Ultimate tiebreak: Gaydos' win highlight for Blair Oaks

Frankie Falotico of Blair Oaks works Gabe Cozart of Hollister onto his back during their 126-pound match Friday night in Wardsville.

Frankie Falotico of Blair Oaks works Gabe Cozart of Hollister onto his back during their 126-pound match Friday night in Wardsville. Photo by Kris Wilson.

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — On a night where there were 98 contested matches, you might think it was tough to find the best one of the bunch.

You’d be wrong.

There was no doubt about which match turned out to be the most exciting on the first night of the Class 1 District 2 Wrestling Tournament being hosted by Blair Oaks.

It came in the quarterfinals of the 138-pound weight class, and it included a member of the host school.

With a berth in the semifinals on the line, Blair Oaks’ Alex Gaydos brought in his 32-9 mark against the 14-15 record of Adrian’s Zachary Shannon.

The two locked horns in a pulse-pounding match, with Gaydos eventually escaping with a win by ultimate tiebreak before an energized crowd.

“That was a good one that we got,” Blair Oaks coach Tim Karsten said. “We lost a couple like that later on, but that’s the way it usually goes.”

After regulation ended with it tied at 3, Gaydos won the toss and deferred, so Shannon started down and got an escape late in the first overtime. Gaydos then started down and appeared to have it won with a late reversal, but Shannon escaped to keep things going.

“In the sudden death period, we thought it was important to win the toss because you can defer and know what you need to score,” Karsten said. “We thought we had it there and then it got back tied up again.”

So it went to sudden death period with both starting up and neither wrestler was able to score. Shannon got the next choice thanks to having had scored the first point of the match, and he chose down.

But Gaydos was able to hold on and not allow Shannon to escape to claim the victory.

“We got a good, tight hold on the leg and were able to finish it out and win the match,” Karsten said.

That win helped Blair Oaks lead the team race after the first day, as the Falcons have 53 points and Seneca is next with 49 points. Holden (46), Adrian (44), Versailles (41.5) round out the top five.

The rest of the 15-team field includes Warsaw (39), Butler (23), Fatima (21), Sherwood (19), Tipton (17), El Dorado Springs (16), Knob Noster (16), Diamond (15), Springfield Catholic (9.5) and Hollister (4).

Seneca has eight wrestlers in the semifinals, while Blair Oaks and Versailles with seven each.

“We’ve got everybody still in it, seven alive on the front side and then everybody else has to come through on the back,” Karsten said. “There were a couple more we could have had in the semis, but it’s wrestling — you’ve got to take it, you can’t wait.”

Joining Gaydos in the semifinals for the Falcons are London Gaydos (120 pounds), Frankie Falotico (126), Logan Mudd (145), Brad Thomas (152), Cole Kemna (170) and John Karsten (285).

The Falcons narrowly missed two more. The first came at 182, where Corbin Singer got an escape with :13 left in his quarterfinal match with Seneca’s Forrest Hall, but Hall got a takedown with :01 left to win it 7-6.

“That was tough,” Tim Karsten said. “Corbin fought back and got ahead in the last 10 seconds and then in the last second he let it slip through. It happens.”

Then at 220 pounds, Fatima’s Zachary Hogan and Blair Oaks’ Levi Dial locked horns in an entertaining match Hogan won 2-1.

“You’ve got to hand it to the Fatima kid, he really wrestled tough,” Karsten said.

It was definitely the highlight of the night for the Comets.

“That was a big one for us,” Fatima coach Kurt Strope said. “That’s what we wanted to do, and we came here and got it done. There were two or three other ones we wish could have gone the same way, but we fell short.”

Hogan is one of three Comets in the semifinals, joining Cody Huhn (120) and Caleb Schroeder (126).

“We did pretty well,” Strope said. “I like our chances (today). I think we can come back pretty well, most of them can compete in their brackets.

“(Huhn) came in and did what he’s supposed to do. He’s a 1 seed and he took care of business. (Schroeder) is in the semis and he’s seeded third, but I think he’s just as good as that second seed, so if he can take him, that would be good to see.”

The other area wrestlers making it to the semifinals Versailles’ Konner Shewmaker (106), Nathan Long (113), Kaden Wilson (120), Austin Larsen (138), Adam Guinn (160), Willie Schotte (170) and Dylan Ballew (182); and Tipton’s Jordan Barnhart (120) and Wyatt Parker (145).

Action resumes today in the event at 10 a.m.

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