Carter gets pin to start tourney

COLUMBIA, Mo. — After a tough way to end the state tournament last year, John Carter had a little bit of an axe to grind.

The Jefferson City senior, who had to injury default his final match of the tournament last season because of an illness, came out of the gate strong for Jefferson City as he won his match at 285 pounds in the first round of the Class 4 state wrestling tournament Thursday at Mizzou Arena.

“This is my last tournament I ever wrestle, so there is a little extra motivation just to you know say, ‘Hey I might only have two more matches my entire life, so wrestling with everything I’ve got,’” Carter said.

Carter’s work helped the Jays to a 3-1 record in the first round. All four Jays are still alive after the first day.

Carter made quick work of Ruskin’s Jamal Karriem. He got an immediate takedown, and pinned him in 39 seconds.

Carter used his height to his advantage to tower over Karriem by getting his arms underneath him for a quick takedown followed by a pin.

“It’s pretty much been my strategy all year long because I’m pretty much taller than all my opponents,” Carter said. “If I can get underneath them and lift them up, I can do some damage.”

Now Carter moves to the quarterfinals, where he will take on Jimmy Sellers of Mehlville, the opponent he was supposed to wrestle before having to bow out last year in the wrestlebacks.

The two wrestled just two weeks ago at the Seckman Tournament, with Sellers winning.

“I have a little grudge against him because I wrestled him earlier this year and I lost to him,” Carter said. “... I think now I’ve got a better game strategy so I’m thinking, ‘Hey, we were supposed to meet here last year. We’re going to meet here this year. It’s got to happen.’”

Carter finished off a solid first round for the Jays.

Logan Moriarity (120) and Rodney Webbe (145) also won their first-round matches.

Webbe’s match against Seckman’s Chad Lowe lasted just six seconds. After a quick takedown by Webbe in the opening seconds, Lowe went down with an injury Jefferson City head coach Phil Cagle described as a dislocated kneecap.

Webbe advances to take on Holt’s Clayton Ream. Ream is 49-1 this season.

“It’s just an unfortunate accident,” Cagle said. “Rodney wouldn’t hurt a fly. He wouldn’t. He was just wrestling. The kid twisted and that’s what happened.”

Moriarity, a freshman, defeated Lafayette’s Kirk Bradley 1-0 thanks to an escape in the second period. He now awaits Erneste Williams of Park Hill, who is 40-2 this season.

“It’s a freshman wrestling a senior at state,” Cagle said. “Logan did a good job. Is he pleased with himself? No. He’s not. He’s got some tough matches tomorrow.”

Even after Corbin Howard (113) dropped his opening match 7-1, he bounced back and was in control of his wrestleback match against C.B.C.’s Alexander Fischer, winning 5-3.

“We want to get that takedown,” Cagle said. “We want to get that first point and get in their head for them to try and make a mistake and it happened. The kid made a mistake and we took advantage of it. You’re ahead 5-0 and now it’s time to wrestle smart.”

Now, the Jays hope for an even better second day.

“They’ve overcome some obstacles, they did a really good job,” Cagle said.

Park Hill leads the Class 4 team race with 30 points. Timberland is second with 29 points, while Blue Springs is third with 24 points. Jefferson City is tied for 14th place with 11 points.

Class 4 action resumes at 1:30 p.m. today with second-round wrestlebacks and quarterfinal matches.

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