South Captures 5A Crown

Banged-up Park finishes runnerup

Wheeling Park’s Austin Loew, left, battles Parkersburg South’s Dalton Fullerton during their 195-pound match at the OVAC Bill Hinegardner Class 5A Duals Championship on Friday night in Moundsville. Loew won, 5-0.

MOUNDSVILLE — After finishing runnerup in last week’s Brooke Classic, Parkersburg South flexed its muscles Friday night in rolling to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Bill Hinegardner Class 5A Duals championship.

The Wood County Patriots, who finished second to Erie Cathedral Prep in Wellsburg, blanked Brooke, 84-0, in the semifinals before defeating banged-up Wheeling Park, 68-9, in the finals inside the John Marshall Fieldhouse. They only lost two matches the entire night.

“We didn’t wrestle as good as we could’ve last weekend and the kids wanted to atone for that,” Parkersburg South coach Shaun Smith said. “The two matches we lost we were very capable of winning those matches. Our 106-pounder just got caught and couldn’t get off his back. Any other day, he wins that match. Our 195-pounder has to realize that he’s as good as that kid. He needs to figure out how to get takedowns on him and stay off his back.”

OVAC champions Tucker Windland (120), Luke Martin (138), Josh Humphreys (152), Zane Hinzman (160) and Braxton Amos (220) all won a pair of matches.

Izaak Murphy (106) gave the Ohio County Patriots a quick 6-0 lead when he recorded a first-period pin of Devin Easton. However, by the next time a Wheeling Park wrestler had his hand raised, the score had mounted to 58-6 as Parkersburg South displayed its strength.

“They are the best team in the OVAC and the state,” Wheeling Park coach Clay Tucker said of Parkersburg South. “I thought we wrestled hard. We’ve still got some things to work on. Hopefully, we’ll get healthy come time for regionals and we’ll have a good state tournament.

“Izaak has been getting better all year. He’s definitely one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever come across,” Tucker said of his flyweight. “I don’t think there is a kid in the state that is going to out-tough Austin. He’s a hard-nosed wrestler who is hard to beat. He showed it.”

Wheeling Park competed without injured senior standouts John Nash (160) and OVAC champ Kaleb Simpkins (170), while classmate Calvin McGaha (285) was sick.

Tucker is hopeful all three will be back for the Class AAA regionals at Brooke a week from today.

Wheeling Park rallied past John Marshall in the semifinals to earn its date with Parkersburg South, which won its third duals title, and first since 2014. The other came in 2010.

“I knew it was going to be a close match with as short-handed as we were,” Tucker noted of the victory over John Marshall, 41-33. “Everybody is a little banged up, but we sucked it up and were able to beat John Marshall for the second time this year. They’ve got a good team, but we were a little better.”

Collecting wins against the Monarchs were Maison Richardson (120), Billy Gooch (132), Stevie Mitchell (138), Daniel Skelton (152), Axel Gebhart (182), Lowe and Dylan Wood (220).

JM winners were Ethan Gray (113), Peyton Shook (126), Jordan Wood (145), OVAC champion Anthony Carman (160), Jacob Berisford (170) and Brady Williams (285).

The Monarchs claimed third place with a 58-22 decision over Brooke.

In Parkersburg South’s blowout of Brooke, the Patriots recorded 10 pins and four forfeits in tallying 80-plus points for the sixth time this season. It was the third time they’ve reached the maximum point total.