Six area wrestlers in the finals at state tournament

COLUMBIA — Six area wrestlers will take part in state title matches today after winning semifinal bouts Friday night at Mizzou Arena.

Four will be in Class 1 — Blair Oaks teammates Logan Mudd at 138 pounds and Eli Roberts at 182, along with Fatima’s Cody Huhn at 106 and Ryan Strope at 126.

Dylan Linsenbardt of Helias will wrestle for the Class 3 113-pound title, while John Carter of Jefferson City will wrestle at 285 pounds in Class 4.

The finals begin at 4:30 p.m. today in all classes.

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A well-timed throw moved Mudd to the final with a 5-2 victory against South Harrison freshman Austin Ward.

Mudd picked up a takedown in the first :30 to account for the only points scored by either wrestler through the first two periods.

Ward was awarded a penalty point with :51 left to make it 2-1. After the restart, Mudd tossed Ward to his back and picked up three near-fall points. A late escape by Ward made the final 5-2.

Mudd will take on Whitfield senior Chris Wilkes (51-2) in the final. Wilkes is the defending state champion at 126 pounds. Mudd was fourth at 132 in 2012.

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It didn’t take long for Eli Roberts to claim his spot in the 182-pound division.

Roberts, a senior, needed just :25 to win by fall against Kansas City O’Hara junior Stephen Conway. Roberts got a takedown :05 into the match, putting Conway on his back in the process.

Roberts (47-0) will face Plattsburg senior Dylan McClain (45-6) in the title match.

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HUhn upended defending state champion Quintin Lewis, a senior from Carrollton, 6-4 to advance to the 106-pound title match.

Huhn got a key reversal in the final seconds of the opening period to tie the match at 2, then took the lead with a takedown midway through the second. Huhn then got a reversal near the edge of the mat with :30 remaining to make it 6-2. Lewis scored a reversal with :15 left to make the final 6-4.

Huhn (38-3) will face Marceline freshman Dalton Fisher (41-2) in today’s title match.

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Strope dominated his semifinal and posted a 12-1 major decision against Whitfield freshman Kurtis Hahn.

Strope, who has never finished worse than third in his three previous state tournament appearances, led 2-0 after one period. He stretched that advantage to 9-1 after two periods, then got an escape and takedown in the third to account for the final margin.

Strope (46-2) will face West Platte freshman Justin Rhodes (48-4) in the title match.

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Linsenbardt advanced with an 8-6 win in overtime against Oak Park senior Sam Seidel (18-8).

Tied at 6 at the end of regulation, Linsenbardt took a quick shot and got a takedown :16 into the extra period.

“We knew we could get into his legs and finish a takedown,” Helias coach Travis Reinsch said. “Dylan was aggressive and got it done.”

Linsenbardt trailed 3-2 after one period, then got a takedown and set of back points in the second period, which ended tied at 6.

Linsenbardt (47-8) will take on Kearney senior Jaret Singh (49-5) for the title in a rematch of last Saturday’s district championship pairing. Singh won that match by technical fall in the second period.

Singh is a two-time state champion, including the 113-pound crown last season. Linsenbardt is a two-time medalist. He was fifth at 113 in 2012.

“We know a lot about him, we’re going to have to wrestle a perfect match to win,” Reinsch said. “I’ve seen people get beat in the finals that you wouldn’t think would lose.”

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CARTER ROLLED TO a quick victory against Waynesville junior Jacob Semple. And got a bit of revenge from last week’s district tournament at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Semple pinned Carter in the districts, but the Jefferson City senior turned the tables when it really counted with a win by fall in :22.

“It says a lot about his character and how tough a kid he is,” Jays coach Phil Cagle said. “He came back really focused and hit the stuff he needed to.”

Carter (43-4) will face Hickman senior J’Den Cox (55-0) in today’s final. Cox will be aiming for his fourth state championship.

“J’Den is No. 1 in the state, everybody expects him to win,” Cagle said. “John’s going to go out and do the best he can and see what happens.”

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A PAIR OF area wrestlers dropped their semifinal matches in Class 1 on Friday night.

Blair Oaks freshman Frankie Falotico fell 5-1 to Carrollton senior Jacob O’Neal at 120, while Fatima senior Luke DeOrnellis lost by technical fall to Mid-Buchanan junior Grant Schottel.

Falotico (40-6) and DeOrnellis (26-9) will take part in the fourth round of wrestlebacks this morning.

Also in that round will be Jefferson City freshman Logan Moriarity at 120 in Class 4. Moriarity advanced with a 13-2 victory against Waynesville senior Andrew Wallace in the third-round of wrestlebacks Friday night.

Wrestlebacks will begin at 10 a.m. today, with the third- and fifth-place matches starting around noon.

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