Rollercoaster ride for Jays on first day of state wrestling tournament

Corbin Howard of the Jays leaps at Jeremy King of Blue Springs during their 120-pound match in the Class 4 state tournament Thursday at Mizzou Arena.

Corbin Howard of the Jays leaps at Jeremy King of Blue Springs during their 120-pound match in the Class 4 state tournament Thursday at Mizzou Arena. Photo by Kris Wilson.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — It was an up-and-down opening day for the Jefferson City Jays.

The ups were four Jays advanced to the quarterfinals with first-round victories Thursday night in the Class 4 state wrestling championships at Mizzou Arena. The downs were the other four Jays state qualifiers finished 0-2 and were eliminated from the tournament.

“We’ve still got four guys fighting through the front door and that’s a good thing,” Jays coach Phil Cagle said.

Corbin Howard, a junior, advanced at 120 pounds with an 8-2 victory against Jeremy King of Blue Springs South.

Howard led 2-0 after the first period before putting King on his back in the opening seconds of the second. He added another set of near-fall points in the period to take on 8-0 lead.

“The last time he wrestled (King), Corbin only beat him 3-2 so that was a very good performance,” Cagle said.

Howard (39-6) will face Timberland senior Devan Richter (29-3) in this afternoon’s quarterfinals.

Jacob Brune, a sophomore at 132, moved on with an 8-1 win against Cartland Allen of Lee’s Summit.

Brune had Allen on his back in the first period and led 4-0, then did the same in the second period to take an 8-1 lead.

“I really think Jacob has the ability to do something in this tournament, he’s under the radar a little bit,” Cagle said.

Brune (43-5) will square off against Seckman junior Luke Weiland (40-5) in the quarterfinals.

Logan Moriarity, a sophomore at 145, dominated Jeremy Floyd of Francis Howell Central from the start on his way to a win by technical fall in 5:56. Moriarity led 7-0 after one period, 11-0 after two then got Floyd on his back in the final seconds for the victory.

“It was a good performance for Logan,” Cagle said.

Moriarity (40-3) will meet two-time state champion Brock Wingbermuehle, a Seckman senior, in the quarterfinals.

Jalen Martin, a sophomore at 170, fell behind 2-0 after one period before rebounding to take a 5-2 victory against Gary Washington of McCluer North. Martin scored all five of his points in the second period with an escape, takedown and two for a near-fall.

“Jalen got the job done,” Cagle said.

Martin will meet Park Hill South senior Alexander Carpenter (34-9) in the quarterfinals.

“All four of our guys have some tough matches (today),” Cagle said. “But so do the guys we’re wrestling.”

The Jays are in 21st place in the team standings with 9.5 points. Timberland is first with 28, with Rock Bridge (24) and Seckman (22.5) rounding out the top three teams.

It was a learning experience for the three of the other Jays.

Dennis Barnes at 106 and Christian Mayberry at 126, both freshman, and junior Logan Coil at 285 all were eliminated from the tournament Thursday night.

“Our young kids battled well,” Cagle said.

Alec Bise, a senior, also finished 0-2 at 138.

“I feel bad for Alec, but he made it to state in his senior year and that was one of the major goals he had for the season,” Cagle said. “That is something he can be proud of and think back on for the rest of his life.”

Action resumes at 1:30 p.m. today, with the semifinals and third round of wrestlebacks set for a 6 p.m. start. The tournament concludes Saturday.

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