victory over Point Pleasant to secure a spot in the fifth-place match, where the fell to Dover 49-24.
“I feel great about sixth place,” John Marshall coach Ted Zervos said.
“I knew the last two matches would be tough but the guys fought in both of them and didn’t back down from anybody and I was pleased with their intensity.
“They were mentally and physically drained in that last one after a tight win in the previous match. Then they went into the next one without even getting a drink of water but it was a good day and a good tournament.”
Brady Williams delivered clutch performances in both of the final two matches for John Marshall to help lift the Monarchs to a sixth place finish.
He came up with a clutch pin in the 220 battle with Point Pleasant’s Juan Marquez in a 30-30 contest to give John Marshall a 36-30 edge with just the heavyweight event to go in the match. Then he knocked off Dover’s Austin Ross by a 11-9 decision, after trailing 9-8 with just 14 seconds left on the clock.
“I knew I had to do it for the team,” Williams said. “In the first match I knew it would seal the deal if I got the pin so I hustled up and got it. In the second one, I was a little lousy in the first couple periods and I just came back with everything I had.”
The lone Monarchs senior, Nathan Simmons was able to hold off Point Pleasant’s Brian Gillispie in the heavyweight tilt to cap off the victory to remain the only undefeated grappler for John Marshall in the 2-day event.
“It is a team effort and I am just the last guy out there,” Simmons said. “It feels great. I hope the younger guys can learn from it and apply it. That is the example I want to set for them.”
Madonna’s 6-1 record in pool play earned a spot in the seventh-place contest, which it fell to Point Pleasant by a 42-30 mark.
“We wrestled well,” Madonna coach Ray Pernell said. “Its a hard tournament and it only makes us better. Its a learning experience and I see some things we need to work on but I am pleased.
“We had to bump some people around but the kids battled through it and made it a team effort and that is what we need to get better.”
Oak Glen completed its pool with a 5-2 record and topped Ripley for ninth place.
Wheeling Park improved its record from 2-2 on Wednesday to 5-2 in pool action, before dropping a narrow 35-33 battle to Ripley. The Patriots quickly rallied to finish the day with a 51-27 win over Washington Court House in the 11th place event.
“(Wednesday), I thought we had an average day and I wanted to see how the kids responded and we wrestled tough today,” Park coach Clay Tucker said. “We lost a close one to Ripley but as a whole I thought our team wrestled really tough. We had a lot of guys go out and battle for six hard minutes and that is what we ask for.
“The event in general, I love it. Its a lot of hard work to put on but its worth it to have all of these teams come here and put on a good performance. Its a fun two days.”
Magnolia’s 2-5 pool record earned the Blue Eagles a spot in the 17th place competition, where they fell to Edgewood 56-22.